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LAX Through the Years

I’ve spent a lot of time at Los Angeles International (LAX), both as an enthusiast observer and employee, having worked there for TWA between 1964 and 1969. In addition, my late brothers, Bill and Bob, spent time there and we all took pictures. Bill took only a few, in black & white, while Bob and I shot both monochromatic and color. At the page bottom I’ve included a handful of images from nearby Burbank. Take your time on this page; there’s a lot to look at!

The pictures appear in chronological order by year. Click on individual images for a larger view.

February 15, 2014 update: This page has been viewed more than 76,000 times; thank you so much!

The Early Years

It’s hard to tell for sure when brother Bill took this picture of Southwest Airways DC-3 NC54370. The ‘C’ in US-registered aircraft was officially eliminated on June 1, 1948, so the  image is presumably earlier than that, although it probably took the airlines some time to paint them out. This particular DC-3, delivered as a wartime C-47, flew with the airline from 1946.  Southwest’s name was changed to Pacific Air Lines in 1958. ©Jon Proctor

Brother Bill took this picture in September 1950, the oldest LAX shot from the Proctor boys. I’ve got a Western ticket envelope that may have contained his ticket to board this Convair 240. It is marked Flight 615 to San Diego. N8407H crashed in bad weather near Wright, Wyoming in 1954. ©Jon Proctor

A forward view of the same airplane. ©Jon Proctor

1956

Thanks to Alan Miller for this glorious picture, taken in the late afternoon on August 26, 1956. Look closely and you’ll find no less than five TWA Constellations plus the tail of a company Martin 404 and, on the left, the fin of a United Mainliner. ©Alan Miller

1959

My first photo trip to LAX was on December 28, 1959. After arriving from San Diego on a PSA Electra on an overcast morning, I was squired around the ramp by TWA Passenger Relations Rep John Kuzma, who took this picture of me in front of TWA Flight 280, a 1649A Jetstream bound for St Louis, Nashville, Atlanta, Tampa and Miami, quite a milk run considering  that barely a year earlier the type flew California–Europe nonstops. ©Jon Proctor

The same 1649A, being fueled in preparation for departure. Unfortunately I didn’t get her registration. ©Jon Proctor

Brother Bill took me over to the TWA hangar on World Way West for a tour. Seen there are a trio of different Connie models under the tail of a 1049 Super G: a 1649A Freighter, a 1049G and a model 749. ©Jon Proctor

Across World Way West at American’s hangar, DC-7Bs N345AA, N335AA and N387AA, fresh from the cargo conversion line, await assignment to air freight routes. Some of AA’s last DC-7B deliveries carried passengers for less than three years. ©Jon Proctor

Before returning to San Diego, sister-in-law Ann Proctor and I sat on the railroad tracks in front of Runways 25 Left and Right, watching airplanes land right over our heads. ©Jon Proctor

Brother Bob shot the following pictures, all in 1959; he only noted years, not specific dates, and some of his slide frames were not date-stamped by the film processor. Western Convair 240 N8410H also crashed in Wyoming, but after its sale to Hughes Tool Company. ©Jon Proctor

Over at the cargo terminal, American’s DC-6A N90779 is prepared for flight. This airplane went to World Airways in in April 1960 and crashed four months later, shortly after takeoff from Agana, Guam. ©Jon Proctor

At an adjacent gate sits United Cargoliner San Francisco, N37591, which wound up its career in Ecuador. ©Jon Proctor

A busy ramp scene seen from the observation deck reflects the heavy presence of propliners early in the Jet Age. ©Jon Proctor

By mid-morning, most of the gates are empty, except for Continental Viscount 812 N250V and an American 707. ©Jon Proctor

“Straight-pipe” American 707-123 N7504A, Flagship New York, is in position at the gate for its next load of passengers. ©Jon Proctor

N7502A, Flagship Oklahoma is seen during engine run-up at American’s hangar. It was lost during a training flight west of Montauk, Long Island in January 1961. ©Jon Proctor

1960

Cousin Dennis Brent and I enjoyed a day trip to LAX from San Diego on March 9, flying up on a Bonanza F-27A and coming home on a PSA Electra. It stayed overcast all day, hence very few photo ops, but I caught JAL’s DC-7C JA6302, City of Honolulu, being pulled into the gate in front of a Continental Golden Jet 707. ©Jon Proctor

Originally to be N768TW with TWA, Howard Hughes in 1959 sold 707-331 N703PA, Jet Clipper Dashaway, and five other intercontinental Boeings to Pan Am prior to delivery when he could not finance the purchases. ©Jon Proctor

A lineup of Western DC-6Bs caught my eye; I wasn’t used to seeing more than one or two at at time at San Diego. ©Jon Proctor

On June 28, I must not have had the courage to get out on the ramp for a cleaner shot, but was able to get a half-way decent picture of Western’s dinner Flight 2, the 6 p.m. nonstop to Seattle. It was scheduled for 1 hour, 15 minutes flying time, back when speed took priority over the price of kerosene! The pictured N74614 is one of two unique 707-139s originally built for Cubana, a contract scotched by sanctions imposed after Fidel Castro came into power. Western leased the pair from Boeing while awaiting its first 720Bs. Both went to Pan Am in December 1962 and N74614 was written off after it overran Runway 4-Right in foggy weather at New York-JFK, on April 7, 1964. ©Jon Proctor  

Mexicana was the only airline to operate scheduled Comet 4C service into LAX, beginning on July 4, 1960. Brother Bob’s picture shows XA-NAS about to depart for Mexico City. ©Jon Proctor

My first attempt at color photography resulted in this less-than-stellar shot of Western DC-6B N93106 0n September 5, as I passed through LAX on my way to Chicago; I had ridden this airplane from LAX to San Diego a year earlier.  ©Jon Proctor

I flew there on American 707-123 N7509A, Flagship Texas, my first AA jet ride. ©Jon Proctor

Okay, that’s Santa Monica Airport below, not LAX, but the view from Flagship Texas is too good to pass up on a crystal-clear day over the Los Angeles basin as we head back east after taking off on Runway 25 Right. ©Jon Proctor

Thanks to TWA PRR John Kuzma, I was able to photograph Desi Arnez on December 29, shortly after he arrived from New York City. ©Jon Proctor

1961

Bob took this picture showing  Air France 707-328 F-BHSG parked in front of the old TWA Hangar on Avion Drive, reflecting the cramped parking space at the original terminal. ©Jon Proctor

Chateau de Pau heads for the departure runway. ©Jon Proctor

Brazilian operator REAL-Aerovias operated 1049H Constellations from LAX into the early Jet Age. PP-YSD poses in the high sun on September 1, less than two weeks after REAL was taken over by VARIG, where it continued to fly for another five years, then served a variety of carriers until its untimely demise in a landing accident at Gary, Indiana  on September 24, 1973. ©Jon Proctor

After riding her from Chicago on Flight 31, I paused to snap a picture of American 707-123B N7505A on December 27. ©Jon Proctor

1962

These two pictures show activity in April as the newer terminal complex provided a much-needed capacity improvement over the old facility. Satellites 7 and 8 were exclusively occupied by United Air Lines. The two Pacific Martin 404s sit at temporary gates while awaiting completion of Satellite 6. There was plenty of piston-powered equipment in evidence during the early part of the Jet Age. ©Jon Proctor

The edge of Satellite 6′s construction area appears on the left with Western’s Satellite 5 already completed. Along with Satellite 2 on the north side of the terminal complex, it lacked Jetways early on. A Continental 707 Golden Jet is relegated to temporary parking. ©Jon Proctor

Brother Bob took this picture of American 707-123B Astrojet N7504A, awaiting inspection in March, just a few days after another company 707 tragically crashed shortly after takeoff from New York-Idlewild with the loss of all aboard. ©Jon Proctor

Apparently Western was still operating Electras to Mexico in July, as evidenced by N7139C, parked at Satellite 2 for Customs clearance. ©Jon Proctor

Bonanza Silver Dart F-27A N148L appears about ready to accept passengers at Satellite 3, Gate 37. ©Jon Proctor

American Airlines 707-123B N7523A approaches the gate in this December 26, photo; check out the window shades on the control tower, slanted to form a cross for the Christmas season, before it was considered politically incorrect. Terminal 6 was still under construction, hence the Continental and Pacific aircraft parked at temporary gates adjacent to the ticketing building. ©Jon Proctor

Another 707 Astrojet, N7512A is unhooked from its tow tug and about to taxi to the departure runway. Close observers will notice the “N” missing on the nose titles, no doubt owing to a replacement radome. ©Jon Proctor

In nearly the same spot on the ramp, American’s 720-023B N7527A is readied for departure. The airline didn’t differentiate between the shorter model and its 707s, placing 707 Astrojet titles on both variants. ©Jon Proctor

Continental Golden Jet 707-124 N70773 approaches its temporary gate. The 25th 707 off the assembly line, it overran the runway at Kansas City in July 1965. There were no fatalities, except for the airplane. ©Jon Proctor

I photographed Western Electra N7136C just before riding her down to San Diego on July 8. ©Jon Proctor

United DC-6s were still pulling yeoman duty in July when this picture of N37513 was taken. I hopped one the following January from LAX to San Diego. ©Jon Proctor

United was flying Boeing 720 Jet Mainliners between LAX and San Diego but I never got a ride on one. N7219C rests between flights. ©Jon Proctor

I did manage to get a few rides on Continental 720Bs. N57202 looks smart in the second version of the airline’s Golden Jet markings as it sits adjacent to the company hangar on World Way West in July. ©Jon Proctor

Most of the remaining DC-7Bs in American’s fleet were relegated to freighter work by this time, as evidenced by N337AA, which sits at the hangar between assignments. ©Jon Proctor

Somehow I was able to sneak into the Pan Am Clipper Club in September, in order to shoot DC-8-33 N806PA, at Satellite 2. I believe it was operating to Latin America via Mexico City. ©Jon Proctor

Changing cameras, I caught Pan Am 707-321 N722PA, Jet Clipper Lark, turning away from its departure gate. ©Jon Proctor

Another DC-8 operator at LAX in 1962, SAS operated the type on its polar service to Copenhagen, having pioneered the route with DC-6s during the previous decade. SE-DBB is a bit fuzzy in this telephoto shot. ©Jon Proctor

On December 29, I flew to Dallas on an American 707-123B Astrojet and caught a partial view of LAX in the morning sun. Crosswind Runway 18/36 was still in use and there was only one Runway 24. ©Jon Proctor

A rare quiet period at the airport on the day after Christmas just as the sun was setting. Continental’s two boarding steps are at the temporary gates. Incidentally, I had my first (legal) drink in the Theme Building on my 21st birthday eight months earlier, with brother Bill and his wife Ann. It was a vodka martini, the last one I ever drank! ©Jon Proctor

1963

I photographed TWA 707-131 N743TW on my 21st birthday, April 18, 1963. Look closely and you’ll see a slightly oversize globe logo just behind the passenger door, which overlaps the red cheatline. It was later corrected. ©Jon Proctor

On the same visit I managed to capture all three aircraft types being flown at the time by Western Air Lines at the time; an Electra, DC-6B and 720B N93141. What a classy carrier Western was back then! ©Jon Proctor

A better view of 720-047B N93146 shows Western’s classic Indian head logo. Behind the jet a DC-6B in its original colors, probably operating a Thrift-Air service to San Francisco, appears ready to leave the gate. ©Jon Proctor

For an teenage airliner enthusiast, the San Diego-Los Angeles run allowed interesting plane rides on various airlines and types. I caught my first National Airlines ride on the route, aboard DC-8-51 N875C. ©Jon Proctor

Seen through the window of a PSA Electra I was riding up to San Francisco on July 24, Air France 707-328B F-BHSX is parked at Satellite 2, being prepared for a polar flight to Paris. ©Jon Proctor

No short rides on JAL! DC-8-53 JA8007,  named Yoshino (Cherry Tree), is seen at the adjacent gate, being readied for its return to Tokyo. ©Jon Proctor

TWA 707-131 N735TW appears ready for a fresh paint job and still lacks updated globe logos that began appearing barely a year earlier. ©Jon Proctor

One of three VARIG Convair 990As, PP-VJF receives layover maintenance at the Continental hangar. Barely visible behind it is the tail of a Continental DC-7B, by then retired from service. ©Jon Proctor

Delivered in a Royal Coachman seat configuration, DC-7B N349AA was nearing the end of its career with American Airlines when brother Bob snapped this picture. Made redundant by the jets, she was sold off to Swedish charter airline Aero-Nord less than two years later. ©Jon Proctor

In October, PSA Electra N171PS appeared in this test livery, the only airplane so painted. The tail design was rejected, but the rest of the original livery was retained, as seen in the next picture. I don’t know how long this rendition was around, but it couldn’t have been for long, perhaps a month or less. ©Jon Proctor

Seen in the morning sun on November 26, PSA Electra N172PS had just brought me in from San Diego and was already receiving San Francisco-bound passengers as I was about to enter the terminal and paused to catch a picture. ©Jon Proctor

A month later I rode another PSA Electra and caught this picture during climbout following a mid-field takeoff that the airline was well-known for, taking advantage of the airplane’s mighty Allison turboprops. Ya gotta love those clear winter days! ©Jon Proctor

On November 26, a crystal clear morning, I caught a glimpse of LAX just as we started turning onto final approach for Runway 25-Right, aboard PSA Electra Flight 749 from San Diego. ©Jon Proctor

1964

Here we are approaching LAX again on January 25, again on PSA Electra but this time coming down from San Francisco; those shadows are the prop lines.  Lots of things to look at here, including The San Diego (405) Freeway, which was only two lanes in each direction back then. Runway 24-Right had not yet been constructed and homes long since torn down are still in place beyond the sole Runway 24, along the ridge at the western edge of the airport. ©Jon Proctor 

At Gate 30 on February 18, 1964, TWA 707-131B N751TW is readied for flight. The little observation deck on top of the Satellite 3 ticketing building was a favorite shooting location of mine. ©Jon Proctor

At adjacent Gate 39, ‘straight-pipe’ 707-131 N738TW receives similar attention. Five of TWA’s nine LAX gates featured parallel parking with dual Jetways. ©Jon Proctor

Delta operated out of Satellite 6. DC-8-51 N801E, delivered as a DC-8-11, was later upgraded with turbofan engines. ©Jon Proctor

From the Satellite 4 ticketing building observation deck on the same day, I caught Western DC-6B N93132, northbound on the taxiway for departure Runway 24. ©Jon Proctor

A 90-degree turn to the left reveals Western Electra N7138C cutting between Satellite 4 and my shooting spot as it too heads for Runway 24. ©Jon Proctor

My last ground shot that day was of United DC-8-51 N8007U at Satellite 8, shortly before I boarded her for a free ride. ©Jon Proctor

Aboard N8007U, I sampled United’s then-new Single-Class service during a scenic flight up over Lake Tahoe and the Golden Gate Bridge. My part-time status with Biltmore Travel got me a seat on this trip. Note the center seats, which are slightly wider to compensate those stuck in the middle. ©Jon Proctor

Seen on February 18, with Guest Mexicana titles barely visible in the high sunlight, XA-NAS receives ground handling by Pan Am at Satellite 2. ©Jon Proctor

On February 23, I photographed what I believe may have been the first American 727, N1972, to visit LAX, as evidenced by N1972, above and below. I don’t remember how ramp access was gained, but usually a simple request for permission was quickly granted. ©Jon Proctor

 

Pan Am operated 707-321 N722PA on a 1-hour scenic flight February 25 for travel agents and commercial account-holders, to familiarize them with its new thrift service to Hawaii. It was my second free ride in a single week. Satellite 2 still lacked Jetways. ©Jon Proctor

On the same day, Pan Am’s polar flight to London was flown by 707-321B N763PA, Jet Clipper Yankee, one of the initial batch of intercontinental fan-jets acquired by the airline, as evidenced by the ventral fin under the tail.  ©Jon Proctor

Continental Viscount 812 N246V goes through its engine start protocol at Satellite 6 on April 25. First assigned to LAX–Chicago flights via Denver and Kansas City, the turboprops flew shorter segments with the advent of the airline’s 707s and 720Bs. ©Jon Proctor

This picture was taken May 10, not quite three weeks after I began working for TWA at LAX. Boeing 707-373C N789TW was one of two convertible freighters originally built for World Airways but instead delivered to my new employer a few years earlier, and was never used in passenger service. It receives maintenance in a bay on the open-air, east side of the hangar. ©Jon Proctor

TWA Connies flying to the West Coast were becoming quite rare by May when N7105C was photographed, on the east ramp at the hangar. ©Jon Proctor

On the west hangar ramp sits 1049G N7108C. ©Jon Proctor

Also on the west ramp, in June, 1649A Jetstream N7314C reflects a comparison with the Super G; look at its increased wingspan. This particular airplane was fitted with a 92-seat charter layout, as evidenced by the extra passenger window below the ‘S’ in ‘Airlines.’ It retained the older mast-and-wire antenna for overseas flying, as did N7108C, above. ©Jon Proctor

Convair 880 N815TW appears to be getting a No. 1 engine run-up. TWA completed Check-C maintenance on the Convair fleet at LAX. ©Jon Proctor

Another engine run-up appears to be in progress on TWA 707-331B N774TW as well, on the same hangar ramp spot. One of the original five intercontinental Boeing fan-jets delivered to the airline, it flew trans-Atlantic services during this time frame, including polar flights from LAX. ©Jon Proctor

A JAL Convair 880 at LAX? Yes, but just for maintenance. The airline conducted pilot training at Moses Lake, Washington and brought JA8025 down to LAX in June for a periodic check completed by TWA. It is seen at the hangar being fueled for its return flight or perhaps a test hop. ©Jon Proctor

A starboard side view of JA8025, Ayame (Iris), about to undergo engine run-up. ©Jon Proctor

727-31 N850TW was TWA’s first Boeing tri-jet to visit LAX, in June. Among a group of transportation (ticket) agents, I snapped this picture of the airplane in the hangar as we approached it for familiarization training. Our instructor, Gene Baca, pointed out the fact that this was also the first fleet type to feature refrigerated water in the drinking fountains! Note the fully extended triple-slotted flaps, which gave the airplane better performance at short-runway airports. ©Jon Proctor

Brother Bob caught by-then vintage DC-7B freighter N385AA on American’s ramp. Although it may have been retired sooner, records indicate that American didn’t sell her off for another three years. ©Jon Proctor

On the same ramp in June I caught Los Angeles Dodgers Electra N1R, named Kay O’ after the club owner’s wife. The Dodgers won the World Series a year earlier hence the World Champions 1963 markings. It appears that an American Airlines radome has been pressed into service on a temporary basis; AA maintained this aircraft for the team. ©Jon Proctor

Over at Continental’s hangar in September sits the company’ first 707-324C, N17321, fresh on delivery from Boeing less than a month earlier. Acquired for military charter work, it spent nine years with CAL. ©Jon Proctor

Back at the terminal, Convair 880 N803TW arrives from Phoenix on Flight 105, August 10. The forward fuselage from this airframe is now on display at the New Jersey Aviation Hall of Fame & Museum. For more information, go to www.njahof.org/. ©Jon Proctor

Five days later, Convair 880 N821TW taxis past between Satellite 3 and the ticketing building, en route to its assigned gate. This same airplane was tragically lost in an accident on November 20, 1967, while approaching the Greater Cincinnati Airport at Covington, Kentucky. I was working that day and will never forget it. ©Jon Proctor

Taken from the same location at ground level, Silver Dart F-27A N757L heads for Gate 37, where Bonanza Air Lines parked until a move to Satellite 6, coinciding with the 1968 merger with West Coast and Pacific to form Air West. ©Jon Proctor

Right behind Bonanza, TWA 707-131 N734TW pulls into Gate 30, operating as Flight 29 from Pittsburgh and Chicago. ©Jon Proctor

A starboard-side view of 707-131 N745TW at the same gate but taken on an early August day, being fueled for Flight 22, headed back to Chicago and Pittsburgh. The same airplane suffered a broken nose gear at LAX two years later, the result of a hard landing, and was repaired. ©Jon Proctor

Aeronaves de Mexico purchased the former N90708 from American Airlines in 1961. Twenty-first off the assembly line, XA-NOZ served 11 years  with ADM before its retirement and scrapping at Mexico City. ©Jon Proctor

Turning off the north-south taxiway, brand-new TWA Starstream 727-31 N851TW makes its way to the arrival gate. ©Jon Proctor

Pan Am 720Bs were relatively rare LAX visitors, however 720-023B N781PA, Clipper Flying Arrow, caught my eye as it taxied by Satellite 3 in September, probably headed for Latin America. ©Jon Proctor

TWA 707-331B N776TW was hijacked in August 1969, five years after I photographed her, and flown to Damascus, Syria, where terrorists detonated a charge that blew the nose off. Repaired and returned to service, the airplane was re-registered twice to thwart threats of revenge by fellow hijackers, and flew out its career as N28714. ©Jon Proctor

At the hangar wash rack, TWA 707-331C N791TW sparkles like a dime. It should, having been delivered from Boeing just two months earlier. ©Jon Proctor

707-131B N785TW and an adjacent 707, standing down during the Thanksgiving holiday weekend. ©Jon Proctor

1965

I got a Delta Air Lines ride on February 13, 1965, from LAX to Orlando with a stop at Dallas, aboard Convair 880 N8808E. Climbing out over the L.A. basin, the airport sits right in the middle of this picture.  ©Jon Proctor

I rode Delta DC-8-51 N811E to Jamaica in May, on an employee familiarization trip; see http://jonproctor.net/twa-trans-world-airlines/ ©Jon Proctor

Also in May, I happened to be at the airport when the prototype DC-9 paid a visit to customer Continental Airlines. N9DC gets plenty of attention. That appears to be the airline’s president, Bob Six, coming down the steps after an interior tour. Or is it Donald Douglas, Jr? ©Jon Proctor

A starboard view of N9DC, this time in black & white (I was still on a film budget), shows the escape hatch to the right of the two mechanics, standard for flight-test purposes, plus a parachute in the tail should it become necessary for recovery from a deep-stall condition; note the ‘experimental’ marking above the galley door. ©Jon Proctor

I couldn’t pass up this great shot by the late Terry Waddington, a great enthusiast and friend, showing APSA Convair 990A OB-R-728 beginning its takeoff roll. ©Jon Proctor

TWA 707-131B N799TW on a wet ramp, November 25. ©Jon Proctor

That same day, in color. This is also my ‘header’ website picture, looking at Satellite 3 from the TWA hangar ramp, on an unusually clear day with the San Gabriel Mountains visible in the distance. ©Jon Proctor

Brother Bob caught Air New Zealand DC-8-52 ZK-NZB on the ramp opposite the old Avion Drive terminal area in December, only a few months after delivery. It was lost four months later, on takeoff at Auckland while on a training flight. ©Jon Proctor

A tail shot of the same airplane confirms the registration. ©Jon Proctor

1966

Departing from Runway 25-Right on board a TWA Convair 880 on May 23, 1966, I caught this view of Satellites 3 and 4. The old 6,675-foot Runway 16/34, visible on the left, had become a taxiway by this time. ©Jon Proctor

TWA 707-131B N750TW heads for the departure runway, passing a National DC-8-51 in the background. I was working for TWA at the Kennedy Space Center most of the summer (http://jonproctor.net/1966-kennedy-space-center/), so didn’t get many LAX photo ops. ©Jon Proctor

On November 25, the day after Thanksgiving, numerous airplanes were parked at the TWA hangar during the holiday weekend, including 707-131B N6723. ©Jon Proctor

1967

Over at the West Imperial terminal on the south side of the field in May 1967, World Airways 707-373C N372WA boards charter passengers for a nonstop flight to Paris. At the time, TWA had a contract to handle passenger check-in, giving transportation agents such as myself a few hours of overtime. ©Jon Proctor

The terminal is now home of the LAX Flight Path Learning Center & Museum, well worth a visit if you’re at the airport. For details, click on http://www.flightpath.us/

Waiting for a parking spot, ONA DC-8-54F N8785R, Flagship Resurgence II, originally belonged to Trans-Caribbean. ©Jon Proctor

At another West Imperial Terminal gate, Aeonaves de Mexico DC-6 XA-NAK receives ground service, perhaps in preparation for a charter flight. ©Jon Proctor

Here’s another shot on the airport’s south side, taken by brother Bob, of the 727-200 prototype, N7270L in October, two months before the type was delivered to its first customer, Northeast Airlines. Although wearing a livery that strongly resembles that of PSA, N7270L actually was delivered to Olympic Airways five years later, as SX-CBF. ©Jon Proctor

During the summer of 1967, two of TWA’s domestic 707-131Bs were converted for use on the North Atlantic, mainly to London from New York and Boston. Along with N784TW, the pictured N785TW reflects this transition with a stack antenna on its vertical fin. The two Boeings later reverted to domestic duty and the antennae were removed. To my knowledge, N785TW only came through LAX in this configuration once. ©Jon Proctor

Already three years old when I photographed her in May, TWA 727-31 N847TW must have just gotten a bath and tail wash; she looks clean as a whistle sitting at the hangar between assignments. ©Jon Proctor

Brother Bob took this in-your-face shot of an American 707-323C on the company hangar ramp. ©Jon Proctor

Another Terry Waddington classic photo shows TWA Convair 880 N826TW climbing out in the late-afternoon sun with that signature smoke pouring out of her General Electric CJ-805s. ©Jon Proctor

1968

Brother Bob managed to squeeze Caledonian 707-399C G-AVRA into the frame on June 4, over at the West Imperial Terminal. Named County of Ayr, then Flagship Bonnie Scotland, it had just returned from a 1-year lease to Flying Tigers as N319F. Often leased out and later sold, the Boeing was finally retired in 2008 and stored at Luanda, Angola. ©Jon Proctor

Brother Bob took these two images at the company hangar in March 1968, of Western 749A Constellation N6022C, one of six acquired via the merger with Pacific Northern a year earlier and flown mainly within Alaska. According to Peter Marson’s definitive monograph on the type, Western had the distinction of operating the last scheduled Connie service in North America on November 26, 1968, more than a year after TWA retired the type. ©Jon Proctor

 

While we’re looking at Western, here’s another of Bob’s shots, depicting Western 707-347C N1501W, about to depart from Satellite 5 in August. Incidentally, that smudge in the sky is actually a departing jet, type unknown, but smoky. ©Jon Proctor

Another August shot by Bob shows Western’s first 737-247 N4501W, 33rd off the assembly line and delivered two months earlier. Note the short engine nacelle, later extended for improved performance. ©Jon Proctor

Taken the same day, again by Bob, American 720-023B N7528A appears in what was then a test livery and later became the standard scheme that survives to this day. The only modification was a return of the beloved AA eagle, placed in modernized form on the tail. ©Jon Proctor

At Satellite 6, Continental DC-9-15RC (for ‘Rapid Change’) sits in the shadow of a Delta DC-8. ©Jon Proctor

PSA 727-214 N530PS is pushed back for departure. By this time, the still California-intrastate carrier dominated the market within the Golden State. ©Jon Proctor

Two DC-9-31s were purchased new by PSA in 1967 and 1968, some say for service to smaller cities while others claim they were for other airline crew training contracts; neither stayed around very long. The pictured N981PS, a brother Bob photo, was sold to Venezuelan carrier LAV in January 1970 and wound up with Aeromexico as XA-SDF. ©Jon Proctor

From the same shooting spot, brother Bob caught three F-27As of Air West in July, shortly after the Bonanza-Pacific-West Coast tri-merger. Ex-Pacific N2774R, left, has been stripped for repainting while N748L and N277R remain in their original company colors. ©Jon Proctor

Here are four pictures I shot on August 21. Barely three months old, TWA 727-231 N12305 is about to depart from Gate 38. ©Jon Proctor

National Airlines operated a pair of DC-8-61s. N45090 appears about ready to fly, nonstop to Miami. ©Jon Proctor

Over at Satellite 7, United DC-8-61 N8088U barely fits into a parallel gate, allowing the use of two Jetways. It’s probably bound for Honolulu. ©Jon Proctor

Air West F-27 N2740 came from the West Coast Airlines fleet. ©Jon Proctor

1969

Approaches to the 25 Runways with full power and swirling trails seem to support the idea that it was pretty windy closer to the ground. Smokeless engines were still to come for narrowbody jets. ©Jon Proctor

Things slowed down on those rare daylight occasions when airplanes were landing and taking off to the east, usually in the wintertime, as evidenced by nearly a dozen jets lined up as a United DC-8 touches down. This and the image above are Terry Waddington’s pictures. ©Jon Proctor

TWA 727-180C N9516T awaits customers at restricted Gate 39B, which could only accommodate 727-100s when this picture was taken in July. By switching to nose-in parking, Satellite 3′s capacity was increased from 10 to 14, including room for two 747s, or three by using both Gates 32A and 32B for one jumbo. ©Jon Proctor

In December, brother Bob caught Desert Commuter Airlines de Havilland DH104 Dove N427LA next to Satellite 5 ticketing building. Ron Davies’ comprehensive book, Commuter Airlines of the United States, states that this Santa Monica-based carrier operated Doves and Beech 18s to Palm Springs from April 1968 and went out of business two years later. ©Jon Proctor

Here’s another Terry Waddington shot, which I include because of the unique configuration of Pan Am 707-321B N882PA, Jet Clipper Queen of the Pacific, seen rolling out on Runway 25 Right in November. Tucked under its wing, close to the fuselage, is an extra engine, probably on its way to the repair shop. The 5th-engine practice was much more common on straight-pipe 707s when the type first entered service. ©Jon Proctor

Terry Waddington also took these two December 1 photos, of airliners lined up for Runway 24-Left. Above, a TWA 707s waits to join the line while a Golden West Twin Otter can be seen on its takeoff roll, or perhaps it was landing. Below, it’s slow moving up, a notch at a time. ©Jon Proctor

1970

My photography at LAX diminished from the end of 1969, when I moved to New York, but shooting opportunities cropped up now and then, on visits and layovers once I began flying as a DCS and later a Flight Service Manager and Flight attendant; see An Airline Career for details.

On February 2, 1970, I rode TWA’s 747 route-proving flight from Kansas City to Los Angeles; for more details, go to: http://jonproctor.net/new-york-new-york-2/ These two pictures show N93103 being towed into and out of Gate 35, part of a fit-check procedure to verify the ramp striping and clearances. ©Jon Proctor

 

Meanwhile, on the south side of the field, brother Bob photographed Pan Am 747-121 N734PA later the same month, during an open house for airline employees, travel agents and commercial account customers. ©Jon Proctor

Not even a month after delivery, National “Sun King” 747-135 taxis past Gate 33 on November 2. The airline only had a pair of these jumbos and sold them off to Northwest less than five years later. ©Jon Proctor

Right behind National, two-month-old American 747-123 Luxury Liner N9665 heads for the departure runway. ©Jon Proctor

While taxiing out for takeoff  to Honolulu aboard  a Pan Am 707-321B December 14, I photographed United’s first 747-122, N4703U at Satellite 7. Christened William M Allen, it was being readied for departure, perhaps to the same destination. ©Jon Proctor

On a busy day at the West Imperial terminal, Saturn DC-8-54F N8008F was caught in brother Bob’s camera lens. ©Jon Proctor

1971

In March 1971 Brother Bob photographed this rare LAX visitor, Sterling SE-210 Caravelle OY-STM, probably operating a charter flight. It sits idle at the West Imperial Terminal with the Playboy ‘Big Bunny’ in the background. ©Jon Proctor

Formerly in Bonanza’s fleet, Air West F-27A N758L begins its takeoff roll on Runway 24-Left in January. ©Jon Proctor

Boeing 720-047B N3160 was, I believe, the first Western airplane to wear the ‘Flying W’ livery, replacing the iconic Indian head logo. I took this picture on Western’s hangar ramp March 27. ©Jon Proctor

Ex-Pacific Northern 720-062 N720V lines up on Runway 24-Left, wearing the older livery that would be its last. This is a brother Bob shot. ©Jon Proctor

From the same shooting spot, Bob caught United 747-122 N4719U in August, when she was barely two months old. ©Jon Proctor

Moments later, he photographed a pair of American 707-123Bs including N7526A. ©Jon Proctor

I was headed for New York-JFK aboard TWA 747-131 N893117 on June 13 with my camera pointed out the window just as Pan Am 747-121 N655PA, Clipper Wild Fire, flared for landing on Runway 24-Left. ©Jon  Proctor

American’s inaugural DC-10 service departed LAX on August 17, three days behind United, en route to Chicago. Brother Bob was there to capture the event on film, as N103AA heads onto the runway for departure. ©Jon Proctor

Over on the south side of the field, Hugh Hefner’s famous ‘Big Bunny,’ DC-9-32 N950PB, awaits its owner. Older LAX people will recognize the Imperial Bowling Alley in the background. ©Jon Proctor

Five-year-old Ozark DC-9-15 N971Z came to LAX on a charter in October and receives attention prior to departure for a return trip, probably to St Louis with at least one fuel stop. It joined TWA with the merger in 1986 and wasn’t retired until 2000. ©Jon Proctor

1972

On its fifth day in service, TWA L-1011 N31001 is pushed back – or pulled back – from Gate 36 for its scheduled morning flight to St Louis. ©Jon Proctor

On the West Imperial Terminal ramp in December, brother Bob photographed another rare LAX visitor this late in its life, charter operator Central American Airways 1049H Constellation N74CA. Ten years later, it crashed on takeoff at Columbus, Indiana during a ferry flight after having been purchased by another company. Legendary pilot Herman ‘Fish’ Salmon and another pilot died in the accident. ©Jon Proctor

1973

On Independence Day, brother Bob caught ONA DC-10-30CF N1031F, Holidayliner America, pulling up to the West Imperial Terminal just two months after delivery. The tri-jet was written off in January 1976, after a landing overrun at Istanbul. ©Jon Proctor

World Airways leased ‘straight-pipe’ 707-331 N702PA from Pan Am during the summer of 1973 for additional lift. I caught it on the taxiway from a TWA 747 as we began our takeoff roll on Runway 24-Left. ©Jon Proctor

1974

TWA 707-331C ‘pure’ freighter N15711 looks to be getting some adjustments to its No. 3 engine on the TWA hangar ramp in January. It stayed with TWA until 1982. ©Jon Proctor

On Valentines Day, TWA L-1011 N31015 heads for the departure runway in the morning sunshine. ©Jon Proctor

On the same morning L-1011 N31011 pulls away from Gate 34. ©Jon Proctor

TWA 1011 N31003 turns onto the Runway 24-Left threshold, following a departing American 747 on March 17. ©Jon Proctor

1975

On June 23, I caught 727-31C N895TW sporting hollow-letter titles as it taxied between Satellites 2 and 3, en route to the departure runway. First utilized as quick-change aircraft, the freighter-door equipped trijets were converted to passenger-only configurations following less-than-stellar operations as night freighters, and were among the first to be sold off. ©Jon Proctor

1976

Celebrating America’s bi-centennial year, Delta L-1011 N711DA sports a We The People widget logo on January 22. ©Jon Proctor

Pan Am 747SP-21 N532PA, Clipper Constitution, ready for push-back from Satellite 2, was four months old when photographed in July. ©Jon Proctor

1978

A rare airline and aircraft type, Merpati Nusantara Airlines was operating 707-138B N107BN, Princess Bali, on lease when I happened to catch it on the south side of the field in April. It was purchased a month later and re-registered PK-MBA. The airplane began its career with Qantas, then flew awhile with Braniff. ©Jon Proctor

On the same day, Flying Tigers DC-8-61CF N860FT sits on the company ramp. ©Jon Proctor

1980

TWA acquired three 747SPs for Saudi Arabian routes that didn’t materialize. Along with the other two, N58201, wore 350 Boston Express markings on its port nose, to coincide with its first service to Boston, where city fathers were celebrating the city’s 350th birthday. This picture was taken at the LAX hangar in December, seven months after the inaugural. ©Jon Proctor

Seen the same month, sister ship N57203 awaits gate space at the terminal, bound for Boston, Paris and Rome. ©Jon Proctor

1984

In the late-day sun, Pan Am 747-121 N740PA, Clipper Ocean Pearl, taxis past Satellite 3, en route to its gate next door. ©Jon Proctor

Moments later, Eastern L-1011 N332EA from Atlanta pulls into Gate 35. TWA provided EA’s ground servicing at LAX. ©Jon Proctor

Five Star Airlines purchased two L-1011s from TWA, the pictured N31001, seen in November, and N11002, for winter schedules on behalf of GWV tours, and leased back to TWA in summer months, hence the similar livery. Five Star was out of business by the end of the decade. Thanks to Tom Norwood and his book, Deregulation Knockouts – Round I, for this information. ©Jon Proctor

1994

By 1994, I wasn’t doing much shooting at LAX, but a few are worth posting. Korean Air Cargo 747-2B5F HL7459 rotates on Runway 25 Left in this September 23 picture, while a company 747-400 taxis out for takeoff. ©Jon Proctor

On Runway 24 Left, TWA DC-9-82 N955U lifts off. The airplane was acquired from the manufacturer on lease after it was not taken by Jet America. ©Jon Proctor

1997

Any airplane photographer will tell you that winter in Southern California makes for great shooting. These four pictures were all taken on December 27 in that environment. First, Northwest A320 N331NW glides over the fence for landing on Runway 25 Left. ©Jon Proctor

American DC-9-82 N418AA follows, landing on the same runway. ©Jon Proctor

Catching the last sun rays on Runway 24 Left, KLM 747-206B PH-BUP begins its long flight to Amsterdam. This particular jumbo was one of the few -200s returned to Boeing for installation of a stretched upper deck. ©Jon Proctor

A few minutes behind KLM, Southwest 737-3H4 N338SW soars aloft with the beautiful San Garbriels in the background. ©Jon Proctor

1999

Lufthansa 747-430 D-ABVT turns slightly on final approach to Runway 25 Left, on July 25. ©Jon Proctor

2000

Pardon the ground clutter in the foreground, but this February 17 picture shows another clear winter day in Southern California. I photographed Hawaiian DC-10-30 N140AA through the window at the TWA Ambassador Club. ©Jon Proctor

Here are four shots taken on December 28. Continental 737-724 N13716 coming over the fence for landing. ©Jon Proctor

TWA 757-231 N714P on approach, with the San Gabriels in the background. ©Jon Proctor

Delta 767-432EA N836MH wears the short-lived markings that some called ‘Deltaflot,’ owing it its tail markings. It’s hard to see in this picture, but the 767-400 features the same larger passenger windows that debuted on the 777. ©Jon Proctor

One of the most colorful liveries ever was American Tran Air’s 25th anniversary markings on 757-23N N520AT, seen lifting off from Runway 24 Left. ©Jon Proctor

2005

Shooting from the El Segundo Hill is about as good as it gets for off-field shooting at LAX. Here are three examples, all taken in November. Mexican operator Aero Union’s A300B4-203 freighter XA-TWQ hides the tower cab on climbout. ©Jon Proctor

Lufthansa 747-430 G-ABVS breaks into the late-day sun on departure, bound for Frankfurt. ©Jon Proctor

Resplendent in Boeing “house colors,” China Airlines 747-409 B-18210 climbs majestically into the setting sun. ©Jon Proctor

2008

Another selection of El Segundo Hill shots concludes my LAX offerings, all taken in 2008. Here, Singapore A340-541 9V-SGE awaits its gate following a nonstop flight from Singapore. ©Jon Proctor

Wingletted 737-823 N945AN. ©Jon Proctor

American Trans Air briefly operated ex-Northwest DC-10-30s, including N702TZ, which appears to be empty based on its steep climbout. ©Jon Proctor

United 767-322ER N659UA. ©Jon Proctor

In perfect sun: American 757-223 N688AA. ©Jon Proctor

That’s me, second from right, on the El Segundo hill, with fellow bird lovers Martin Marlow, Geoff Thomas and Mike Carter in March 2008. See Mike’s photography and news at http://aeropacific.blogspot.com/ ©Jon Proctor

Over at Burbank

I flew in and out of Burbank in the early 1960s and offer a few pictures below, along with a few later shots from brother Bob Proctor

I rode PSA Flight 903 from San Diego to BUR on September 22, 1963, a rainy day, and stuck around to watch it power up for departure to San Francisco. Under the wing of N175PS you can see a Flying Tiger 1049H Connie landing. ©Jon Proctor

Ex-United DC-7 N6314 appears in non-standard USOA colors that resemble ASA International, as it awaits passengers on March 1, 1964. ©Jon Proctor

At the adjacent gate, PSA Electra N173PS is waiting to take me to San Diego. By this time, the large Super Electra JET titles had been stylized, reduced in size and moved aft of the rear boarding door. ©Jon Proctor

The rest of these pictures were taken by brother Bob Proctor

This May 1967 image gives us a look at the terminal building plus an Air West DC-9-14, a DHC-6 Twin Otter and PSA 727. ©Jon Proctor

Tijuana-based Baja Air Lines operated this Martin 202, with its suggestive registration, to small Baja California, Mexico towns beginning in February 1966. It was withdrawn from service and parked at Burbank 4 months before Bob photographed it, in May 1968. ©Jon Proctor 

Here’s a most unusual aircraft in airline service, the German-made Hamburger Flugzeugbau HFB 320 Hansa Jet. Beginning in 1969, it was flown by Golden West Airlines from Burbank to Santa Barbara (19 minutes flying time) and Palm Springs, staffed by two pilots and one ‘mini-stew,’ who could be no taller than 5 feet so she could stand upright in the passenger cabin, which lacked galley and lavatory capacity. Seen at Burbank March 12, 1969, the type was withdrawn the following year. ©Jon Proctor

With an ex-United Viscount visible under its port wing, Aero Commuter (by then a division of Golden West) DHC6-200 Twin Otter N7667 is about to clear the gate in May.  ©Jon Proctor

At the next gate Bob caught PSA 727-214 N541PS in black & white. This particular airplane was sold to Piedmont in 1982 and became Tennessee Valley Pacemaker. It was retired by USAir at the end of 1989 and broken up two years later. ©Jon Proctor

 

Down at Long Beach

Just south of LAX sits Long Beach Airport, for years home of Douglas and McDonnell-Douglas manufacturing. I don’t have much in the way of photography, but here are a few.

 

 

 

For more airport pictures go to the following:

Chicago: http://jonproctor.net/chicago-through-the-years/

New York: http://jonproctor.net/new-york-city-through-the-years/

San Diego: http://jonproctor.net/san-diego-through-the-years/

244 Comments

  1. Lois O'Hara Weiss says:

    Amazing! What a great job and what a wealth of airline history knowledge you have along with a priceless collection. Will take me another few times to go through it and comprehend at least one tenth.

  2. Jeff Cacy says:

    Absolutely wonderful. A real trip down memory lane. Legendary airliners and airlines in the golden era of aviation. Thanks, Jon, for sharing your wonderful memories.

  3. Cheri Hoffman says:

    Great photo’s Jon…….Enjoyed viewing all the changes over the years

  4. Don McComb says:

    Jon this set has left me stunned! I grew up in Los Angeles, before moving to AZ and Miami. My Grandmother and Aunt both lived in Hawthorne from 1945 to 1976, so from about 1964 to 1976 I spent many weekends there seeing alot of what you captured. Those shots brought back many memories. I believe the brits have a term for it….gobsmacked! Many thanks for posting!

    Don

  5. TONY PACIOLLA 11/12/12 2130 says:

    JON TRULY GREAT PHOTOS OF ERA OF PROPS TO JETS…WITH SOME BEAUTIFUL PICS OF LAX BASIN.YOUR COLLECTION AND NARRATIVE SHOULD BE IN MOVIE FORMAT FOR ALL TO ENJOY…LOOKING FORWARD TO THE SEOND EDITION…THXS AGAIN

  6. CL Kwek says:

    Excellent job, its a though I had a quick snapshot of LAX history. I enjoyed it very much! Thank you.

    Small correction: The registration of the SIA A345 is 9V-SGE.

  7. Owen says:

    Hello Jon, what super shots. I remember one connie air freighter at the hanger. early 1966. Thank you for all the wonderful photo’s. I did not take very many and now I wish I had. Tkx for doing these.

    Owen

  8. Ken says:

    Thoroughly enjoyed the ramp time you brought us Jon with the excellent photos. Well done!

  9. Tim Tuthill says:

    Jon: Great shots! I knew you when I first went to work with WAL. Flew from 1972 to 2003 with DAL. 720 B 3146 in your pics, is the plane I got my engineer rating in, in 1973. WAL was the best flight operational airline in the business! Thanks. Tim

  10. j.jesshuerta says:

    Date of hire with WAL May 2, 1955 Retired December 9, 1987 (age 60 rule) from Delta since they
    had bought Western. Great pictures. J. Jess Huerta Captain retired.

  11. Doug Baker says:

    Awesome photos, Jon! I worked there as an A&P for United from 1966-70. I worked on that DC-8-61 N8088UA many times and THAT airplane WAS off to Honolulu. “Super Eight to the Aloha State”
    Flew with TIA (Transamerica 1970-86) Still with NASA on a highly modified DC-8-72 and we just returned from South America last week. Landed there at LAX for Custom.

    Great memories! Well done, Tiger!

    Doug

  12. Joe Paulo says:

    Great collection John….good job…..Many memories for me from being an agent at BDL for a few months….then loading Cargo Connies in 1963 back to BDL ramp service…then in 1965 Flight Purser, F/A Supervisor JFK, LAX then FSM ….JFK ….then DCS 1963….then back to FSM till my early retirement in 1989….and AA takes away passes after 26 years of Service…no regrets …..would have don it all over again

  13. Philip Kemp says:

    A really amazing collection Jon! You are to be commended for capturing a real slice of aviation history. Loved the Connies… needless to say!
    Best,
    Philip

  14. Tom Vance says:

    Hi John, a most excellent photo review at LAX, The DC9-DC shots were rare and love the old Oldsmobile in the photo. Great stuff and the Japan Convair in from Moses Lake was really neat to see that. Having lived in Seattle at BFI during this time thru 1966 , it’s neat to see the jets I saw at the same time, as Boeing got them ready for delivery. Too bad I was younger and didn’t have a camera back then. Thanks for sharing, very good stuff.

  15. Lynn & Jack Harrington says:

    We both flew with brother Bill. One of the nicest guys ever.

  16. Gary Ellmer says:

    The ATA DC-10 in 2008 was on an FAA proving flight. I was ATA’s COO at the time.

  17. Don Elliott says:

    Sadly, no pics of Flying Tigers or FedEx…

  18. Bob Sackett says:

    Thanks for the cruise down memory lane, Jon. Several of the planes I flew and others that I watched. It never gets old!

    Bob Sackett
    TWA Capt., Ret.

  19. Al Adams says:

    Thanks ,I started at TWA in Jan 66 and qualified on all the connies and every plane type thru the L1011. I use your LAS shot of the 880 and 707 as my home page. Thank you so much! Al Adams

    • GREAT PICTURES – WORKED FOR WAL FROM 1968-1987 (AVIONICS) -DAL BUY OUT -DAL FROM 87 TO 2001
      AS A/P, I PARTICULARLY LIKE THE OLD WAL INDIAN HEAD LIVERY – I RECALL 737- 201 COMING INTO SFO NOT TO LONG AFTER PURCHASE AND THE PILOTS REFUSING TO FLY IT ANY FURTHER-

      _PIREP_: _” OVER HEAD PANEL LOOKS LIKE ITS SNOWING WITH ALL THE DEFFERRED STICKERS “____

      ALSO THE INFO ON WAL 737 N4501W INDICATING THAT THE ENGINE NACELLE WAS CHANGED TO IMPROVE PREFORMANCE IS CORRECT-
      BUT THE IMPROVED PREFORMANCE WAS TO EXTEND THE AFT SECTION OF THE ENGINE MOVING THE T/R BACK ABOUT 2 FEET SO THE PLANE COULD LAND NORMALLY -
      PRIOR TO THIS WHEN THE T/R WAS DEPLOYED IT WOULD BLOW THE PLANE UP OFF THE RUNWAY MAKING FOR ReaL LoooNG LANDINGS.

  20. Capt. Lorin Wilkinson, Ret. says:

    My career with Western Airlines rfan from January 1953 until September 1985
    When I took early retirement. I flew the DC-3, DC-4, Convair 240, DC-6B,
    Lockheed Electra, Boeing 707, 720B, 727 and finally the DC-10. I was stationed
    in Denver, CO until 1955 when I moved to Los Angeles and bought a home in
    Hawthorne just south of LAX. Until bought out by Delta Airlines, Western was
    the oldest, continuiously operated airline in the U.S. A great company!

  21. John Eddy TWA/AA Capt. , ret. says:

    Jon, Thanks for the trip down memory lane. It sure bring back the good old days. It seems like another life time ago, thanks refreshing things. John Eddy.

  22. Thanks so…started with WAL..in 1964, fresh out of the military to Satelite FIVE….great era, PEOPLE and INDUSTRY….then…dale

  23. Jon, I thoroughly enjoyed yours and your brother Bob’s photographs at LAX. They were particularly poignant for me as I worked on many of the TWA planes as a flight engineer or copilot.

  24. Jim Swearingen says:

    Great photos, Jon. I started at TWA in December ’65 and stayed until March ’98, passing through or laying over at LAX many times. I flew the 880, the L-10, and all of TWA’s Boeings except the SP and the 75. You and I flew together several times when you were working the cabin. Thanks for the memories.

  25. Liz Sanders says:

    What beautiful memories, Jon; very nostalgic and much appreciated. Always a joy to see airplanes! The thrill never dissipates.

  26. Johnny McClure says:

    Jon, I really enjoyed all your great photos. They sure bring back a lot of memories. I spent a lot of my life in & around LAX. I attended Northrop Ins. of Tech. (’59-’62) in Inglewood where I studied Aero Engineering & spent a lot of time at the OLD Airport. In ’62 I left school after seeing North Amer Aviation lay off 500 Engineers in one day so I thought civil service might be a little more stable? I joined the LAPD and ended up assigned to the Sub Station at LAX in ’65 where I stayed till I retired in ’90. I then had the contract for security at SwissAir (LAX) for the next 20 years where 10 retired LAPD officers worked for me. I’ve seen all these planes but was not smart enough to take pictures like you did. Thanks again.
    Det. Johnny McClure LAPD/Retired

  27. Darren Howie says:

    Just loved your photographs.
    Huge amount of effort to scan in the images and they are all stellar quality.
    Looked through three times now and every time the images get better.
    Superb and a big thanks for sharing many years of photos!!

    Captain Darren Howie
    Cairns
    Australia

  28. Jimmbbo says:

    Thanks a million! A real “blast from the past” for senior wingnuts!! Bravo!!

  29. Dean Heald says:

    Jon, What a great compilation of photos that you have. Thanks for the memories, and thanks for taking those pictures and sharing them online. You ARE Mr. LAX. I have never met you, but I hope to, and I will continue to take pictures at LAX when I am in the area.

    My very best regards to you.

    Dean

  30. Jim Gamble says:

    Excellent collection of photos. thanks for sharing. Sincerely, Jim Gamble

  31. excellent article jon, well done extremely interesting, just out of interest when was the pic of the ata dc10 taken as i have a very similar pic and my of been standing next to you when it was taken

    regards

    john smitherman

  32. Jim Anderegg says:

    Jon,

    I’m glad TWA Captain Bob Adickes forwarded this email to me. My dad Bart would have loved this trip down memory lane. I especially liked your personal narative about the history of the planes
    Although Bart flew international out of JFK after 1966, we moved from Kansas City to the LA area in 1959 so Dad could fly some of TWA’s first jets, and my parents remained there until they passed away a few years ago. Terminal 3 was almost my second home! Dad was the field office manager for ALPA from the mid-60′s until he retired, so he had the opportunity to know the pilots from all of the airlines.
    Thanks for sharing this part of LAX history!

    Jim Anderegg

  33. Rick Sack says:

    I grew up in Burbank and my dad worked at Lockheed during WW2 till retiring in 1968. I hired on with AA in 1965. I flew the DC-6B’s and DC-7 freighters for AA until they were retired in late 1966. Begining in 1966 AA was all jet, no props. I flew all the 707′s too. Thanks for the great refresher course.

  34. Al Desrosiers says:

    Hi Jon Glad to see your well and havent changed at all. Sorry to hear Bill passed away mt favorite Baseball Encyclopedia. You might not remember me but we flew together many times Al Desrosiers TWA Ret.r

  35. Hans says:

    Thanks for sharing these historical photos. Good job.
    Note: Clipper N781PA was incorrectly labelled as B727.

  36. Thanks for the trip down the memory lane.
    I worked for most of those old airlines and some!
    Started 1963 as a Bag Smasher (Mercury Air Service) seconded to PSA and WAL.
    Retired 2004 as a United Airlines wide body Captain.
    Still flying for food in and out of LAX for JetSuite!
    I started in LAX almost fifty years ago with $200 in my pocket, a Harley and a surf board. I now have about $100 left in the bank, an old Harley and a dinged up surfboard.
    Where else could one have so much fun and meet so many wonderful people for only 100 Dollars? :-)

    Captain Ross “Rusty” Aimer
    (UAL Ret.)
    CEO
    Aero Consulting Experts

  37. Dan Morgan says:

    Jon,
    After 40 years working with Lufthnsa, I really appreciated those pix of the
    worlds modern aircraft for its time.

    Many thanks

    Dan

    :-)

  38. Jim Couk says:

    Jon,
    A very good collection of photo’s, sure brings back menories.
    I worked at Purdue airlines during the sixties and our fleet consisted of DC-3′s, DC-6′s and DC-9′s.
    We had 3 of WEstern’s DC-6B, tail Nos. N93120, N93126 and N93128. You have a photo of N93126.
    At Purdue we flew and maintained Mr Hefner’s N950PB DC-9-32, which you also have photoed.

    Thanks again
    Jim Couk

  39. Malcolm Read says:

    Jon,
    Hi from Newport Beach…great aircraft shots, forwarded from our neighbor former TWA Captain Gary Barnhill who knew your pilot-brother very well, and also you. These pix bring back memories from years working at PHX and SFO ATO’s and later at 605 where, as I recall you attended several parties at my house in Weston, Ct. and I went to a party or two at your place in Bethel, Ct. Those were the days, hope all is well.
    Malcolm Read

  40. Alan Haberbusch says:

    Was stationed in LA at the Air Force Station about 2 miles south of LAX at El Segundo and Aviation Blvds in the mid 60s. Business trips in and out of LAX thru those years — my first jet airliner flight. Later in my career was again in and out of LAX on business. I’ve loved airplanes and airports since I was a kid (a long time ago). Your pictures are great!!

  41. Jim Flint says:

    Jon,

    Terrific! Was based @ Lax off and on during my 26 years with Pan Am. Mostly 747. It is shocking how many of the carriers no longer exist. There will never be another PSA but Alaska comes close. I have sent the link to all my other washed-up-old aviator friends.

    Many thanks,

    Jim Flint

  42. Jeff Lemon says:

    Absolutely wonderful! Back in the early 60′s, my first airline flight ever was on a PSA L-188 Electra turboprop from LAX to SFO when I was ten years old. And several years later, I took my first ride on a jet: an American Airlines Boeing 707 from LAX to Memphis. Fast forward many years to the present day: I recently just took my first flight in a Boeing 787-8 from Houston to LAX. It was only the fifth day of 787 flight operations conducted by United….

  43. Otto Keesling says:

    As an air traffic controller I had the privilage of riding “jump seat” on all these aircaft in my forty years with the FAA. I never met a bad crew and the flight attendants were always very helpful. The earlier days of riding from DCA to LAX were priceless. Later moving up to the wide bodies from IAD to LAX/LAS was quite an experience.

  44. Gordon Ross says:

    What a great trip back in time. I used to lurk at the western edge of the old Hertz and Avis lots immediately east of 24L.Years later, I think 1978, one very early Sunday AM (7AM or so), my girl and I watched the Continental DC-10 taxiing from it’s gate down taxiway E to V, then pause ever so slightly, then ramp up speed for the 200 degree left turn onto the runway and departure. Always a sight to see up close, we waved frantically at her departing sister, back to Maine this crisp Sunday morning. I enjoyed early Sunday mornings at LAX because there’s less ground and air traffic, and despite the cacaphony of a major airport, it was almost serene. As the 10 just turned onto the runway, doing about 30 MPH and increasing rapidly, I heard this strange sound close to my rear…thought it was a car pulling up behind us. To my horror, I yelled NO as I saw another DC-10 just passing over Sepulveda, flaps full and doing about 180 or so. I turned back to the departure, my girlfriend started crying, the departing was about 1/3 way down the runway when a ROAR from above as the arriving does an evasive and aggressive right turn, low but climbing. He flew right over the old holes 6 and 7 at Westchester Golf Course, and I could SWEAR that he clipped a few treetops on his agressive power climb.

    By this time, we were both in tears as we watched the departing CONTINENTAL go about it’s merry way and wheels up to it’s destination. It’s passengers nary aware of what had almost transpired.

    A severe clear day, traffic was light – What the heck? I wondered what ever became of that tower controller. He easily caused a potential major disaster, the likes not seen before on the field at LAX.

    Thanks for the trip back to memory lane.

    Anyone remember the Century Heights neighborhood and how it died ?

    Gordon

  45. Gordon Ross says:

    Jeff Lemon spoke of flying PSA to San Francisco. I’m no spring chicken, but my memory is fairly intact and I recall the flight from BUR to SFO or OAK was $19.00. I preferred a Lockheed Super E over any other aircraft at the time.

    I recall paying $8. to SAN from BUR, again on an E or Super E.

    If my recollection of the actual cost is wrong (talking 1966 dollars), then I defer to the ‘no spring chicken’ part.

    Gordon

    Note — when I worked for PSA in 1963, SAN-LAX/BUR was $5.45 plus tax, SAN-SFO $19.85 and LAX/BUR-SFO $13.50;the $13.50 was still in effect in 1964 When I went to TWA … great memories!
    Jon

  46. Gordon Ross says:

    Beautiful Pictures sir.

    I was quite surprised not to see an Electra or 737 with AIR CALIF’s livery on it. Probably the very best western culture livery I’ve ever seen. Also, didn’t see any ‘tutti-fruity’ Brannif’s or Hughes Air West shots. Those liveries were memorable.

    The shots you and your brother took were great, thanks for that.

    Gordon

  47. Dan Bussinger says:

    Truly amazing!!! Thank you!! Made my day

  48. John Rosenberg says:

    Jon,
    A great trip down memory lane with these pictures. I grew up in Omaha and as a kid looked forward to trips to Eppley Airfield and was enamored watching the UAL and Braniff DC-6B’s and CV-340s rumble to life. For a city the size of Omaha the undisputed queen of the skies was the daily departures of UAL’s DC-8 “Jet Mainliner Service” to LAX and JFK. We also enjoyed B-720 service to ORD. Later, an occasional Caravelle. My first commercial airplane ride was in 1963 aboard a Braniff CV-340 to Minneapolis via a stop in Sioux City. Then a transfer in MSP to a North Central DC-3 via stops to my destination, Stevens Point, WI. By the mid sixties, we saw Electras and 727s. Omaha was a great crossroads of aviation as we had two trunks, UAL, east/west, Braniff, north/south, and Frontier, North Central, and Ozark. All, neat airlines with a variety of equipment. With relatives in Los Angeles, we occasionally were thrilled with a jet flight to LAX. As NCA was the primary airline I spent the mid-sixties riding on to Wisconsin, it is ironic that it is the airline I went to work for in 1978 as a CV-580 first officer. Today, I am a senior 747-400 captain for Delta. And…I only got hired one time.
    John

  49. Don Safer says:

    What? No TCA? (Trans Califonia Airlines)

  50. Frank Humanick says:

    11/24/2012
    Great photos Jon, brings back memories.
    I worked for Pan Am 25 yrs, Hangar 19, JFK airport
    We flew the Pan Am 747SP, N532PA, from JFK to Hawaii
    non-stop on our 50th anniversary in 1972

  51. John Lally says:

    MD-82 955U never belonged to Ozark. Ozark had 950 through 953. 955 was acquired by TWA from Jet America.

  52. Calpt Art Porzio says:

    Thanks very much for the walk/fly down memory lane. Your photos just about covered every major airline I had the unfortunate opportunity to fly for. I was a tail-end-charlie hired by Pan Am in April 1968. The rest is history with no regrets.
    Very enjoyable photo display.
    Happy New Year!!
    Art

  53. Fred Austin says:

    Proctor Brothers,

    Wonderful record of the history of LAX. Brought back a lot of memories.
    Thank you both for your foresight in perserving avaition history.

    Best regards,

    Fred Austin

  54. Luther Johnson says:

    I had the pleaser to fly for ATA for 20 years. I flew as F/E on the 707 and L-1011. The L-1011 was a big rocking chair. We flew all over the world. Flew many troops were needed. The pictures of our planes brought back many good memories.

  55. Dave Seymour says:

    Thanks for you and your brother’s photos and putting all this out for us. After flying the DC-3 for a year I thought the DC-6 and Caravelle were HUGE. The photos make them look so small in comparison to the many beautiful Jets to come. I was lucky to have a long career at United and was based in LAX for a while, so really enjoyed your point of view and history. The 747 was huge, and flew like a dream.
    Dave

  56. Elliot Brann says:

    I have been an air traffic controller at LAX tower since 1987. I grew up at LAX since I was a small child when my dad and I would sit by the railroad tracks on Aviation Blvd. Thank you for these photos. It brings back many great memories of when I was younger and the airplanes I have worked over my 25 years as a controller. I’m still working airplanes, looking forward to more memories in the future!!! O

  57. Steve Myers says:

    Great, great pictures. I worked on the ramp at LAX in late 1968 thru mid 1970 when I transferred back to Kansas City. There’s one image stuck in my mind that escaped your lens. It is an Air Canada stretch DC-8 with the bright red maple leaf on the tail gliding in with the San Gabriels in the background. Wow, what a sight. I’ll never forget how beautiful that was.

  58. Ron Coalson says:

    Jon, Outstanding! I went to work right out of the Navy in 1969 as an F/E for TWA on those beautiful 707s! Wow! The memories, thank you so much for sharing thsese pictures of yesterday with us all! As it turned out, my hire date was out of sync and of the 15 years I was on TWA’s senority list, I only worked 4 years, furloughed the remainder! Did Braniff II, 727 F/E and F/O, MGM Grand Air DC8 F/O then finally FedEx on their 727s as F/E, F/O and back to F/E after age 60 and just retired 10 days ago after almost 18 years. I loved TWA the best, thought the Braniff pilots and crew members were the most fun and most stable job at FedEx. Thank you for all the memories, loved that 707! All the best, Ron

  59. I was stationed on Guam 1959 thru 1961. I remember WO flt DC6A N90779. The A/c was fueled for a trip toward what we called The Land Of The Tall Quonsets (US). It had a full fuel load and 75 passengers. A Sergeant was removed for a higher pass and was very upset that he was removed. The flt looked normal and pulled its gear up and went into a right bank over Barrigada hill. At about the same time, he retracted his flaps before he had enough airspeed and slipped to the right into the hill. If I remember right, only fifteen survived because the plane cracked opened amid-ship. There were no roads in the area, so they had to cut through to the aircraft. I was an air controller at NAS AGANA at that time. Thanks for the pictures (retired TWA October 2000 after 35 years)

  60. John exTWAer says:

    thank you thank you for so many pleasantly refreshed memories. Proud to say that I experienced the entire history – not at LAX – but at other airports, like ZRH, ROM, FRA, TLV, BOM, BKK, HKG, TPE, JED, ATH. I feel related to you.

  61. Capt. E. D. Henricks, EAL (Ret) says:

    Love those pix of the Connies. That was my first aircraft as Captain. Also enjoyed the L-188 Electras, DC-9′s and L-1011 all of which I was a left-seater. Sigh, how I miss it. Was with Eastern for 33 years.

  62. Ray Nelson says:

    Jon,

    Many thanks!!!!!

    Does anyone remember the “Home of the X-15″ sign at the NAA facility?

  63. Jon tnx for the trip down memory lane. Having worked the ramp in STL for 20 yrs I haae worked on the biggest part of the TWA aircraft shown. tnx again, what a trip!

  64. John Dejanovich says:

    Enjoyed this a lot. If you ever flew on a Convair 880 you never forgot it. The fastest, quietest airliner ever. It was true delight. Thin cabin, roomy…loved it. Also only airliner to ever break the sound barrier in controlled, monitored flight at I believe Muroc -Edwards. It is on the net. I did not have time to run it down. 707 was like the Orient Express. It was first, it was classy, it made you feel like you had stepped into the future. Flew the Pacific twice in 707. Wonderful…!

    • Jon Proctor says:

      I believe the DC-8 holds the supersonic honors, John. Thanks for your kind words.
      Jon

      • Jeff Lemon says:

        Indeed, the DC-8 does hold the honors with regard to supersonic flight in a dive above Edwards AFB in the high desert north of Los Angeles! The USAF chase aircraft that day was an F-104 “Starfighter” flown by none other than Chuck Yeager. And I believe this DC-8 went on to serve with Canadian Pacific/CP Air for many years…..

  65. Jon, I think I’ve read all your books and remember your time at the helm of AIRLINERS. These are really wonderful pictures. The airport scenes remind me of countless hours at Dallas Love Field, long before DFW. I took my pre-war Leica IIIG everywhere at DAL. Some very good Kodachrome slides taken during the 1964-1970 period. All that really set me on a twisted path that led me to a long airline stint at ATA where I was VP-Treasurer responsible for buying, selling, and financing all the aircraft and spare engines. The 25th anniversary 757-23N (N520AT) and 727-200Adv (N772AT) were favorites.

    Thank you for the pictures. We should meet some day so that I can shake your hand.

  66. Marv Becker says:

    What a complete show! And the detail of the various airlines model numbers. May I add how those numbers were determined as I understand it, at least how Boeing did it. I flew for United for 35 years. Boeing had a system of recording buyers,and as an example, the 747 first model was the -100. So any United plane was a -122, or on the books became a 747-122. If American (the recorded book number a 23)purchased the same plane it was assigned and known as 747-123. PAA 747-121. Cont 747-424,etc So the United 747-400 is really a 747-422 as listed in the pilots manuals.
    One more bit if info…on antennaes. Early years VHF radio was just getting started. All acft had wire antenna, usually post to tail. Used for position reporting because of very few VHF ground stations. And especially over water. At jet speeds the wire would be blown away, so the 707s had the long probe at the tip of the vertical fin….modified to do the same job as the wire antenna. Some like the CV 880 had a covered antenna on top of the fuselage. Same radio frequency I believe. Open for questions or comments.

    • Jon Proctor says:

      Marv,

      Thanks much for the kind words; that web page is closing in on 15,000 hits; blows me away.

      Re the mast and wire antennae I have pcs of it on some jets, early 737s and a few 720s, all used for remote destination flying. TWA pulled them off late-in-life Connies that had been restricted to domestic flying.

      Best Regards,

      Jon

  67. Dan Colburn says:

    John Wow! what a trip down memory lane! I’m sorry that you didn’t print a picture of the DC-9. I remember well making several trips to MKC and STL. I think you had retired from TWA and moved to Idaho. Obviously you haven’t got airplanes out of your system,
    I had to quit flying flying the DC-10 at age 60 then commuted to LasVegas and flew for Senic Airlines until I was 71.(I just celebrated no.90 a few weeks ago.
    The DC-2 is still flying. Clay Lacy had it all restored and flies it often. I think it’s owned by the Seattle Museum Of Flight.
    The only other DC-2 is owned by the Dutch and is flown out of Aviodrome. I trained ten KLM pilots, they are flying it there.
    Did you know Logan Coombs? He worked on the ramp for NWA at MSP and took pictures of any unusual airplanes there. Logan has passed away, I wonder what happened to his collection. Thanka again for making all your pictures. Dan Colburn

    • Jon Proctor says:

      Dan,
      I fondly remember flying on the DC-2 with you in 1994 from STL to LGB and plan to post a trip report when I get a chance. Congrats on age 90; makes me feel like a kid at 70!
      Best regards,
      Jon

  68. Capt. Jack Schmidt says:

    Thanks Jon, I washed a lot of oil off the engines of those 749 Connies of PNA before they went to Western.

    Capt. Jack Schmidt
    Hawaiian Airlines (Retired)

  69. Thank you Jon for sharing your wonderful photo collection. Over the years I have occasionally seen your photos in calendars and TWA publications but never such an extensive historical display. Thank you for sharing your golden age of LAX photos. You bring back lots of great memories for many of us of the second half of the twentieth century in aviation. TWA was a great ride for a lot of us!!

  70. Ken Wilson says:

    WOW & WOW—you’ll never know how VERY much I enjoyed these GREAT photos, especially the TWA Connies!!!!

    Many – many thanks, Ken <

  71. Bob Warner says:

    Absolutely the best group of shots around. It really brought back a lot of memories of my days with Braniff and Southwest. I did notice an absence of either one of these in the group though. Glad you put this together.

    • Chuck Gardner says:

      Pix brought back many Memories. Remember seeing the 747 SP in 1991 when working in London after AA acquired the TWA Trans-Atlantic Routes; what an experience that was! Took the TWA Perimeter Flight to Taipei in 1970 while working for Mohawk Airlines. If these picture don’t take you back, nothing will!

      Mohawk Airlines 1969-1970
      American Airlines 1971-2008

  72. Great pictures!! I miss those old planes. I checked my logbooks and I flew several of the planes you have. Although I was based in EWR and then LGA and JFK, I spent a lot of time in LAX at the Airport Marina. The best airplane I liked was the 1011, especially on CAT 3 approaches into Zurich in Jan. Thanks for the memories. Ed Beuerlein TWA 1955-1990

  73. Jon:
    Thanks for the great pictures.I went to work for United as a ramp man or ( bag smasher ) in 1954 and worked there until 1957 and then went to work for Vegas Airways a fixed base operator in Torrance airport. I instructed for them and flew Cessna 180 charters to Las Vegas from Lax. We used to drive right up to United’s gate and park and walk into the terminal and get our passengers. I ended up flying for Flying Tigers for 28 years and then 7 for FedEx. I met my wife at Tigers during the Nam war. She flew for PSA and remembers #172 PSA Electra from her days there. The memories are wonderful. I wished I had taken more pictures when I was there. Thanks again.

  74. I flew for Western/Delta from 1964 to 1997. DC-6 through MD-11.It was at LAX that I can remember so often sitting in the cockpit waiting to start engines and watching all the hustle and bustle movement of tugs, tankers, baggage carts, catering trucks, staff cars, airport police, personal, and aircraft. Like a big dance. I would think, “God, what an industry” Like no other.

  75. Jim Sinnema says:

    Jon, Thank you very much for the beautiful pictures. It brought back many memeories of my days working at Western Air Lines in various postions. I was employed from May 1963 – February 2005.

  76. ray hansen says:

    Istarted with TWA in N.Y. in 1959. Later got involved with Statewide Airlines flying DH104s from LGA Marine Air Terminal to various destinations in New England. Larry Cosgrove went to TWA from there and flew with TW until he retired in 1996 and sadly passed away in 2000.

    Statewide Airlines had three DeHavilland Doves, N357G,N358G and N270C. We also had a couple of Aero Commanders. Larry flew all of these and I was Director of Sales and passenger service.

    These are wonderful photos ,thanks for posting them.

  77. Gordon Ross says:

    Jon – I can’t find the picture, but one thing that I really remember, and most comm’l pilots would recall was that bent up, wind blown and tattered metal sign alongside runway 25 at LAX: As I recall, but could be wrong, it was BLACK on YELLOW and said “AFTER TAKEOFF – NO TURN BEFORE COASTLINE. I think it disappeared somewhere during the mid 80′s or maybe during 25L reconstruction, not sure. Sure wish I had that sign to add to my airplane/airport collection.
    Again sir, excellent pics and trips down memory lane. Can’t wait to check out your other photo pages.

    Gordon

  78. Wow what great photos. Brings back many fond memories of my 1st visits to LAX in the 50′s & then more frequent trips back there from 1965 onward. Lots of work putting this together and well worth it. JET

  79. Phil Perry says:

    Jon:

    Magnificent job in line with the serious aviation historian that I know you to be. A real pleasure scrolling through these photos. I wonder if you had any idea at the time how historic these shots would be in the early 21st century and how enjoyable they would be for so many. Thank you for putting it together and this link is getting forwarded to many people I know !

    Phil

  80. Thanks for all of the time and effort that went into your passion for the airline industry. I grew up in San Diego and my first memories of airlines were greeting my dad at Lindbergh Field coming back from business trips in the mid 1950′s. The noise was overwhelming from the prop planes. My first flights were all on PSA up and down the coast They always felt like an amusement park ride to me and very thrilling as a teenager. My first big trip was when I graduated from Uni and flew an AA 747 LAX to JFK then KLM 747 to Amstedam in 1971. I had paid only $300 RT for a student discount ticket! I always remember waking up an hour before landing in Amsterdam watching the flight attendants serving breakfast prior to arrival. They looked totally worn out but they were still smiling. Little did I know that would be me on a TWA 747 flying into our many destinations in Europe. I still feel my employment with TWA as a flight attendant, purser and In-Flight Service Manager on TWA’s international routes was one of the most enchanted jobs in the world. The last decade was not great but I still feel grateful for all of the good years. I took early retirement the end of 2000 and still use my AA benefits to fly from my home in NY to San Diego several times a year. I am also an Australian citizen and lucky enough to have Qantas staff travel benefits through a good friend. I have flown QF 380′s many times in all classes of service. What a magnificent aircraft and airline. Though I still feel no one could touch TWA’s Royal Ambassador first class service. I always felt very proud as a purser in charge of this service. Memories are forever…..thanks Jon

  81. Jeff Johnson says:

    Thank you for sharing your wonderful photos. I know the Proctor name from conversations with my dad, Carl Johnson. Dad retired from TWA in 1981.

  82. Alfonso Flores says:

    Congratulation Jon, amazing material¡¡¡¡¡

  83. Hey, Great stuff Jon!!!
    There is nothing flying today that compares to what you have here, no matter how bright shiny and new….Thanks so much for sharing!!!

    Gary

  84. Paul Malobisky says:

    Jon,
    Great pics, I grew-up NE of PIT and used to watch the TWA Connies starting approach to runway 23 or 32. I was always fascinated with airports and aircraft. I had a wonderful career with Allegheny, US Air, US AIRWAYS 42 years retiring as a Director of the Operations Control Center. I would do it all over again, the best years of my life.

    PS: My first jet flight was TWA from IDL-PIT I was working at ISP and had to get home for a family emergency.

  85. Richard says:

    Thanks immensely for the photos, after years of working for TW, NW & DL it brought back fond memories. Many thanks!

  86. Cal Gunther says:

    WOW! Thank you, I’m a pilot for American Airlines based at LAX,
    I started my career with Swift Airlines in 1978..
    Thank you so much for sharing the memorys…

  87. S.A. Johnson says:

    Great shots. I Flew for American from 1966 to 1998. One tiny comment. Birmingham is in AL not LA.

    Thanks for the memories.

  88. Robert Booth says:

    I am a retired Pan Am pilot. I have flown as a crew member all the Pan Am planes shown, plus the World Airway 707, N702PA, which had been a Pan Am plane, and also the two TWA L-1049Gs, which I flew when both they and I were with Eastern Air Lines! All were a long, long time ago.

    A wonderful collection of photos of a great era in aviation. Thanks for taking the photos and thanks for sharing them.

  89. Robert Martin says:

    WOW! I loved your website as it brought back many memories for me in the day I flew for TWA..I was only reserve but when I did fly, I loved it!! My fav A/C is the L-1011, and I also flew on the 707 from LAX to MCI which was known as THE RED EYE,, TWA Flight 92. Working on the L-10 was wonderful! So roomy but hated that lower galley!!! Too claustriphobic! LOL!!!! Loved your site Jon.. Would love to order some of your books…. I left TWA in 1988 to be in nursing… I know Leonore Kaedish and Aleta Smith. Have a great Day…..R Martin RETIRED TWA FLIGHT SERVICE MANAGER STL

  90. Bob Bogash says:

    My favorite pic was sitting on the RR tracks at the end of the runway at LAX, something I spent the summer of ’63 doing – taking pictures of landing airplanes. Maybe right next to you….

    Did I ever tell you of one of my “best” airplane rides – I was working summers at Douglas while going to RPI. The 707 airfare was $150 for a non-stop. The prop fare was $112. I didn’t have a lot of money so I took the prop. It was a DC-6 that went from LaGuardia – all the way non-stop to Philadelphia! Actually, it went LGA-PHL-DCA-Nashville-Memphis-Dallas (Love Field)-Midland/Odessa-El Paso-Douglas/Bisbee (AZ)-Tucson-Phoenix-San Diego-LAX.

    NY-LA in 12 stops! (Cathy Crosby – Bing’s wife – got on and we were seat-mates Memphis to Dallas.) These days, they charge you $5/leg as a “security” fee, and you have to get off at each thru-stop.

    The good old days!!! I have similar pictures taken at LGA and IDL, taken while walking, not only around the ramps, but across the runways and through the hangars – not only unmolested – but welcomed by agents, cops, mechanics, and pilots – to come aboard and sit in the pilot seat. In 1965, I flew from Albany to Utica on a Mohawk CV-340. I told the Stewardess (not Flight Attendant) that I was interested in airplanes and could I take a peek in the cockpit after we landed. She said she’d check and came back and said “The pilot would like to know if you’d like to ride upfront?” So I rode jumpseat the whole flight on the Convair – what a gasser.

    Imagine doing any of that these days???? The Museum of Flight turns down all my younger than 16 volunteers. They don’t even have observation decks anymore. And you remember the airplane watching parking lot at the south end of BFI along Airport Way? One time in LHR, they tried to arrest me for trying to take a picture of the PAA 747 I was about to board from the windows of the boarding lounge.

    Yes, the good old days WERE the good old days, and that’s the truth!

    Bob

  91. Rosemary says:

    This was a trip down memory lane. I worked for TWA at St. Louis, Kansas City, and Los Angeles. She meant a lot to me as did her dedicated employees and her beautiful planes. Thanks for the memeories

  92. Ann Delaney says:

    Love the photos! My family lived in LA until the summer of 1952, and I remember watching from outside the airport fence as my Dad would board flights for business trips – although no idea what airlines! When I joined Pan Am in Aug. 1966 as a stewardess, the 707′s and DC-8′s – and a few 727′s -became my best buddies! I worked on the 747-100′s until going into management in late 1970. A few years later I worked on the SP, which we loved, as part of a management crew to LHR during a brief strike. Moving to United with the Pacific Route sale allowed me continued access. I love airplanes to this day, so thanks for sharing!
    Ann

  93. Chuck Tully says:

    Jon,

    My nostalgia overload light is on. It was great browsing through these pics and the comments, many of therm from old WAL friends. I was with Western from 1966 and retired from Delta in 2003. To this day, I can count on the fingers of one hand the number of times I have told people that I retired from Delta without adding, “but I started with Western.”

    Chuck

  94. John Roskam says:

    Thanks so much for the memories. I started with United in 1969 and worked on most of their airplanes pictured in this series. I have enjoyed the aviation field for the past 50 years. It has been a good ride.

  95. Dan Wallace says:

    Fantastic History shots ! Thanks for the memories. My father flew those clippers out of LAX on the B377 in 1955, 707s and later the 747SP again from LAX. I worked for FTL and now FDX at LAX since 1986. Your camera shots are the best I’ve seen. Thanks Dan

  96. Carl Jones says:

    Great Photos Sir.

  97. Stuart says:

    What a great website with fantastic photos! I really enjoyed seeing photos that reminded me of what I used to see at LAX when I visited the airport so many times so many years ago!

  98. ann says:

    My stepdad was mgr of communications at LAX from the early 60′s till he retired in 1974. He spent 42 years with TWA. His name was Walt Schanke. Anyone remember him?

    I loved being able to park in the lot and take the bus over to T3. Flew standby with a surcharge in my bag just in case. Loved the airline and her employees.
    Thanks for the great memories.

  99. Jig Bontrager says:

    november 30, 2012

  100. Vito M,Scalise says:

    The pictures are GREAT. I worked for Pam Am in the late ’70s and now for United. I too have taken pictures, here in DTW. Some with Pan Am and of all the other carriers, my best is when the Concorde from British Airways arrived in DTW back in the mid-’80s. I call them my GOLD pictures. Maybe some day we can compare pictures.

  101. Larry Jobe says:

    Could spend hours here just reading the captions- so informative. Flew for Cable Commuter Air Lines in the late sixties then United and made many, many trips into and out of LAX. Studying the pictures for clothes and cars of the various years along with the great plane shots and scenic shots of the LA basin- just so much here. Thanks for taking the time to do this.

  102. Kay Hopkins says:

    My career with TWA began June 1965 as a ‘hostess’ based in L.A. We lived in a rented house on La Tijera St. with a runway in our back yard and knew the sound of every aircraft as it took off, especially the ‘water wagons’. I flew domestic, the Pacific, and the Polar out of LAX, quite possibly on some of these same planes. Thank you, Jon, for this gift. It is a wonderful opportunity for us to realize how lucky we were to be a part of this industry when it truly was ‘the good old days’.

  103. I started flying with TWA as a “Hostess” in 1970 and was on several of the 747 inaugural transatlantic flights that year. In 1972 I worked two of the inaugural L 1011 flights.

    This is a tremendous archive, thank you for sharing. Maureen Mee DeSilva

  104. Ron Young says:

    Great pics Jon, thanks.
    I worked for American as an A&P 1968-1978, mostly at satellite 4. Saw most of these aircraft come & go. Brings back lots of memories.

  105. Paul Shaw says:

    Paul Shaw TWA 1966~1996
    Thanks for some very nice pictures, brings back a lot of memories.

  106. Bob Allison TWA 1953 - 1961 says:

    I want to thank you for sending the photos about TWA and the early (Prop Years) of my aviation experience. I recall the outside walkway to the gates, where you boarded the aircraft. With the families and friends seeing their loved ones pulling away for the gate. You were also downwind from the props, so your uniform or clothes, got a small amount of excess oil fro the departing planes.

  107. John Barry says:

    Jon,
    WHAT A TRIP!!!!
    I was with Western Airlines 1972-1983 (PHX Ramp; DEN), America West 1983-1991 (PHX). These shots sure bring back alot of great memories! I believe I flew United to Guam for my first tour of duty in the Navy? Of course it could have been on TWA?? Who knows? I got there safe and returned safe, great ole jets!
    Thanks for sharing Jon. Great job!
    John Barry

  108. Lovely photos Jon. I first visited LAX in June/July 1987 just after Delta took over Western so heaps of kites in Western colours with Delta stickers. Too busy writing rego’s for photos and photography from the Theme building was not possible.
    Thanks again.
    Peter, Sydney Australia

  109. Ellen Robinson says:

    As retirement approaches after 44 years with AA, I truly loved the photos. What a glorious era. Thank you so much for sharing your photos of a bygone era never to be seen again!

  110. GREAT photographs, I especially love the old 707s, DC-8s and Convairs – thanks for sharing.

    Mike, London, England

  111. Mike Granat says:

    Great pictures. Love those Connies, When I was sixteen (1936), I took flyng lessons at a field outside of LA called Mines Field.
    What do you know – they renamed it LAX. What a coincidence,

  112. PB Schafer says:

    Jon. Enjoyed your pics immensely. I had the pleasure of knowing Terry Waddington in his last years in Roaeburg, Oregon. Wonderful gent, and took some great air to air pictures of our biplanes.

  113. John Pruitt says:

    As fascinating as evolutionary progress of the aircraft are in your piece, what’s just as interesting is the evolution of the area around LAX during this same period. When you’ve been flying in and out of LAX since 1969, as I have, the changes around the airport are so incremental you don’t really notice. This piece really brings it out. Pictures of all the aircraft are just terrific. You are to be applauded for maintaining them and assembling them into this piece for the rest of us to enjoy. Congrats – and thanks!!

  114. Jean Schwarzkopf says:

    I checked my logs and of all those aircraft I have only flown one.

  115. Dutch Henneberg says:

    Jon,
    Wonderful historical compilation.
    Brought back gratifying 31 years of TWA employment.
    Dutch

  116. Phil Bowell says:

    Jon, what a fantastic trip down memory lane – this personal view of a great airport certainly ticked all the boxes with a history of LAX, aircraft through the ages and logo’s as well. Your personal notes add a great perspective – very well done.
    Western especially was interesting to follow – I was Ramp Manager at London Gatwick for British Caledonian (BCAL – no pics) for a few years and we handled Western on their ANC and then DEN flights. Gene Kolkhorst was a good friend until his sad demise. Also remember with great clarity all the US supplemental carriers – great days.
    Very well done to you and Bob – great history.
    Phil

  117. CHUCK LINSEY says:

    JON,
    AMAZING MEMORIES LIE WITHIN YOUR RECORDED PHOTOS. I WORKED FOR DELTA AIR LINES FOR 34 YEARS, AND YOUR PICTURES ARE WONDERFUL FLASHBACKS TO ALL THOSE TIMES AND GREAT PEOPLE I WORKED WITH.
    THANKS FOR SHARING THESE TERRIFIC IMAGES

  118. Pete Blouin says:

    This is an awesome display of aviation history. The data collected for each photo is priceless. I especially appreciate seeing the AA 707′s. Thank you for an outstanding presentation.

    Well Done!

    PJJB KBOS

  119. John Strippoli says:

    It was a great trip down momory lane. Started my airline career flying the C-46 for Capitol Airways in 1961. Started flying for Eastern Airlines in the right seat of a Martin 404 in 1962, retired from Eastern as Captain on the L-1011 in 1989. In that span of time I flew most the aircraft that was shown on this presentation. I hope these photos will be preserved somewhere in the aviation archives for their historical value.
    Great job.

    John

  120. Wonderful walk/tour thru the years & memory lane! Was a pilot for BOB SIX (&Al Feldman his sucessor) & his Continental Airline(s) from 1968-1983, finishing up my airline career with Ed Colodny’s USAir, later Airways. I flew F/O & the S/O panel on that B-720-B 201 (we had 201-208) & all 3 seats on the B727′s later on & as F/O & S/O on B707-321. Great shots of a bygone era in aviation/airline history most especially @ LAX, my airline home for many years. All of that was a long, long time ago & in a land (galaxy?) far, far away! Been retired for 13 yrs now & I guess time flies just like us ol’ aviators, me included, did back in the day. For me, almost 40 years including the military. As Bob “caution wake turbulence” Hope wud say: Thx, for the memories. Thx indeed! Past the “Proud Bird” restaurant & over Sepulveda @ about 300+/- ft on the south complex. Yes, sir, right in the slot! Like a moth landing on a pad of butter. Nice when you’re lucky & have some ground effect. Blue side up, all! Thx, Jon, well done!!! DB

  121. Jordan says:

    So wonderful. I love LAX airport. First landed there in 1990, and have flown in and out 100s of times since. Thanks for the history lesson in pics

  122. Luis says:

    LAX, one of my favorite airports of all time; to sightsee as well as to operate in and out of……..
    The aircraft, I remember them well, mostly as a kid. Did get to fly many of the types pictured.

    Even when I fly in/out of LAX today, I still marvel at the entire operation.

    Thanks for sharing these wonderful memories with us.

  123. What a lovely picture history of our airline industry at LAX and SAN. For me the American Airline aircraft photos are my history with the company starting in August 1965 as a 24 year old former Naval Aviator and ending when Federal law terminated me in December 2000 completing 22,843 total flight hours. Flying was my life. As I scanned the American aircraft many of the numbers had been stamped onto my memory. From December 12, 1965 through April 15, 1985 it was surprising how many times the aircraft were flown.

    N90717 DC-6 aircoach…10 flts as FE / B707/720 > N7504A…13 flts / N7512A…16 flts / N7513A…3 flts / N7515A…9 flts / N7518A…6 flts / N7522A…2 flts / N7523A…9flts /N7526A…17 flts / N7527A…12 flts including original FE qual 12-29-1966 / N7528A…10 flts including original FO qual 8-12-1967 / N7531A…1 flt / N7543A…8 flts / N7545A…12 flts / I was qualified in all 3 seats of the 707 over a 12 year period /
    B727 > N1972…3 flts as Captain / B747 > N9665 15 flts as FO.

    My first commercial flight was a fam flight on a Bonanza F27 LAX-LAX in 1960 while attending Mount San Antonio College taking many aviation courses.

    At high altitude or “on the perch” with the sound of air flowing rapidly is missed along with sights many never see. Once clear of the Earth surface the view becomes deeply three dimentional and constantly changing. Flying at 41000 feet looking up at a violent thunderstorm topping over 50,000 feet makes you realize humans are not in control of nature. The varied colors of northern lights over the Atlantic ocean at night that vary from light green through yellow and light red are lovely at night. Flying east from dark night to a changing color of a sky before the sun breaks the horizon is every bit the artist pallete.

    Time has taken my active flying but time has not taken my aviation memories forever savored.

  124. Bob Biem says:

    TWA 1968-81
    Usair 81-2002

    Thanks for the great pics of some great aircraft..you did a wonderful job with them.

  125. Vern Gibson says:

    Jon….I worked next door at Satalite #2 for National and Pan Am for 17 years…Many of those planes pictured I have flown on, including some of your TWA aircraft. We had great flying interline benefits in those days. Went to Omaha in 1983 with Western and retired with Delta in 1998 in Omaha. Thanks for the memories…..

  126. Art Schimmelman says:

    My first long distant flight was out of San Francisco on a “Connie”. circa 1960, to the Philippines. I will always remember that flight as one of comfort and ease. Noisy, but calming. With stops in Hawaii, Guam and Wake island for fuel we spent approximately 36 hours point to point. The return flight, two years later, was also on a prop, but not a Connie. I think the return was 33 hours. Because I was enlisted and not a dependent,the new 707 jet service, and 18 hour non-stop flight was not available to me. Just the same those were memorable times where flight played a key role in my resume of life.

  127. I was drawn to your first entry Western Airlines.I lived in Wright,WY for a little more then ten years,and never knew anything like this had happened.Wright was back then call Reno Junction,and is in the middle of nowhere and to see the name Wright,WY is not the normal.
    I did some research on the flight,it happened on 2/26/1954 AT 10:32 AM,it was flight 314 in route to S.L.C., UT. Convair CV-240, N8407H. All 9 people were killed,the summary of the crash was as follows.After entering severe turbulence and icing,the plane made a rapid decent and struck the ground at high speed.A sudden emergency of undetermined origin under adverse weather resulting in a rapid decent and impact with the ground at high speed.
    I thank you for the knowledge,and hope this will somehow add some knowledge for you too.

  128. Don Johnson says:

    Thanks for the trip of memories. I was an A&P with UAL in 1962 & remember all of the a/c shown. You have a vast collection. I enjoyed it for the last 2 hrs. Kept going back to look at more details. Thanks for the memories.

  129. I really enjoyed your history on these airliners,way back in my high school years I used to work at an airport fueling some of these kind of aircraft.

  130. Kurt Schwarz says:

    Having worked on quite a few of this airplanes as an A&P in Switzerland, I really enjoyed your collection of pictures and comments. Brings back a lot of memories. thank you.

  131. Tony Lesage says:

    Fantastic pictures. Well done. I enjoyed, looking to your magnificent collection. I am a Belgian aircraft spotter and lived always less than 2 miles from Antwerp airport ( EBAW-ANR ).

  132. Gary Tubesing says:

    Jon, your wonderful pictures were passed to me by my brother, a retired AAL Captain. It appears that during the time when you were laboring on the ticket counter in Satellite 3 I was doing the same at Sat 5. Yes, WAL was a great outfit in those days; but de-reg put an end to so much of what was good about the business. In your LAX collection uou omitted, however, a picture of one of the regular visitors to LAX – the Golden Aztec; the Mexicana Comet 4C. They were our primary competitor to MEX, but really more often carried our overflow or supernationalistic Mexicans. The Comets were supposedly not that roomy, and they seemed noisier. At any rate, I always thought them a very pretty airplane.

  133. Lornq McKibben Cogan says:

    Oh Oh Oh! Thank you so much! My Father was an Eastern Airlines Pilot, my mother a Northeastern Stewardess (what they were called back then having to be single before marrying my Dad) my eldest sister a Pan Am Flight Attendant, my other sister an Eastern Airlines Reservation Agent, and myself a United Airlines Customer Service Representative! What a trip down memory lane! I used to see people in between Terminal B and Terminal C tagging tail numbers…never understood it until right now. Thank you.

  134. Chuck Corway says:

    A bit of trivia regarding JA8007: ‘Yoshino’ is mentioned in Ian Fleming’s book ‘You Only Live Twice’ as James Bond begins his journey to Japan from London. (No registration number, but I betcha Fleming flew on this aircraft when he went to Japan to research the book.)

  135. Bud Norris says:

    Loved seeing the Constellation shots. I flew on a Connie from CA to Japan in 1962, then on a C-46 to my Air Force duty base on Okinawa. Never interested in jets, just prop planes. Loved my flights on a Stearman, WACO, Ford Tri-Motor, B-24, C-47, DC-4, B-17, hot air balloon, and two Goodyear blimps.
    Best part of being in the AF then was getting to see the last of the prop jobs fly, especially the B-36s, B-50s, B-26s, C-45s, etc. I’m 77 now and have quit flying—no fun anymore!
    Bud Norris
    Columbus OH

  136. Brian Dunn says:

    Fantastic slide show and a wealth of information. A lot of those shots bring back memories to me as well and thank you for your efforts in preserving airline history for us all.

  137. Don Boyd says:

    You have presented a superb collection of airliners that is like the crown jewels of airliner photography for the time period. But I wouldn’t expect less from the great Jon Proctor who I’ve admired and respected for many years. Thank you for your friendship over time, and a big thank you for preserving outstanding examples of aviation history at LAX for many to admire for many years to come. Outstanding work, Jon, and I’m glad you found the time to compile the great photos and narratives for your website.

  138. Michael Gough says:

    Having grown up with exhaust fumes in my blood and my jobs at the airports (LGA, EWR JFK).
    I can appreciate the good old days of ramp access and the interline love we all shared with other airline employees – all gone now.
    Thank you for having had the love to capture these moments and sharing them.

  139. Jerry Jenkins(UAL retired) says:

    Thanks to all. Very enjoyable. Began at Chicago Midway in 1955 followed by Chicago O’Hare opening in early ’56. Later to Atlanta, Memphis, Denver, and finally Austin, Texas. Again, my hearty thanks. This was terrific!!!!

  140. Lee Ashraf says:

    wow what a journey thru time first in 1951 in a DC3 thru 707 in 62 to 747 in 74
    to A380 in 2010
    LAX has changed so much since 74
    747 had to come with long haul 747 SP
    whereas 777 had to add ER only..lol

    Lovely collection and every minute i spent watching it was worth it..thanks.

  141. Torben Back Sorensen says:

    Jon,

    It is just unbelievable how many photos you have. I´m retired from SAS since 2003. I flew into LAX in the mid 1970´s on the DC 10 for SAS. Love the SAS DC 8 photo and you could say I “flew” on that into LAX, but that was as a boy together with my dad that I got the chance to go with him. He was a navigator with SAS and pioneered the polar route in those days – the good old days for aviation.

  142. Paul says:

    VERY nice website! Lots of good memories. I managed to chuckle quite a bit when you mentioned back in the 1960′s being able to ask politely for access to the ramp. Oh, how times have changed.

  143. Norm Campbell says:

    Jon, Great pictures and memories from the pictures. The TWA 747 reminded me of the time we flew from DEN to LAX on WA just to ride the 747 from LAX to JFK. Right around June 1970.

  144. MEL Frost says:

    Outstandingly fine photos, Jon!..
    First “flight” out of LAX was in Jun/57 into Rapid City, SD..on Western, of course!.. Took a “ride” in a private plane in summer of 1959 at Santa Paula, CA (30mi North of LAX) – been flying myself ever since..now 3,600hr TT – all private, all for fun.
    Use to haul people down to LAX to catch flights out…would just call “ramp” on that airline’s frec (VHF) and be given a gate assignment “good for 22 or 31 min”..for a drop off…haul the bags and people right in from the ramp to the gate counter…back in the Cessna and call Gnd with “ready to taxi for departure from gate xx”…God, those were the days… Also managed some time in a 1049C connie up in Alaska from Prudhoe Bay to ANC one time..1968.
    What a trip of memories you have created here for so many of us..Thanks and take a bow.

  145. Ron Favero says:

    Enjoyed the memories of LAX. My father worked for Western for 45 years. I started my aviation career at LAX in the late 60′s and transferred out about 10 years later. The pictures are great and the memories they bring back are numerous.

  146. Dave Stratton says:

    Thanks Jon…..I started at Golden West Airlines in 1975 in Hangar One. I saw a few distance shots of the old hangar. I used to go up in the tower (which was condemned by the city) on a iron spiral staircase and take photos myself of planes landing. However the planks in the top of the tower were extremely weak. I think it was closed off around 1980. Great memories and I used to go to the Vapor Trails and the Imperial Bowling Alley back in the day. Watched as they dismantled the machinery in the bowling alley when it was torn down. In 1978 I went over to Flying Tigers until we were moved in 1989 to Memphis with the FedEx buyout. There used to be a neon sign for Los Angeles International Airport on Sepulveda. I understand someone got that famous sign before it was knocked down. I also sat on the railroad tracks and took photos with my Argus C-3 35mm camera as a teenager (mid 60s). Thanks for the memories, Jon. “Dave”

  147. Shirley Honey says:

    I was introduced to the DC6 and Electras in 1962 in a “Stewardess” position. What a memory lane this is. Thank you, thank you for the memories. Much fun was had winging our way to Acapulco on the Electra with the large table and seating in the tail of the cabin where the party passengers usually sat! Retired in 2002. I still miss it. So appreciative, thanks again. Shirley Honey

  148. Pat Turner says:

    Lots of great photos. I have seen and or been on many of the planes shown from the 707′s on.

  149. Rob DeLaMare says:

    Thanks Jon for a great nostalgia trip! My flying experience began with A Super Connie in ’56 and a couple of DC-6s a little later. Your great photos brought back many wonderful memories.

  150. Barbara Williams Hall says:

    Thanks Jon for helping to bring back the “Golden Age” of Airline travel & sharing it with us in your wonderful photographs. I was a Stewardess with WESTERN AIRLINES (The ONLY way to fly) from August 1967 to June 1981. A native So. Californian, and can remember the old L.A. Airport, with Fred Harvey’s Flight Deck Dining Room where you could watch the planes take off & land. When the new Airport opened we really felt like we were on top of the world.
    Can’t tell you how many hours I spent in Sat. #5 over those years as well as our Gen. Offices at 6060 Avion Dr.for recurrent emergency training classes. Your picture of Western’s 707 N501W brought special memories as I flew it many, many times along with 502, 503, 504. The 707′s were my favorite, and flew them to/from Honolulu out of LAX, as well as Anchorage/ HNL trips (THE best). The Champagne flights to SFO on the electra’s, our maiden trips on “The pregnant guppie” 737′s (which the gals hated for the steep climbouts and aircraft carrier landings, and flying one of our 727′s (N804W) on it Maiden flight, & I’m glad you did not have a DC-10 in your collection (a hateful airplane). but all those memories along with our 720B’s, wearing 3 inch high heels while walking “around the country” are never-to-be-forgotten memories I shall treasure through the eternities. There will never be another era of airline service like that again & what a shame.
    Many, many thanks for your dedication to Avionics with your fabulous photos, & Merry Christmas.

  151. Mike O'Donnell says:

    Your photos brought back many memories of my time at LAX with both Pan Am, 66-91,
    and United, 92-05.

  152. Jerre Fedor says:

    Great history and brings back memories of flying on the TWA 880 NS Pit to Lax June of 1967.thru
    1973 accepting DC9′s at DAC for Allegheny Airlines The area photos reminded of the the local flight test acceptances I flew on. Over the years from 1967 to 1980 accepted 50+ a/c and had many stories on the flight to and from LAX.

    One of the best was a flight some time in the 70′s on a American DC10 from Chicago and had the privalage of sitting beside Barbara Eden in 1st Class and walking with her thru the tunnel to the street and seeing all the people wondering who the nerd was walking with her.

    It is great to relive some of the past especially now when the future is not very bright

  153. Scott Ellison says:

    Just incredible! I’ve spent hours looking and I’m still not done! Thank you so much for posting all of this!

  154. sue girard says:

    Wonderful photos and story! What a blast you must have had. Your meticulous journaling is as important as the photos themselves. Aviation will always continue to fascinate.
    I came to aviation appreciation by way of my husband–his sis and BIL are glider pilots and introduced us to the thrill of the “round sound” via a weekend at the Reno Air Races. While most planes there are ex-military fighters or civilian pleasure craft, there are always some interesting older prop military or cargo planes. Some of the restorations are amazing.
    I live on the central CA coast, near the 101 flight path, and can hear a twin (or more) prop a mile away. My neighbors are familiar with me running out the front door, jumping up and down yelling B17, or B24! Sadly cannot remember seeing any of the prop carriers other than an Electra which flies into or out of SBX.
    and Barbara Wms Hall, I’m old enough to remember the Western TV jingle as (the suave old bird, relaxing back with a stogie and a grin):”Western Airlines! The Oh-h-h-hly way to fly.”

    Thanks Jon, and will pass this on to others.

  155. Capt Mike Vane,Republic Airways says:

    What a great collection! I also enjoyed your work on the TWA issue of Airways and “From Props to Jets” Many thanks to our mutual friend Phil Brooks for passing your website on to me. I was hired by TWA in 2001 but never received a class date. As unnerving as the financial situation was everyone I knew there loved the company.

  156. Roger Brown says:

    Jon, dittos to what everyone has said above. Wonderful trip down memory lane. I grew up in the other end of the country, in NW Pittsburgh, apparently on one of the Northern approach paths to the old Greater Pittsburgh Airport as we often had late 40s early 50s airliners and military aircraft passing overhead. From your collection, fondly remembering the simplicity of boarding aircraft, walking out of the ground level terminal doors right to the aircraft stairway. And the “2nd level” open air observation decks where a teenage “motorhead” could watch and listen from a few feet away the smokey and noisy starts of those wonderful TWA Connie radials. As I say too often these days, simpler times! High Fives and Thank Yous from this Baby Boomer now in Southern Colorado and a volunteer restorer at a local aircraft museum.

    Roger

  157. Howard Gillins says:

    The Saturn DC-8 Ramp; World Airlines 707 provided service to Midway Island when I was stationed there 7-70 to 8-71. They would fly Island personnel to Honolulu for R&R or Change of Duty Station. They came to Midway 3 times a week. They had 2 different contracts at differing times. Just FYI. Rumor was LBJ owned Saturn.

  158. Jon
    Thanks for the great website. I must thank Kurt Wien for sending it to me. I retired from Alaska in 2000 and missed the 9/11 mess. My first LAX adventure was 5 weeks in Burbank attending 707 flight engineer ground school in 1969.

    My next stay in 1972 was for Western Air Lines program that took guys like me to pay for their own 727 flight engineer Ground School while in class with a few already hired Western flight engineers. This was courtesy of good guys like Joe Haley Delta retired, Paul Starkey Delta retired, a few commuting SEA guys who let me share their apt under the approach to 24R. Thanks to Bill, Mike, George, and others.All 8 of us ended up there one night in the two bedroom apt. I was fortunate to study with Eric Jenkins (already hired) and lucky to know Eric until he disappeared on a small airplane in the early 1980s.

    More time there for 737 Sim in 1975 and the first engine failure on the first ever takeoff in a simulator. My thanks to Merrill Wien my good friend and sim instructor who thought, in error, I could handle the failure.

    After that I spent many approaches from all directions to LAX. One of the best was the controller asking if when just before Santa Monica is we could make a short approach to 24R. Needless to say we did and his last words were before we went to tower “nice job Alaska”.

    Have not been on an airplane since Nov 7, 2000 when I landed at SEA 34R at about 6AM after an all nighter to Anchorage. Live in Lincoln City Oregon and am glad to be here after a bunch of airlines and airplanes My thanks to Merrill Wien for his friendship. Not bold but getting old.

    Larry Huffman

  159. Anthony Holt says:

    Super set of images Jon, telling the story wonderfully – well done.

  160. Lanny Ropke says:

    Thanks for the visual stroll down memory lane.
    I started working at Lax in 1965, loading air freight. Worked for PSA, LAA, and AA. Retired 41 years later at Lax as an AA B-777 Captain. Love that airport, love all those old planes and liverys.

    • Carl watson says:

      Worked for PSA from 1966 in LAX as well as LGB ONT. Lanny Ropke was my first flight instructor. Love the photos, what memories

  161. Ric Kruse says:

    This is real eye candy for aviation and history buffs alike. I remember as a young boy of nine, the TWA flight that crashed on approach to CVG in November 1967. It was a shock to all of Greater Cincinnati. Thank you!

  162. Dan Tracy says:

    Jon, “love” does not even begin to describe these priceless gems! These are from the era that kindled my love for aviation. After my parents split up around 1966, My mom would occasionally take my brother, sister and me to LAX to watch planes land over Aviation Blvd., at the approach end of 25R/L. The north runway complex was still under construction at the time. Runway 24L was the first to be able to handle the weight of the B747, so you can imagine how busy the south complex was with the other traffic. The observation decks at each terminal, atop the ticketing areas, (there were six at the time) were open to the public. We could watch as long as our hearts desired…(try that now, and see who pays you a not-so-pleasant visit!)

    Our home until 1970 was in Torrance. As a 9 year old boy, I would lay on my back many afternoons, watching the eastbound departures fly overhead after making their departure over the ocean. When the first B747s began service, an AAL flight would leave LAX at around 9 AM every day, and the new turbofan engines would echo throughout the neighborhood about 5 minutes later when the aircraft made its turn back over land to head east.

    My third grade teacher knew how I loved planes (my head was always in the sky!) and one sunny morning she had me tell her when I could hear it. She took the class outside so we could all see it go by!

    Those days are gone forever now. ATC must vector eastbound departures around Palos Verdes to minimize noise.

    I began my career as an air traffic controller at Indianapolis Center, but soon moved back to the LA area to be near my father in 1987. My work at LAX Tower began in the fall of 1995, where I stayed until 2003. At the time this was the pinnacle of my career. It was a joy to work every day at the airport where my mother introduced me to aviation. I am now at O’Hare Int’l, still an air traffic controller of 27 years.

    Be assured that I will forward this web page on to all of my friends who are still working hard back at LAX!

  163. Bob O'Brien says:

    Fantastic memories John,thanks for sharing a time when the industry was still a great place to work in.

  164. Mike Furman says:

    Great photos and memories, Jon!
    I grew up near LAX and spent countless hours plane watching.
    I keep this page in my “Favorites” as you can never stroll down Memory Lane too many times!

  165. Chasen Richardson says:

    I really enjoyed these, Jon. Though the majority of it was long before my time, following the progression in your photos, it was easy to get excited about the “new” jets starting to appear at LAX just as you did. I learned a lot, thank you for this.

  166. GEORGE WALSH says:

    I just wanted to say THANK YOU for such fantastic pictures !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  167. Thanks for the photo memories, these are great.

    One highlight was the view of LAX from an 880. I grabbed a copy of it and promptly used PowerPoint to annotate a copy, showing where I lived with my parents from 1959 through 1963. It was an apartment on Old Imperial Highway at the corner of Standard St — directly under the occasionally-used approach to crosswind Runway 36, which now exists only in photos and memories.

    My dad worked for Western Airlines, having previously worked on the first 707s and KC-135s at Boeing’s Renton plant. One of the things most memorable about both our apartment and the plane-watching area on Aviation Blvd was noise. The early 707s and DC-8s with water-injected JT3Cs were loud enough to completely shut down conversation where we lived for about 20 seconds as they passed — our apartment, according to Google Earth, was 0.25 mile from Runway 25L. The loudest takeoffs were by North American’s F-100s, on the deck in afterburner until they pulled up into about a 60-degree climb at the end of the runway.

    As a long-time air & space fan, even when I was in high school in El Segundo the view from our living room window afforded lots of watching of lots of fascinating stuff. The noise was a bonus,it brought a message of “we have new power — lots of it”.

  168. Alejandro Lara says:

    muy buena colecion gracias por compartila saludos desde tlajomulco jalisco mexico

  169. Jean-Louis Delezenne says:

    Thank you for sharing these gems!
    Best regards from Sherman Oaks, JL

  170. Gösta Frödeberg says:

    Fantastical flight history ! Thank you !

  171. Absolutely stunning photos Jon! I already own your latest book but wasn’t aware of your site. Thank you very much for sharing. I shared your pages on my facebook page http://www.facebook.com/AirCargoHistory as well, as an impression of the past decades. Please keep on going!

  172. Mark Welter says:

    Jon, I bumped onto your site the other day. What a wonderful surprise. I worked for TWA at LAX in 1967, 68, and 69. I got hired as a ramp serviceman and worked in both, air freight and commissary for three months before getting promoted to a customer service agent. I must have met several of the people who have commented here and maybe you. TWA was always the most interesting and fun job I have ever had. You mentioned J.J. Kelly somewhere. He was the funniest guy I ever worked with.
    I should have written a book. My wife hated Los Angeles and I reluctantly quit TWA and moved back to Minneapolis where I got hired by Western Airlines for nine months and then became an air traffic controller with the FAA. I’ve been retired since 1999, but TWA has my fondest memories. I wish I could add a picture here, Jon.

  173. This is a topic that is near to my heart…
    Many thanks!

  174. Dave Moreau says:

    Loved all of your photos and the history behind them! Not many photographers take the time to record the details you have in your collection. I truly appreciate your work. I started with the airlines in 1979 and left for Airport Operations work in 1997. I loved every minute of it as it was a boyhood dream to be associated with aviation. Like you, I had a moment at Cape Canaveral I will never forget. I graduated from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and was asked to tag along on a tour of the Kennedy Space Center with the school. Our tour guide was Johnny Johnson, believe he was a former Commander of Patrick Air Force base. A group of us were provided a tour of all the early launch facilities right up through current facilities. It was an amazing day. It was made even more special by the fact that I sat next to Lowell Grissom and his wife in Johnny Johnson’s lead vehicle for the tour. To say I had to pinch myself a few times would be an understatement. The history and close family knowledge of Gus Grissom made all the old launch sites come to life as Lowell spoke of his brother’s career. Probably one of the highlights of my life. Thanks again for your incredible diligence in recording airline history in LAX and the west coast. I only wish you had been at the airports I worked at with the airlines I worked for – Allegheny Commuter-Henson Aviation, USAir, American, and finally for the remainder of my airline career with NWA. What a life…I now work in Airport Operations for Memphis International Airport and love every minute of that as well. Best regards! Dave

  175. Woah this blog is magnificent i love reading your posts. Stay up the good paintings! You know, many persons are looking round for this information, you could aid them greatly.

  176. BOB LEONARD says:

    I commented earlier on your JFK series and it woke up memories of growing up within hiking distance of old Mines Field. In 1936 had complete access to all the planes and hangars around the old tower on the south side of the runway. There were Stinsons and Bellancas and my favorite favorite, a silver Ryan ST. My brother and I watched the 1936 Air Races from a tree house in a Eucalyptus grove. My first flight was in an open cockpit Waco 2 winger out over the farms to the ocean with a pilot friend. I was 12. Later when I worked as a quality assurance specialist for NAA and Rockwell I took business trips on many of the air liners you show. After retirement my wife and I were active in Sister City and youth exchanges with Central America and Japan. We arranged many flights inand out of LAX with Northwest, JAL, ANA, Korean and Singapore airlines.

  177. Dave Kirby says:

    Outstanding photos Jon……keep up the good works!

  178. Gary Hagemeister says:

    Thank you for sharing the wonderful past at LAX, Jon! It brought back so many fond memories of my time there working for AA. Those were the good ole days for sure!!

  179. Turk Apps says:

    Hi Jon…….

    Thought I had seen it all, but you wrapped the best together and displayed them incredibly!
    Your photography is without question – historic! Always wanted to be an aircraft photographer,
    But spent too much time on Mt. Rainer!

  180. John Leaver says:

    Hi again Jon…Just finished perusing your LAX fotos…..INCREDIBLE…..I was totally blown away by your fotos of the JAL Convair 880 “Yoshino”…Believe it or not as a young, new JAL employee in the early 70′s and always searching for fotos and history of the airline, I could never find a decent pictures of their Convairs…though truth be told I always had a fondness for the DC-8′s

    Thanks for the great trip down Memory Lane!!!

  181. Susan Vestring says:

    HI Jon, I so enjoyed the history you put together to share. The industry sure has changed. Thanks !

  182. DON SPERING/A.I.R. says:

    THIS IS AN AMAZING TRIP THROUGH LAX OVER THE YEARS. BEING A PHOTOJOUNALIST OF MILITARY AIRCRAFT AND A FEW AIRLINERS ALONG THE WAY I TRULY ENJOYED THESE. YOU ARE TO BE CONGRADULATED FOR THE TIME, EFFORT AND SKILL THAT YOU BOTH APPLIED OVER THE YEARS. YOU WERE FORTUANATE TO BE ABLE TO COVER THAT TIME IN AVIATION HISTORY AND RECORD IT…..HATS OFF TO YOU. CHEERS F4DON

  183. COLIN CAMPBELL says:

    What an amazing collection of photographs.Will take me ages to go through all the photos and history

  184. Geoffrey Gardner says:

    Fantastic pictures. You brought me back to my childhood when my dad would park at the base of the north runway and sit me on the hood of our station wagon. From here I’d wave to Pan Am, TWA, Hughes Air West, Western and PSA. TWA and Pan Am pilots ALWAYS waved back. I had to be in the business.

    You’re pictures are a real lift to my spirits, Jon. Thanks a million for sharing.

  185. Thanks for any other informative web site. The place else could I am getting that kind of info written in such a perfect means? I’ve a venture that I am just now working on, and I have been at the look out for such information.

  186. Albertha Newmyer says:

    I am so happy I found your site. I really found you by mistake, while I was browsing on Google for something else. Anyways I am here now and would just like to say thank you for a great post and an all round inspiring blog. (I also like the theme/design), I don’t have time to read through it all at the minute, but I have added your website to my favorites, so when I have time I will be back to read more. Please do keep up the awesome job!

  187. Thank you for a terrific collection of commercial aircraft! Your time, dedication and effort are much appreciated. I viewed all your photos and enjoyed especially the old pistons.

  188. Monte Herrington says:

    What a great trip down memory lane. I just retired after flying for Piedmont/US Airways for 27 years. My dad worked at American (52′-72′)and I used to ride my bike to LAX all the time. I can still remember departing from the old terminal, no security with everyone nicely dressed for the trip. That pic of the LA Dodgers Electra sure brought back memories. My dad took me on the plane when it was in maintenance and I will always remember what the sign over the lav said……”players with short bats stand close to the plate”. Thanks for the pics

  189. Kyle Kirby says:

    Jon..I want to thank you for sharing this illustrious history! I just left my best friend who had just received LOGAIR C-46 pics from a friend. That is how I found you. My friend is Bob Morgan and he flew with Slick after coming home from WW II and Saudi Arabia in 1948. He stopped counting at 37,000 hrs flying time and I just can’t wait to share your pics with him! I have met many pilots and Bob’s resume is incredible. Been everywhere but Australia and New Zealand on most of the types in your pics.
    I also founded an aviation museum in NC and we work with many old timers that are just tremendous resources of history. I just want to say that your pics are a tremendous resource for us all. I applaud your efforts and am so thankful that I found your work here!! We are all far richer for your efforts and foresight!!

    Kyle

  190. john shelburne says:

    thnx for sharing this great photo history of LAX… the three-some F27s, especially, captures an era almost forgotten… you and your brother did good job… in my days at Frontier (SLC) before going to charters, a friend from USPS there did took many photos over the years 60s-90s at SLC. It’s important work and I’m glad there are photographers out there capturing. thnx again//jS OCCF9-DEN/SLC 1996-2013

  191. Fred M says:

    Fabulous collection of photos, brought back so many memories for me. I worked for Delta in Montreal from 1973 – 1976, and Wardair (Canadian charter and sked airline) from 1979 – 1984, both times as a ramp rat.

    LAX is the prototypical 20th century airport. I even spent some time in the early 90′s at the refinery in El Segundo as an employee of a contractor, doing software upgrades. Life begins west of PCH …

  192. Lee Meyers says:

    Hey Jon, thanks so much for posting these pictures! These are all great. My first flight was on a TWA Super-G in the summer of 1958 and ever since then, I have loved those planes. I was curious about the 2 pictures you took of Super-G’s at LAX in the summer of 1964. Were those planes on charters, like the Jetstream at LAX was at that time? I didn’t think any Super-G’s had layovers at LAX that late in TWA’s piston era on the west coast.

    • Jon Proctor says:

      TWA had two Super G flights transiting LAX until Summer 1964, one to San Franicsco and one to Kansas City. Both were through flights. So the two I photographed were probably charter airplanes. The bottom one, N7108C, still had the “mast and wire” antenna for overseas flying. The top, without, was restricted to domestic service.

  193. Ron P says:

    This is a treasure trove! Thank you for sharing. I’ve been fascinated with LAX since the early sixties when my dad frequently traveled there from MSP and DEN. Western was my favorite ride as a kid. First ride was an Electra, then 720s. These days, I still study the satellites when I depart/arrive LAX to see what remnants still remain. I never got to fly into LAX until they were connected/renovated. Thanks again.

  194. Dave Jones says:

    This is a great chance to thank you publicly for all you’ve done to keep these wonderful days of airline aviation alive for all the rest of us. Every photo you post and every paragraph you write seems to recall great memories. The exception is that, if it doesn’t evoke some memory, that means you’ve just taught me something I never knew before!

    Your work is second to none, Jon. Thanks again for sharing it in these pages.

  195. Carl Haluss says:

    What a superb set of photos! Just taking in some old memories this rainy Friday night. Great to see some of the older airplanes. Love the Western ones especially. I worked for WAL from 1975 to 1987 at YVR, when we merged with Delta.
    Thanks for the memories!
    Carl

  196. Dennis Bourgoin says:

    What great pictures…I could spend all day on this page…thx….I’m a Flight Attendant for AA
    Dennis

  197. JOHN MUENCH says:

    GREAT SHOW OF OUR TIME WITH THE PLANES

  198. Jetranger says:

    Jan. 2014 Super Great Photos !
    I’m an avid Vintage Jetliner Nut and Vintage Propliner Fan, loved seeing those Constellations and L-188′s and 707′s and L-1011′s.
    I Fly 707′s and L-1011′s and L-188′s, and Constelations all the time, see my YOU TUBE Channel for all kinds of Vintage Aircraft Flying Video’s of Aircraft flying from yesteryear – I try to make New Video’s at least 2 every month, if I can.
    Will be posting more up in 2014 and 2015, lotta Propliner and Jetliner Video’s from yesteryear !
    Most Videos are anywhere from 20 minutes to 60 minutes in Length !

    Good Job on all those photos, I’ve posted links to all the Flight Simulator web sites for those Enthuists to see also !

    Jetranger

    YOU TUBE LINK : http://www.youtube.com/user/IFLYWINGS

  199. Very nice post. I just stumbled upon your blog and wished to
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  200. Steve Sturgil says:

    Jon,
    Thanks so much! I visit your site every so often just to look around :^) Your pictures are great. Reminds me of when “dreams come true”. Sharing the memories your photos bring back to me….my first experience was a pax on a TWA Connie from LGA to CVG as a 10 year old. The experience was remarkable! The FA’s (Stews) were great, passengers “dressed for the occasion” and first class service all the way. I must say the flight made a lasting impression. Having relatives in NY, I flew as a kid from CVG to visit during summers. And I fell in love with aviation. I would go out of my way to fly as many aircraft as possible. Most memorable trip was an AA 707 AstroJet (less than 6 months old) from JFK (Idlewild in those days) to ORD (O’Hare was still under construction by the way). Pilots and Flight Attendants were remarkable. I heard so many PA announcements from taxi to takeoff to cruise to landing and explanations about the “new” 707 we were flying on. Once we landed at ORD I took a bus to MDW (Midway) and boarded a Lake Central DC-3 for the remainder of the trip to CVG (with three stops in Lafayette, Muncie and Richmond). What a hoot! What a contrast! I flew a AA Convair 240 once from CVG to LGA with 6 stops – DAY, CMH, CLE, BUF, ROC, ALB to LGA. Interestingly the Stewardess sat next to me for most of the landings and chatted. What a thrill that was for me. Watched from the observations deck which I frequented often,AA Electras come into CVG. I had the pleasure to meet an AA CVG CS agent/manager, an employee who later saw to it that my friend and I got to sit in the cockpit for part of the 2 1/2 hour “turn” the Electra had in CVG. Just my friend and I. We touched very little but dreamed big! My friends and I welcomed the first CV-880 Delta flight to land at CVG which marked the beginning of the “jet age” for CVG airport.

    My first “big iron” experience was a TWA L1011 from STL to SFO. This huge airplane, I was convinced, would never “get off the ground” at STL, unlike the 707 I rode in on from CVG to STL which flew effortlessly. The L10 did and made a perfectly smooth touchdown in SFO. I talked to the pilots after landing on the way out and complimented them. They smiled and said “we never touched her until we cleared the runway!” CAT III approach they explained (on a clear day). Few days later I flew on an AA727 from SFO to LAX. What a beautiful “sightseeing” flight which was the beginning of the return home. A layover and change of planes at LAX then the “red eye” AA 727 back to CVG via STL.

    As well, I got to know the ATC supervisor at CVG. He invited me “up” many times. Once one summer evening we watched once from the cab, a TWA 70 “waterwagon” takeoff from CVG’s longest (jet)runway and were not certain they would make it. They did, while rotating with only a thousand or so feet left ahead on the runway.

    These are only a few of many memories. What experiences! Thanks to the aviation world and all the fine people in it from the flight crews to the mechanics, customer service personnel, air traffic controllers and everyone in between.

    Today, I have retired from corporate and airline flying, 15 years of corporate and 22 years of airline flying. In the corporate world, we flew both across the US and many, many times to Europe. Oh, by the way, we had one of those mast and wires on our jet aircraft for the “position reports” over the ocean. I then became interested in a position with a “hometown” airline started by “local boys” who were friends of mine. I spent years as a line pilot, instructor, and checkairman for the biggest and greatest “commuter” airline ever, Comair Airlines retiring with a last flight “water-cannon salute” out of CRJ 700 and 900′s. Thanks aviation, it has been a good ride!

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  206. Jim Nottingham says:

    We are of the same vintage and I grew up in San Diego, flying to LA and Burbank to watch planes. Your photos covered my experience thoroughly. What a thrill to see these. A marvelous effort. Thank you so much.

  207. I was mesmerized and enchanted by my trip back to the past. Foe a minute i could hear those roaring sounds of these Boeing 707/dc8 and smell the Kerosene fumes . Thank you

  208. Steve Densmore says:

    Jon,
    Just like everyone has been saying, what a wonderful trip down memory lane! My mother used to drive me to LAX to watch the planes along Aviation Blvd in the 60′s, I remember that spot right where you and your sister-in-law were! My first job at LAX was working for Mercury Air Center refueling airliners, getting to see all of the planes that I had been watching for years close-up was incredible. Then I worked the ramp for Sun Aire Lines, right next to Golden West Airlines at the old commuter building, where The Tom Bradley International Terminal is today. Then I refueled more airliners for Lockheed Air Terminal, including PSA in Terminal 5. Thank you for bringing back so many memories for a life-long airport bum!

  209. David Bagby says:

    Awesome pictorial Jon! Though I never made it to LAX as a child I enjoyed the history and noticing the vast changes over the years, plus a walk down memory lane as far as airlines and aircraft.

  210. Dave Gray says:

    Wow! Thank you! I grew up next to BHX-Birmingham, England, from the late 1960s until the mid-1980s, with its Viscounts, BAC 1-11s, Tridents and Heralds – my grandfather was the Chief Estimating Engineer for a parts sourcer to Rolls-Royce Merlin (Spitfire) engines in WW2 and I lived for flight. I saw the first 747 (Wardair) arrive at BHX. As a youth I was in the Air Cadets and passed my RAF aircrew aptitude tests. Alas, I had no interest in taking a degree and missed out on a military aircrew career. I wound up as a trademarks and family lawyer in Canada but my interest in aviation has never waned. You experienced the golden age of civil/commercial aviation and you write about so, so very well. The pictures you’ve posted here are just stunning, truly stunning. In Britain we always imagined the US southwest of the 1960s and 1970s to offer a clean, spacious and higher standard of living and the details in the pictures seem to reflect that. Amazing, please don’t stop doing any of this.

  211. Jim Rochette says:

    Great Pics Avionics Mechanic WAL LAX 1966-1986

  212. Mick Deschamps says:

    Great airline photo history,Thanks!

  213. Eric Klevstad says:

    Brings back a lot of good memories since I was an A&P mechanic for Western at LAX starting in 1966 so I saw the DC-6B and ex-PNA Connies fade away as they were replaced by the B-737-200. Thanks for sharing.

  214. Melanie Mann says:

    Jon, Like so many other posts have stated you have brought back so many wonderful memories for me. I grew up in El Segundo and have been “transplanted” to the Buffalo, NY area. My late father, Jack Anderson, was a supervisor for Continental Airlines for 16 years from 1961 to 1978 in the flight kitchen. I looked so carefully at the shots of the Continental planes to see if I could see him. No luck; but the memories are so thick from seeing your beautiful shots that I’m close to tears.

    By the way, to your blogger “Gordon Ross”, yes I remember Century Heights. Nothing there now but the old foundations of the houses. I believe the noise abatement and eminent domain combined to force folks out of those lovely homes; that and elogating the LAX runways to Pershing Dr. Do you remember “old” Pershing Dr.? It wound around near the runway; my mom and I would drive back there at 11PM some nights to get my dad when he was coming off the swing shift.

    The airlines are in my blood. Love to fly and annoy the daylights out of my husband because I always end up in the galley with the crew swapping stories. By the way, do you remember when the Continental DC-10 blew a tire on takeoff and the pilot and co-pilot stood on the brakes to stop her? She ended up smack against the fence near Sepulveda, I believe, with the wing right over the car rental agency. Lost two souls, but saved many more. Captain was given awards, or should have been.

    Love the El Segundo hill by Douglass Mortuary. Take my son and husband there every time we visit ‘Gundo. Hoping to be there summer of 2015 for July 4th festivities. I’ll look for you on the hill. Thanks again for the great shots and memories. I will share this site with my brother and will read your books with enthusiasm!

    • Mark Anderson says:

      Melanie Mann is my sister. My dad(our father) was the Supervisor of the flight kitchen for Continental Airlines until 1976(?), when I left to enlist in the Marines. while he was working in cabin service, he serviced the Playboy “Bunnie Plane” as we called it. I also remember Continental’s DC-6′s sitting at the west end of the hanger awaiting delivery to Mexico. By the way, I can still taste the burgers and shakes from the Imperial Bowl…Couldn’t believe it when I heard they tore it down. They call it “progress”. More to come on “gundo”, as I’m starting a book about My/our time living there (61-76). Just went to my 40th (’73′)… what a trip! Semper Fi! go Eagles!

    • Melanie,
      I spent the last 3 hours going thru this wonderful website.I was just about ready to give in after 3 hours on this site and finish it later.I was almost done with reading all the comments at the end of the email posts and had decided to send my ex-wife (good friend) the link to this site when I saw a post –I was flabbergasted when I saw a name–Melanie Mann THATS MY EX-WIFE’S MAIDEN NAME!
      I am a retired Delta pilot —long story but I met Melanie at the La Buena Vita apartments in El Segundo in 1967.She was in training as a Stewardess for Western. I am still laughing. Here’s the “Grand Finale” of this post–Melanie is getting married on June 7th 2014 and her husband-to-be asked me to be his Best Man — I said yes. BTW I was a Western Ramper, Commissary
      agent and mechanic before getting hired as a pilot with Western.(Then Delta)
      Regards,Charlie Sherman

  215. Capt. Jack Schmidt says:

    Great Pix. I washed that Western 749A Connie (formerly with Pacific Northern) and all of her sister-ships about 1000 times in the rain in Seattle when I worked on the ramp at SEATAC (1963-64). I flew the Hawaiian DC-10-30 (leased from American) pictured in 2002-03 as captain.

  216. Dan Tracy says:

    I watched planes with my mother, brother, and sister from the same spot on Aviation Boulevard that your picture was taken sitting on the railroad tracks many years ago, and now I work at the ORD control tower. It’s hard to believe that I’ve been doing it for nearly thirty years, including an 8 year stint at LAX from 1995 to 2003, the best eight years of my career. I enjoyed your updates, especially the one showing the exhaust trails from the arrivals landing on 25L/R. No where else did we as controllers do it better on closely spaced parallel runways than LAX, where it was common to have 8 to 10 aircraft on final approach inside the four markers, or four airplanes side by side at the dunes, departing all four runways at once. Southwest Airlines pilots were especially good at “drag racing” off 24L/R, visually separated of course!

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  219. dale collard says:

    “Thanks for the memories!” TWA 1967-2001/AA 2001-2008. ORD:AUG-NOV67 / CVG:NOV67-APR68 & Spring 70-JUL73 / remainder at LAX. Swing shift at CVG on 20NOV67 was a LONG SHIFT..1545-0900 on the 21. You may not remember, but we met on 841 (Vernon Lowell was the captain) and weather made for a 15hr flight, You were the DCS and issued me an 80% on UA to ORD because I’d miss all our flights from JFK and LGA. I hope all is well with you. (You were Airliners’ best editor) I retired to Napa where I have family; but I miss L.A. weather and shopping. (Napa is still a small town) Regards, Dale Collard whose blood will ALWAYS BE TWA RED !!!

  220. dale collard says:

    John, just a personal message. SO many thoughts racing through my mind as I wrote my discombabulated comment. But… the meories!!!! LAX April 67, Electras, Fairchilds and Fairchild-Hillers, twin otters, DC-6s, UA Convair 340s.. Day after day, in the gate, taxi, take-off, landing.. flying on many. RT to SAN at least one day a month for lunch at the airport, selectively choosing my airline and equiptment..UA DC-8-62, NA DC-8-54,AA 727-223(1st on a sretch 3-holer). RT to SMF on WA to fly an Electra (turned with the bird at SMF. The F/As asking ‘What the hell????’) The night 128 crashed was one memory, all be it morbid. But SO, SO many other humerous events (one reason I enjoyed Bob Serling’s books..his anecdotes). We all have those. Someone should solicite them and put them in a book. One, for example: I was extra fueler at CVG and we had a extra bird, a DC9 ferry to CLE. I went up with the fuel slip during the check-list, waisted and watched. The Captain missed something and the F/O used a marker to tally a line on his front window. They’d paued their check-list as I gave the Captain the fuel slip and I HAD TO ASK!!! F/O replied:”If he gets up to 5, we switch seats.” (OKAAAAY) I can’t imagine a better career choice. Excitement, humor, challenging, we worked hte same flights every day for 7 month stretch, and yet EVERY dy was just a little different) (like the time we ran out of containers and had to bulk load 767 – which I got trapped on once stowing magazines at the last minute..ended up going to LHR..Captain didn’t want to waste fuel getting me out through the lower 40) I could go on for hours, but then so could you, and many others. Regards. Dale

  221. Dave Wick says:

    Thanks for sharing Jon! My first ever arrival at LAX was on August 7, 1975, aboard TWA L-1011 N11004 from CVG via STL. Almost 40 years later I remember it well!

  222. Ken Myres says:

    Wow! Thanks for the memories. First flew out of LAX when 17 in 1966 on an American 727 during the strike, continuing on to CVG via AA Electra. Spent many days and nights with a pilot friend on Aviation Blvd. standing under the arriving jets and enjoying the (undeflected) jet blast from takeoffs on runways 25 R&L. We even walked on board an AA 747 one evening and sat in cockpit – maintenance said “just don’t touch anything”! Must have been ’71. Boy, were those the days.

  223. Michael Huyck says:

    Born in ’42 my first memories are from my neighborhood near 105th & Prairie Ave. I used to lay on my back to watch the air traffic including the Flying Wing. Later we moved to Imperial & Crenshaw just north of (what is now) Hawthorne Airport. Then it was Northrop. Airports and airplanes were a part of my young life. Later years brought being a passenger. Thanks for the memories.

  224. Don Porter says:

    Thanks Jon for the great memories of LAX. In 1963 I worked in the old terminal building as a line boy for the Norman Larson Co., which held the general aviation fueling concession there. Used to watch Trans-Cal 049 Connies there and the Connies taking sales prospects to and from Lake Havasu. We refueled smaller private and business planes there. Most of the passenger terminal was empty by that point, having moved to the new facility west of Sepulveda. At night it was so quiet and empty that I was the only one walking around the big central concourse! I didn’t work there long as it was a part-time, late-nite gig while I attended airframe & engine mechanic’s school at nearby L. A. Trade-Tech College. Fascinating experience, though!

  225. Steve@KSFO says:

    Great shots of a lot of equipment that took me back to another time when my dad worked at the UAL Maintenance facility in San Bruno, CA. I’d have him take me along for the ride when payday fell on one of those rare days off. Usually, I got the chance to walk thru the maintenance hangers and shop floors with him giving me a tour of stuff most people never get to see. First flying memories were of a late evening flight out of KSMF to KSFO and dozing off to sleep while staring out the window at a blue exhaust flame and the glowing red manifolds of a DC-4.

    • C J Stott says:

      Jon,
      Thanks for the memories. I started my airline career at LAX. First with Pacific Airlines (LAX and BUR) and then Delta on the ticket counter at LAX. Fortunately, TWA hired me in 1967. I flew with your brother Bill for many years until he retired from TWA. Your photos stir great memories of a wonderful industry. Truly, the “Good ol’ Days.”

      Thanks again. Be in good health and keep in touch.

      Take care,

      Jim Stott

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