A crowd of thousands was present to witness the historical event. It must have been everybody in Vienna, able to move, who was there. After the welcome ceremony by dignitaries, the crowd was invited to enter the airplane aft, to exit at the front door. It took a long time until everybody had completed the walk through.
The Press and TV of Austria was invited to a flight around their country and every seat was occupied. Two Pan Am stewardesses where assigned to help us serve Champagne and hors d'oeuvres for the one hour trip. I must have been opening Champagne bottles close to 100 and the popping corks sounded like a little fireworks all of my own!
For the landing, I grabbed one of the TV cameras and filmed the landing at Vienna from the cockpit. I was not able to turn off the camera and walked back to the man I took the big heavy contraption from. He turned it off and thanked me with a lot of gratitude, all in German of course, which I speak and have done so in all the announcements of the flight. Later on another trip to Vienna, I learned that the whole episode of my taping was broadcasted the same evening on Austrian television, including my walk back from the cockpit to the camera man, whereby I had held the camera to capture the highly impressed faces of passengers.
Harry W Frahm
Vice President Miami Chapter
* Pan Am historical records show introduction of jet service to Vienna was 12/22/1959. Vienna International Airport history reads that a runway extension was built to accommodate this arrival.
“Ha! The question is more like where aren’t we going to fly,” he said. “All over the Caribbean, all those islands. Down through Mexico, there’s some wonderful places in Central America you know. And then to Buenos Aires, me boy . . . Argentina. Enchanted place. Buenos Aires is going to be the next Paris, just you watch.”
“It all seems so far,” I offered.
“Far? Oliver, mark my words. In ten years you’ll be able to get on a plane in New York and fly to London, or Paris, or even Rome. You’ll fly in a big, beautiful bird drinking the best wine and eating the best food. You’ll make a trip in a day that now takes almost a week. And from California we’ll send up flights that will go to Hawaii, and from there we can get to the Orient. China, Japan—a world most people have only dreamed of,” Mister Trippe said.
He leaned back in his wicker chair.
“The oceans, sir?” I said. “Taking people all the way across? Lindbergh barely made it, and it was just him.”
Mister Trippe turned to me again.
“Nobody believes it can be done more than Lindbergh,” he said.
Then he turned and looked out his window, sipping his rum and puffing on his cigar.
"Flying Conquistadors" is reality inspired fiction.
Book available on www.smile.amazon.com
Please choose Pan Am Museum Foundation as the not-for-profit organization you support when ordering.
Copyright 2016 by Michael Scott Bertrand.
No part of this excerpt shall be reproduced or transmitted without the express consent of the copyright holder.
"I loved the company that I worked [for]. I like to say we had the ragged end of the glory days. We were a little tattered; there wasn’t as much shine left on the silver. It was really devastating to me when the company went bankrupt and I lost my job because so many of those people were like my family. In fact, anywhere we would fly to in the world, we would have a place to stay. We always had someone somewhere in the world to show us the way. When that was taken away from me it was like I had lost my entire family."
Phillip P Keene, Actor, on Pan American World Airways, Board Member, Pan Am Museum