Tag Archives: pilots

5 Reasons You Should Book The “Pan Am Experience” Today

Stepping onto the Pan Am 747 named Juan T. Trippe was amazing. Every detail, from the stewardess uniforms right down to the galleys, was just perfect. No, we weren’t dreaming, we were getting ready to embark on the “Pan Am Experience”. There has been much written about Anthony Toth, his love of all things Pan Am, and how he partnered up with Air Hollywood to recreate the passenger experience on board a Pan Am 747. Here are the Top 5 reasons you should book a flight on the “Pan Am Experience” today:

5.  If you love all things Pan Am – Pan Am was truly a pioneer. If you’re into waxing nostalgic about the “good old days” of Pan Am, you’ve come to the right place. Be prepared to walk down memory lane and be transported back to a time when flying was considered glamourous.

4. If you like to time travel – Being on board for Pan Am Experience was truly like stepping back in time. Every detail was meticulously recreated to give you the sense of what it was like to fly on a 747 back in the 70s. The seats, the galleys, even the clipper appliqué on the wall.

3.  If you’d like to meet a real Pan Am stewardess – On our flight was Barbara. She flew with Pan Am during the heydays. She was there to provide background and answer questions from the passengers about Pan Am. She was lovely and shared stories from a wonderful time in aviation history. We even played a game of “do you know…” And she knows someone that we know, who is a former Pan Am stewardess. The world is truly a small place. The “stewardesses” who served us were models, actresses, and dancers. In other words, they have day jobs. They were a fun bunch and brought lots of good energy to the experience. This is something that they do because it’s cool and allows them to experience something different. This era of flying was at least 25 years before they were even born.

2. If you’d like to meet someone who has taken “avgeek” to another level – Anthony Toth served as the “Captain” of our flight. This captain worked behind the scenes assisting the stewardesses in providing a seamless experience. Not only was he in the galley preparing meals, he answered questions after the flight. Anthony has over the years put together a huge archive of Pan Am memorabilia. He informed us that his collection now has upwards of 50,000 Pan Am items. A good selection of the collection was on display in the lobby of the “terminal”. The majority of the collection is kept behind the scenes and is used during the flight.

1. Because it’s “AirlineGuys-approved” – The reason you should book today? As the AirlineGuys, we approve of this message. And we’d never steer you wrong when it comes to aviation 😉

Barbara, Darin, Sylvester, Rachel

Barbara, Darin, Sylvester, Rachel

Sylvester & Darin

To see more pictures from our flight, click here.

 

Open Sky for Fearful Flyers

Had the pleasure to attend the very first Open Sky for Fearful Flyers class conducted by AirHollywood, the largest airplane mockup studio serving the motion picture, television and commercial production industry. While not afraid of flying, I decided to attend because I knew there would be useful information shared AND anything aviation-related designed to assist others is always a good thing. Well, we weren’t disappointed.

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The class was facilitated by Capt Ron Nielsen, a retired commercial airline pilot. According to a published bio, Capt Ron has been a pilot for almost 40 years and recently retired as a captain for a major airline. Flying has been a lifelong passion of his and he now devotes much of his time and energy to helping others overcome their fear of flying. He began working with those fearful of flying in 1987, and has gained a unique understanding of fearful flyers and their fears. His master’s degree in professional counseling has served him well in his endeavor to help others. His knowledge of people combined with his knowledge of airplanes has helped him develop strategies for fearful flyers to successfully manage their fears. Through his live classes and webinars, he has restored confidence to thousands who are now flying again.  He is frequently contacted by the media for his aviation expertise.

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The class was set up as a 6-hour course. Introduction of the weaker was followed by why people are afraid of flying (control, irrational fears, previous situations, etc.). After receiving statistics and facts about the safety of flying in today’s world, we partnered up with others in the class to learn more about what motivates your fear(s). As I’m not afraid of flying, my activity partner did most of the talking as I interviewed him about what makes him fearful. After sharing bios in a group forum, and what makes you fearful, we were treated to a very nice, casual lunch on the backlot. Lunch was followed up by “boarding” our flight. The studio is complete with Jetways and a motion-based mockup which simulates turbulence. We were then treated to the full phase of flight from boarding, to take off, cruise altitude, turbulence, landing, and arrival back at the gate. Even the owner of AirHollywood got in on the action, providing drinks from a beverage cart!

 

To my delight I had the opportunity to speak with the students in the Open Sky for Fearful Flyers course!

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Our day concluded with a tour of the AirHollywood props department and backlot, where we saw upclose and personal everything studios would need to film movie scenes, commercials, or photo shoots.

As this was the introductory course, AirHollywood and Capt Ron listened to, and answered questions from the students regarding what worked well and what we’d like to see in future classes. The goal is to have an on-going fear of flying classes complete with classroom instruction at the studio followed up by taking a real flight.

Here’s some of what we learned:

  • Every year, flying becomes safer > less accidents, although more traffic. Increases in safety due to better engines, technology, training
  • Fear of flying is NOT the same as risk of flying
  • Approximately 60 million people in the USA have a fear of flying
  • If you’re afraid of flying, first introduce yourself to the flight attendants and let them know. Then the pilots. Make sure all of the crew is aware
  • Breathing through a drinking straw will prevent you from hyperventilating. Carry one with you if you’re prone to hyperventilating
  • Sights. Sounds. Sensations — overcoming the fear of flight begins by recognizing these

I left the studio feeling great. It’s a nice feeling knowing that there are others out there who have a love and passion for what flight can add to your life and how overcoming your fear of flying can enrich your life and make it more fulfilling.

Talaat Captan, Capt Ron Nielsen, Rachel Owen, Me

Talaat Captan, Capt Ron Nielsen, Rachel Owen, Me

Sylvester

Please see our previous post on visiting AirHollywood > click here

That’s a Purdy Neat story!

Where, on a regular basis, can you meet a movie star, movie producer, actress, father, mother, triathlete, veteran, lawyer, doctor, author, ballet dancer, therapist, or accomplished opera singer? If you’re thinking LA or New York City, you’d be wrong! The hotspot we’re referring to is Crew Outfitters. And it’s not a single location but multiple locations around the US. The well-travelled, successful, very connected clientele who frequently shop at its locations are mostly crew members from many of the world’s airlines. And you never who you’ll bump into. And speaking of movie stars, Denzel Washington and the production crew from the Oscar-nominated film “Flight”, shopped at the main Atlanta location for accessories and props for the filming of this intense aviation film.
Main store location - Atlanta, GA

Main Store location – Atlanta, GA

Started in 1991 as the “Flight Station”, Crew Outfitters (renamed in 2003) is a growing collection of retail establishments dedicated to crew members. Crew Outfitters sells travel accessories, luggage, uniforms, and many other travel-related items.

Crew Outfitters Main Store - Atlanta, GA

Crew Outfitters Main Store – Atlanta, GA

It all began in the garage of Rick Latshaw. Rick was a TWA flight who was determined to build a piece of rolling luggage for flight crews that would be durable, functional, and useful. So, in his garage in Purdy, Missouri, he designed and invented the first “Purdy Neat Things” bag (PNT). It was after the design phase that Rick met Jerry Baker (current CFO LuggageWorks). Jerry was instrumental in assisting Latshaw in setting up what would become the world famous Purdy Neat Things bag.

Enter Steve Merritt, Delta flight attendant. Steve was the catalyst who assisted Latshaw in establishing and solidifying the connection with Delta and its crew members. Through their dedication, Delta became the first major airline to offer, the popular and now discontinued, payroll deduct (think shop now, pay later) for PNT rolling luggage.

During the initial rollout phase of the luggage, Delta pilots began purchasing, and traveling with, Purdy Neat Things bags. It was through word-of-mouth and a great piece of rolling luggage that word began to spread about how useful, durable and amazing these bags were. One of the instrumental Delta pilots to buy and use the bag early on was Tal Fogg. The rest as they say is history. (Remember the name Tal Fogg, you’ll hear it again when we conduct an interview with the current President of Crew Outfitters, April Krantz).

As is the story of aviation, there have been many changes since Rick Latshaw designed the first PNT bag.

Many may not be familiar with LuggageWorks. LuggageWorks was founded in 1989 under the name of Purdy Neat Things. LuggageWorks opened Flight Station as a way to sell the PNT bags. Its mission was to manufacture superior rolling bags that would be preferred by airline crew members. They did this by providing the highest quality rolling bags and accessories. In fact, the “Stealth” Pilot Bag is the only metal frame rolling bag in the industry and is preferred by tens of thousands of airline pilots. Denzel Washington’s character, Whip Whitaker, can be seen sporting a Stealth bag in the film “Flight.” The Stealth Pilot Bag is one of the top-selling items carried by Crew Outfitters.

Captain Whip Whitaker sporting PNT "Stealth" bag

Captain Whip Whitaker sporting PNT “Stealth” bag

Crew Outfitters locations include:
• Atlanta (3 locations)
• Cincinnati
• Dallas (2 locations)
• Detroit
• Houston
• Miami
• Minneapolis

Many crew members have expressed a desire for Crew Outfitters to open locations on the West coast as well as the NYC area. Please know that Crew Outfitters is listening and is continually looking for growth opportunities. Crew Outfitters is dedicated to offering quality products and outstanding customer service to meet the needs of flight crew members, airline personnel, and enthusiasts all over the world.

We invite you to visit their website for luggage, accessories, and some really cool aviation-themed gifts: www.crewoutfitters.com

The airlineguys partnership with Crew Outfitters began in 2006 when airlineguy Darin worked directly with April Krantz and Crew Outfitters providing swag/accessories for a flight attendant tradeshow. The relation has blossomed into a close working relationship including designing and implementing team building activities, product research/development, instructional videos, and friendship. You can even catch us at the airport location on A Concourse in Atlanta. Like all of our partners, we do our best to provide the best in customer service in a fun, engaging way.
 
Now, that’s a Purdy Neat story!
 
Sylvester & Darin
The airlineguys

Preserving the wonder of flight – American Airlines CR Smith Museum

As we know, many airlines have come and gone. Change is a constant in the airline industry. Because of all the changes, the details of the past can quickly slip away. It’s great knowing that airlines have set up shrines to avgeeks the world over in the form of airline museums. One such place is the American Airlines CR Smith* Museum located near DFW Airport. We had been wanting to visit this museum for quite some time and the opportunity arose to visit.

Opened in 1993, this interactive museum chronicles the storied past of American Airlines.

Highlights of the museum include:

• a flight simulator where you can pilot your flight (there was a line, so didn’t get the opportunity to experience this exhibit)
• FA uniforms from different periods (the “Astrojet” period FA uniform was a favorite)
• an interactive kids area (being a kid at heart, I did pick up the crayons and created my own work of art)
• a 15 minute, heart-warming, patriotic film about American (the air-to-air visuals are spectacular)
• and the pièce de résistance – a fully restored DC-3 (Flagship Knoxville)

Another highlight of the visit: The Volunteers

It was such a pleasure to meet Betty, Foster, and Kyle. They made the visit exceptional. Betty greeted me as soon as I walked in and proceeded to give me a personalized overview of the museum. She asked question of me, used my name often, told me about the history of the museum, and shared with me her time as an American employee. Lovely lady. Then there was Kyle. A young student intern who felt very “fortunate” to be working in this particular museum. And I can’t say enough about Foster. He started with American in 1943 as a mechanic, became a flight engineer, and retired after 50 years. He was so kind and shared snippets of what it was like to work for an airline in the golden era. A true gem.

Perfect for a day trip or for those who may have a few hours layover at DFW. We highly recommend!

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The museum is opened Tuesday – Saturday 9a – 5p, and seasonally on Sundays (1p – 5p From Memorial Day to Labor Day). For further information it’s best to visit the museum website at:

www.crsmithmuseum.org

*CR Smith – Cyrus Rowlett Smith (in case you were wondering)