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The Day Airline President Donald Nyrop Tended Bar on a Boeing Stratocruiser

Donald Nyrop enjoys telling the following story on himself. I was reminded of it when I read that effective December 1, 2009, Delta, the biggest airline in the world and adoptive parent of Northwest Airlines; will no longer accept cash on its domestic flights. Instead, flight attendants will be equipped with credit card scanners. Yup […]

FAA Computer Glitch Hampers Air Travel . . .

Good grief. Computers again. We’re just recovering from the NWA flyover last month, purportedly caused by pilots glued to their laptops instead of making a scheduled landing at MSP. Now this last Thursday, November 19, the FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) computer system crashed, failing to upload flight plans all over the NorthEast. Apparently Atlanta was […]

What, and give up my Tokyo run?

Yes she did. Phyllis Tack & Charles Curry were wed in 1948 And they stayed “wed” for 55 years until Charles death Phyllis Curry today with her prized NWA DC-3 model Phyllis grew up at 51st and 11th Avenue, Minneapolis. She had three brothers, one a Navy pilot. Both her son and daughter are pilots. […]

Shemya to Tokyo on a DC-4 in 1947

Douglas DC-4 on the ground in Tokyo The Shemya to Tokyo leg of the trip left Shemya at midnight. As previously mentioned, Phyllis says it was an adventure trudging through wind-whipped snow to the airplane, which was parked about a city block away from the terminal. Passengers were mostly wives and children of the occupational […]

Before we leave Shemya . . .

Phyllis Tack Curry ready to do some wash. If you’re having trouble reading the sign over the door, please allow me: It says, “Home for Wayward Girls.” Can you imagine that sign being over the door today? I’m also wondering how many of you remember the brand of soap Phyllis is holding in her hands? […]

Layovers in Shemya with Phyllis Tack Curry

Shemya 1947 Quonset “Hotel” on Shemya Phyllis Tack was her maiden name. Her father took the family out to Wold Chamberlain Field in Minneapolis to watch the airplanes when she was a kid. He thought the Ford Trimotor was “the greatest thing.” One day when she was about 14 years old, she saw the door […]

NWA ‘s Flight 188 and Page 188 in Sully’s Book!

I know, I know. I wasn’t going to say another word about NWA Flight 188. But today, at Barnes & Noble, when I picked up Cap’t. Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger’s new book Highest Duty, it fell open to page . . . 188. The following sentence jumped out at me: “Whether you’re flying by hand or […]

Leaving NWA 188 behind . . . and welcoming instead a true NWA pioneer, Phyllis Curry

Whenever I grow weary of the incredible events ever-unfolding in 2009-era commercial aviation, I take refuge in tales of earlier times. Today is such a day. Even though newspapers are still publishing cartoons and late-night TV jesters are still poking fun at a couple of hapless NWA pilots, I say, “enough already.” Their legacy is […]