Wheeis-Up Landing Is Perfect, Without Any Practice
It was perfect. Even the press said so.
After it was all over those people who
classify things said it was only an incident
and there is no better way for an almost acci
dent to end than as an incident.
The perfection which delighted everyone
Captain George Malcomb
was the work of Piedmont Captain George
Malcomb. He belly-landed a YS-11 so perfectly
that the aircraft manufacturer has requested a
copy of the news film to be used for training
Flight 984 on April 5 originated in Knox
ville and headed for Roanoke and Washington.
There was an intermediate stop at Tri-Cities
and another at Bluefield. The next scheduled
landing was Pulaski, but when Captain Mal
comb started to come down there the left land
ing gear would not cooperate. It was decided
then to divert the flight to Winston-Salem for
the emergency landing.
En route Captain Malcomb kept trying to
lower the gear and preparations started for
the emergency, both on the ground and in the
air. Co-pilot Ray Wood and stewardesses Re
becca Hunt and Joyce Hall explained the situ
ation to the twelve passengers on board. In
Captain Malcomb’s words, “They (the crew)
did a superb job.”
In getting ready for the landing activity
around Smith Reynolds Airport picked up con
siderably. The foam truck sprayed the runway
while several fire trucks and ambulances went
out on the field closer to the proposed touch
Flight 984 made its final approach at 10:35
a.m. The large crowd was silent as the plane
eased down. The silence was broken first by
the screech of metal on the runway and then
VOL. XXII, NO. 3-4
Despite Increased Revenues We Lost A^one/
Piedmont’s total gross revenues for 1970 reached an
all time high of $83,945,936. This increase of 21% over
the 1969 figures was the highlight of the Company’s
Annual Report To Stockholders released the latter part
Despite this encouraging increase in revenues, be
cause of extreme inflationary cost increases coupled
with the decline of the national economy, Piedmont
Aviation, Inc. had a net loss of $2,596,169 for last year.
The Airline Division carried 2,716,267 passengers
during the year, an increase of 22% over 1969. Each
passenger flew an average of 276 miles as compared to
265 miles the year before. The overall passenger rev
enue miles increased 27%. Total cargo ton miles rose
24% from 6,225,051 to 7,732,503.
The Company’s General Aviation division showed
a pre-tax profit of $201,329. Sales of this division were
severely depressed also as a result of the general
economy and the inability of prospective customers
to arrange financing for aircraft purchases on reason
able terms during most of the year.
In commenting on the report. President Davis said,
“While the financial results are disappointing, there
were several notable achievements during the year
which should enhance the return to profitable opera
tion and further growth.” Among those he listed were
the award by the Civil Aeronautics Board of a new
non-stop route between Norfolk and New York; ex
tension of the Company’s route system to Charleston,
South Carolina and the Construction of a new com
puterized central reservations system, second to none
in the industry. He also noted the retirement early last
year of the last piston-powered aircraft from scheduled
operation thus making Piedmont’s fleet totally jet
powered. The fleet now consists of twelve Boeing fan-
jets and thirty prop-jet YS-11 and FH-227 aircraft.
Piedmont now serves 83 cities in 12 states and the
District of Columbia. The route system covers approxi
mately 11,000 miles, and the Pacemakers fly more than
64,000 miles daily or approximately 23V2 million plane
miles per year.
Group Is Formed
Twelve U.S. airlines have announced the formation
of an organization to promote uniformly good employee
relations in the industry.
An agreement was filed with the Civil Aeronautics
Board on April 6 establishing the Airline Industrial
Relations Conference (AIRCO).
Any U.S. scheduled airline is eligible to join AIRCO.
Founding members are American, Continental, Eastern,
National, Northwest, Pan American, TWA, Western
and United, among the trunks, and Alaska Airlines,
Piedmont and North Central, of the regionals.
Everett M. Goulard, former Pan American industrial
relations executive who is serving as counsel to AIRCO,
explained that in the past the Air Transport Associa
tion has provided informational services on industrial
relations matters. “But ATA has such a broad scope
of activity that it was felt a new organization would
bring a greater measure of concentration to industrial
relations affairs,” Mr. Goulard said.
On an industry-wide basis, he said, employee costs
account for nearly half of all airline expenses, and the
costs have been rising dramatically. “This makes it
necessary for airlines to take all proper and lawful
measures to bring about intelligent and meaningful
collective bargaining,” he asserted.
AIRCO will provide a forum for the free exchange
of ideas among its member airlines, coordinate their
industrial relations activities, and in certain circum
stances, may act as bargaining agent for one or more
of its members.
Mr. Goulard said the Board of Directors, to be
composed of the chief executive officers of major
member carriers and three of the regional carriers,
will select a full-time president. Industrial relations
officers of member companies will comprise an ad
visory board to assist the president to carry out the
broad policies and objectives of the organization.
Stewardess Joyce Hall Stewardess Becky Hunt
by applause and cheers from the crowd.
In what had to be record time, the passen
gers and crew were out of the aircraft. There
was no fire and everyone was okay.
Damage to the plane was not nearly what
it could have been. The propellers were badly
bent and the landing gear doors were scraped
severely. Only a small part of the skin on the
tail section was scraped.
The Federal Aviation Agency’s investiga
tion attributed the problem to a jammed gear
door. Apparently a bolt slipped out of place on
take-off at Bluefield. It caused the door to re
align and jam so that the left wheels could
not come down.
On every hand there was praise for the
crew, for the passengers and for the sturdy
In commenting on the incident later Cap
tain Malcomb had very special thanks “for his
crew, and for everyone who helped make the
belly landing a successful event instead of a
disaster.” He also noted that April 5th was co
pilot Ray Wood’s sixth anniversary with Pied
mont. Captain Malcomb said Wood “celebrated”
the occasion in a spectacular manner but did
so like a real professional. (Editor’s Note;
Sorry we were unable to come up with a picture
of Co-pi!ot Wood.)
By the next day the crew was flying their
scheduled run and repairs were well underway.
Piedmont^s Passengers Are
Happiest, Says Board Report
Airline passenger complaints received by
the Civil Aeronautics Board during March to
taled 706 compared to 700 in February and
605 in March, 1970, according to the latest
monthly consumer complaint report. The 706
complaint figure represents 482 letters re
ceived. Telephone complaints are not tabulated
and some letters mention more than one car
rier or problem area.
Based on complaints per 100,000 enplane-
ments Piedmont had 0.45, for the lowest num
ber. Caribair hit the high mark with 26.19.
Flight delays continued to outrank all other
problem areas in number of complaints re
ceived during March, followed by “fares, rates
and refunds,” apparent reflection of public
confusion catching up with numerous last-min
ute fare boosts. Oversales ranked third, con
tinuing to edge out baggage loss/damage,'de
PI Employee Stock
To help you keep up with the amount you pay
for Piedmont stock every month if you’re buying
it through payroll deduction the Piedmonitor
publishes this periodic report of the number of
shares purchased, average price per share and
total investment in the previous month.
FOR FEBRUARY, 1971
Amount Invested $5,285.03
Number of Full Shares Purchased 712
Average Price Paid Per Share $ 7.42
FOR MARCH, 1971
Amount Invested -- $5,310.82
Number of Full Shares Purchased 833
Average Price Paid Per Share _ _ - $ 6.37