Jerry Castellano

Another merger, another promise of improved service, another CEO declaring that this will only add to the choices travelers already have. Lots of neat words like “efficiencies” and “synergies” throw around. If your B.S. meter isn’t pegging it’s time to check the batteries.

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The Fairchild FH227B was quite commonly used both here and in Europe (the original design was built by Fokker in Germany and built under license by Fairchild here in the United States) for this kind of flying before the market was ceded to commuter airlines. It was a commuter workhorse.

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Last week I celebrated what would have been my 32nd anniversary with Ozark Air Lines. Well, perhaps “celebrate” is too strong a word. No corks were popped, no cakes decorated. The only thing I did to commemorate the occasion was watch the very same episode of “The Rockford Files” (“The Prisoner of Rosemont Hall”) that I had watched that Friday evening those many years ago as I packed for my very first trip. I also took some time to reflect on my expectations at the beginning of my career and how different things look now that that career has ended.

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The recent record breaking snows both in the Mid-Atlantic states and in such unlikely places as Texas and Georgia stirred some memories of my past experiences with what we crewmembers used to describe as “irregular” (the Ozark term) or “non-routine” (the TWA term) operations.

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A couple of weeks ago my next door neighbor, who must travel often from here (St. Louis) to Chicago, summed it up when he said that flying is worse than going to the DMV. And this remark was made before the Christmas Day incident and the resulting increased (and inconsistent) attempts at improving security.

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