Friday, January 30, 2009

The 'new' Delta Family Tree

Hello everyone, Here's a great example of all the regional and major carriers that now make up the new Delta Airlines. Well done research! (Click to enlarge)

Wednesday, January 28, 2009


Hello all! Just adding a nice shot of 523 and ??? in the background at ORD...compliments of Dave DeBace. :)

Monday, January 26, 2009

Great Lakes Convair 580 Video

Thanks to gavinthesock, from YouTube, we get a nice and memorable slideshow view of the Convair 580's interior and exterior in this well put together video. Thanks gavinthesock!

(The video was/is embedded so you'll have to navigate away from the blog to view it-the link's included here)

Friday, January 23, 2009

Calling all Herman fans....AGAIN!

Hello everyone! After a nice, be it short vacation, I'm back...and was HOPING to see some emails from Herman fans upon my return. Hmmmm, none!? I'd really love to hear from people and your experiences with Herman, along with sharing them with our blog viewers/readers. PLEASE consider sending in your stories, ideas, experiences, photos, jokes, etc. I'd love to hear from you!!! (Yes, write some NOW and send it!). :) Peder, aka, Convaircrazy/Convairkid

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Time away...

Hello everyone! I'll be on vacation for the next week but I'd still love to hear from North Central Fans! Please send in your stories/photos...I'll be waiting. Thanks and see you soon...P :)

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Ordell 'Nordy' Nordseth

I received this email from our friend, Barb Ike at CLEAR & SIXTY today and wanted to share with everyone.

I am very sorry to report that Ordell Nordseth passed away yesterday, January 9, 2009. He had been ill with a malignant intestinal tumor for just 3 weeks, although he had bravely battled Parkinson's Disease for many years. His wife, Helen, said that Hospice attended and was wonderful to Nordy and to the entire family. Funeral services will be held on Tuesday, January 13 at 12:00 noon at the Farmington Lutheran Church in Farmington, MN, with visitation one hour before.
Please pass the word to others who knew Nordy and who might want to attend the service or express condolences:
Helen Nordseth
501 4th Street
Farmington, MN 55024

He will be missed by many, many friends and a loving family and the Clear & Sixty staffs, past and present. Barbara Ike, Co-Editor
Clear & Sixty
The Newsletter for Retired Republic Airlines Employees

Friday, January 9, 2009

'Airplane Geek'

Prior to this past year's Airliner's Show in MSP, I'd been in contact with a fellow North Central fan, and blog follower, Steven Zimmerman of Mankato, MN. It turns out that Steven was doing the same thing I was doing around the MKT airport (see prior stories/blog postings), just in different years! Small World.
Alas, I was able to meet with Steven at the MSP Airliner's Show this past Spring, which is always a good thing to put a face with a name! He recently sent me this story and photos to share with everyone.

"My very first plane ride was on North Central Airlines. Flight #75, a DC-9 from Minneapolis to Minot, ND. I had informed my Mom in the Spring of 1974 that I was going to save up my babysitting earnings and fly to Minot and spend the Summer with my Grandparents, who lived in Williston, ND. I was 14 years old and my Mom told me that she would match what ever I could save. Well, I managed to save enough money, and then some! I can remember taking all my earnings to the Travel Agency with my Mom to purchase the ticket. Yes, back then if you wanted to fly somewhere, you went to a Travel Agent! Now, all I had to do was wait for a whole week before my flight. I remember getting the ticket out every night just to look at it. I couldn't believe I was actually going to fly on an airplane!

I had been an 'airplane geek' every since my Mom took em to see the movie 'AIRPORT' in 1970. I was all of 9 years old, but I fell in love with airplanes after that. I knew that NCA flew in and out of Mankato (MKT) because I would run outside every time I heard the Convair 580 approaching overhead. I would wonder who was on the plane and where they were coming from, or where they were going. I soon began writing to NCA for any information that they could send me, informing them that I was doing 'research' for a school project. A total lie! After about a week, I would receive an over sized envelope stuffed with goodies. I was in heaven! That's how I began planning my first studying the timetable.

When THE DAY finally came, It was sunny and clear, with just the right amount of fluffy white clouds. A perfect Summer day. We took off over the old Met Stadium and headed North to Minot. The flight was perfect and we had a stop in Grand Forks, which was fine with me, because that meant another take off! I remember keeping from the flight a wet nap, a napkin with Herman printed on it, the in flight magazine and even the 'Just in Case' Emergency Card. The latter of which had printed in small letters 'DO NOT REMOVE FROM AIRCRAFT.' The flight crew also gave me a pair of wings and a deck of cards with Herman on them. Oh, if only I'd kept all my treasures from that flight!

I was now hooked on flying. I soon began flying to Minneapolis from Mankato on the Convair 580. Leaving in the late morning I would spend the day at the airport, filling my NCA flight bag with timetables from all the different airlines. I'd return to Mankato in the late afternoon. Although I don't remember exactly how many times I did this, I do remember my friends thinking I was nuts! Later on, NCA began flying to Chicago from Mankato, so, of course, did I! The DC-9 would leave Mankato with a stop in Rochester, then on to Chicago. From Chicago it was another DC-9 to Minneapolis and then a Convair 580 back to Mankato. I would spend the entire afternoon exploring O'Hare Airport. Back then, as long as you had a ticket, you could go pretty much anywhere in the airport. I can't believe my parents actually let me fly to Chicago's O'Hare Airport...alone! But, I never had any problems. Flying back then was so much more fun and exciting than it is today. I will always have fond memories of flying North Central Airlines."

Steven sent along some photos of his adventures at the MSP Airport for us to enjoy. THANKS Steven for sharing the stories and photos with us!!! :)

Monday, January 5, 2009

Convairs, 727's and MKE

In the first of I hope MANY 'fan stories,' my good friend and fellow Hermanphile, Arron Propsom sent a wonderful story, along with some photos for us to enjoy.

'Back in December of 1983, I had just finished my Annual School Musical and I was sick as a dog. My throat felt like I'd eaten a box of razor blades. I was definitely sick and wanted to go home and get into bed. The following morning I awoke way too sick to go to school so my Mom needed to find a neighbor, or someone, who could watch me, seeing she had to go to the airport (MKE-Milwaukee) to pick up Grandma, who was flying in from MSP on Republic Airlines. Too my luck, no one was able to watch me that day since there was a pretty heavy snow storm occurring, and the schools were closed, so most parents had to worry about their own kids. Lucky for me, I thought, as I was about to experience the events of the next few hours!

Mom had no choice but to bundle me up and take me with her to the airport, which shouldn't be a problem seeing we were going to just pull up the Baggage Claim area and pick up Grandma. After waiting about 20 minutes, with no sign of Grandma, my Mom told me to wait in the car and she went in to check the arrivals. Soon after, Mom returned and said that we were going to have to go in as the flight was delayed in arriving for about 30 minutes. By this time I was starting to feel better, probably because I knew I was going inside the airport and was going to get to see some airplanes!

We made our way into the terminal, where a Flight Attendant for Republic has heading in the opposite direction, stopped me and gave me a pair of Republic kiddie wings and an Unaccompanied Minor button, which I still have to this day. We made our way into the Republic Terminal, which I always called 'The Circle,' because that is basically what it was; a big circle terminal with 6 gates in the main circular area and 2 gates on the stem. Mom and I waited for over an hour when an update was made that Grandma's plane was still in MSP, so we decided to go and get some lunch at the airport restaurant. This was a very neat restaurant to a kid, seeing it overlooked the ramp. I will never forget how neat the ramp looked with all the snow and how a group of Northwest Orient 727's really stood out in the snow. Mom decided we should get a grilled cheese sandwich; YUCK! I hate grilled cheese sandwiches and, too this day, I've not eaten another. After lunch we returned to the terminal to wait for an update. Mom thought it would be a good idea for me to stretch out and rest, seeing my fever was picking up again. That didn't seem to last long because I heard that sound that was music to my ears; there was a Convair coming in! I raced over to the gate to watch it roll in and shut down, watching the passengers disembark, to which I was then given strict orders to get back to our gate and lay down!

I rested for maybe a half hour when I heard the sound of jet engines coming into the gate and I wanted to know what it was. I went up to the gate next door to ours and all I could say was 'WOW!' This was the first time that I'd ever seen a Republic 727 in person. Mind you, still not as good as a Convair, but I was in awe seeing this airplane, and it looked huge to me for some reason. Shortly after we heard an announcement that there was going to be a flight arriving at our gate from Eau Claire. Once again I heard the sound of Allison engines getting near and I raced to the window. Out of the snow, the ghostly outline of a Convair appeared. I watched as people disembarked and noticed my Grandma was walking across the tarmac, weird I thought, since this flight was coming from Eau Claire and not Minneapolis.

I always loved watching the people come up the stairs off the ramp, and about 3rd to last was my Grandma. We said our hellos and Grandma began talking about her adventure in trying to get from Minneapolis. First to note would be that this was her first flight ever so this turned out to be adventure for her. The first two direct flights were cancelled out of MSP so the only way she was going to get to MKE was to fly via Eau Claire on the Convair. If Grandma had made her original flight, she would've flown on a DC-9 and not the I feel really blessed for that!

In 1984, Republic began drawing down operation at MKE, which would be the last time I ever saw the Convair in MKE until the short return of NWA Mini Hub in 1988. The one time it paid off to be sick, and it was totally worth it. If a time machine is ever invented, I am going back to that day, the day I got to spend with Republic.'

Arron attached a few photos of the MKE North Central/Republic Terminal, courtesy of Scott Grieger and Chuck Boie. This terminal is still used today by NWA, but has been completely remodeled. Of note is the photo of the walk way the people walking towards you...note the very bottom left corner of the photo. :) I see Herman in the floor!

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Calling all Herman Fans...!!

Happy New Year everyone! Along with the many employee stories and histories I've covered over the past year, I'd like to begin another series as well; FANS. That being people who've grown up with North Central, flown them, had a relative work for them, noticed Herman at airports near and far, YOU NAME IT. I'd love to hear any and all stories from you! (Yes, this includes all of my crazy Herman friends...and you know who you are). Keeping in mind, Republic Airlines stories/memories are also welcome! So, with that in mind, WRITE ME! I, and the blog, would love to hear from you...:) Please just title your email as 'NCA Fan' or 'Fan.' THANK YOU