And then it happened on January 25, 1959, I prepared myself for that moment in time which would never happen again. The Inaugural Flight saluted the Boeing 707 commercial jet as it crossed the United States with a bow to history as we stepped toward a new world of travel. The thought that raced through my heart and head like lightening through my body was "Am I ready and I still couldn't believe what was happening and how I could be so honored."
|INAUGURAL FLIGHT CAPTAIN MACATEE|
|Norman Rice, Marilyn Rutkowski, Edna Garrett, Charles Macatee, Argie Hoskins, Lou Szabo, Claire Bullock. Bill Duncan|
The following is a glance at a page in the book: More Than a Ticket
FIRST TRANSCON FLIGHT
It was commercial aviation’s first transcontinental jet flight, a flight that
brought east and west coasts three hours closer together and revolutionized
an airline, an industry and the nation’s transportation system.
“We got off 20 minutes late because of the ceremonies at Los Angeles.
But we were fortunate enough to catch tailwinds that at times were in excess
of 150 knots. We arrived at New York on schedule, exactly four hours
and 3 minutes after takeoff.” . . .
Hundreds of people, including a 25-piece brass band, turned out at
Idlewild to welcome the first transcon jet (more than 25,000 had seen it
off at LAX). Newsmen, government officials and movie stars were aboard,
including actress Jane Wyman (“who for some reason I kept calling Mrs.
Lyman,” Captain Macatee recalled).
C. R. Smith, also aboard, told AAers in a special issue of Flagship News to
“take a bow to history, for you are a part of it today. The piston-engined
airplane will retain our affection, for it has done so much for us and for air
transportation. Today, we have a new area of expectation, for the bright
promise of what the turbine-powered airport will bring lies ahead of us.”
Astrojet News vol. 24, no. 2, January 27, 1969. Photo courtesy of Beth Macatee Snyder.
Sent to me by Captain Macatee's generous daughter.
With this flying adventure comes the desire to thank American Airlines for the opportunity to be a team member with a wonderful airline company. So I wrote a book.
More Than a Ticket Memoirs Flying with American Airlines from Props to Jets by Argie Hoskins
This book has 12 wonderful contributors which adds a depth of history that only they could add. As a special note to days gone by, you will slip into the past to enjoy the thrill of what it meant to fly through the clouds of time.
|HAPPY NEW YEAR|