The Company is about to unveil a new
program to improve customer service. It will
eventually involve all employees. Many have
already contributed time, ideas and effort to
wards formulating this campaign.
The initial plans for it were announced late
Carelines promises to be much more than
just a new word in our lexicon.
Watch for it.
He engineers fun
Legends about Piedmont employees are nu
Legendary passengers are much rarer phe
nomena. We met one the other day. We had
heard about him for several years. And when
he recently appeared in the seat next to us, we
were instantly sorry we hadn’t found him be
S. M. Blount, Jr., according to his business
card, is president of his own consulting engi
neering firm. The card gives his office ad
dress in Raleigh, North Carolina. He says he
works in Louisville, Kentucky and lives on Pied
mont airplanes. He proves it with pictures.
Sam, known as the picture man, has the
largest collection of Piedmont flight attendant
photos outside the corporate mug files. He car
ries hundreds of the candid, color prints with
him. As we looked through his collection, he
gave us the current name of every one of his
Piedmont girls! When we couldn’t put a name
and face together, he’d say, “But, she got mar
ried three months ago.” His incredible mem
ory is as fascinating as the wonderful facial
expressions he captures with his camera.
Sam loves to talk about Piedmont and his
girls. He doesn’t like to talk about himself and
adamantly refused to let us have his picture
Asked about when he started taking the
pictures, Sam said it was in the early 1970’s.
Before we could ask why, he told us he pre
fers to fly “on the YS-lls ’cause they’re not
as fast and I have more time to play.” Fly
ing with Sam is like playing, unless you’re try
ing to find out about him. We hope what we
sifted from his conversation is more fact than
fiction, but only he knows for sure.
Sam showed us his much-used Vivitar poc
ket camera. He keeps it in a briefcase which
contains more magic tricks and games than
engineering drawings or business papers. In
addition to being a superb candid photographer,
Sam does magic tricks with ropes and Piedmont
swizzle sticks painted in disappearing ink.
With the charming accent that’s definitely
east of Raleigh, Sam says he’s originally from
Beaufort Countee, North Carolina. He is mar
ried and his wife thoroughly enjoys seeing his
Piedmont pictures. They have two children, a
son and a daughter, who are 10 and 12. A me
chanical, civil and electrical engineer, Sam is
a rarity who went to the University of North
Carolina in Chapel Hill and then to N. C. State
When he’s not on a Piedmont flight, Sam
admits to “just sitting and watching the river
go by.” He has an apartment overlooking the
Ohio River in Louisville and a cottage by the
Pamlico Sound in Little Washington, North
Then, our too short flight landed in Ra
leigh and we couldn’t find out any more about
the most delightful Piedmont passenger we’ve
The next time you are on a flight that’s
going or coming to or from Raleigh or Louis
ville, look for Sam. He’ll be wearing the big
gest smile on board.
Meeting him will make your day.
And, if anyone can snap a black and white
photo of Sam, we’d love to have it. The Pied-
monitor hasn’t had a picture of a legend in
a long time.
Lost concrete poured in Atlanta
Atlanta Department of Aviation officials
joined the city’s mayor to pour out the final
structural component of concourse D of the
new midfield terminal in Atlanta in mid-June..
The ceremony marked the completion of the
building structure making up the central ter
minal passenger complex. Work is well under
way enclosing the separate buildings and in
stalling mechanical and electrical systems. Pied
mont will be in concourse D when the new
airport opens in late 1980.
New Carrier in Nation’s capitol
Western Airlines became the final U. S.
trunk airline t o begin serving Washington,
D. C., with its inaugural flight on June 15 this
year. They’re offering two round trip flights
between Washington National and Seattle via
Minneapolis-St. Paul and either Billings, Mon
tana or Spokane, Washington. The Washington
service is Western’s second transcontinental
route. They also serve Miami from the West
Republic is born
President Carter has given the final approv
al of the merger between North Central Air
lines of Minneapolis and Southern Airways of
Atlanta. According to North Central, the new
carrier is expected to rank 10th among the U.S.
airlines in terms of passengers carried with
about 12 million annually.
Republic Airlines will fly 34,000 miles to more
than 150 cities from Florida, Puerto Rico and
the Cayman Islands in the Caribbean to Win
nipeg and Thunder Bay, both in Canada, and
from Boston to San Diego.
Carter had the final say because interna
tional routes are involved.
Republic, which will continue use of North
Central Airlines’ mallard duck symbol, will
have 8,000 employees and operate a fleet of
The carriers officially merged on July 1,
Industry traffic up 16 per cent
The 27 U. S. airlines carried 16.2 per cent
more passengers in the first five months of
1979 than they did in the same period last
year, according to recent figures reported by
the Air Transport Association.
The ATA said traffic in May was up 10.1
per cent over the same month in 1978 despite
the fact that United was grounded by a strike.
The continued growth of traffic was attributed
to discount fares and gasoline shortages which
the ATA said had prompted shifts from auto
to air travel.
Merger opposed by judge
An administrative law judge for the Civil
Aeronautics Board has ruled that an acquisi
tion of National Airlines by Eastern Air Lines
would be unlawful and should not be approved.
The ruling by Richard J. Murphy, the chief
hearing officer for Eastern’s merger applica
tion, is preliminary. The final decision is up
to the full CAB and the White House, which
has jurisdiction when merger plans involve air
lines with international routes.
Previously, a law judge ruled that bids for
National by Pan American World Airways and
by Texas International Airlines should also be
denied, but the full board has not decided in
“To Fly” returns
The Smithsonian’s Air and Space Museum
has brought back the popular film “To Fly”
for a limited summer run. The movie will be
shown three times daily through Labor Day.
Some four million viewers saw “To Fly”
since it first opened at the museum in Wash
ington in July, 1976. The 27-minute, 70-mm.
film covers the history of flight in the United
States from balloons to spaceships. It will be
shown at 10:55 a.m., 2:55 p.m., and 6:55 p.m.
The special performances will be interspers
ed with the museum’s latest film “Living Plan
et” which is presented at 40-minute intervals
beginning at 10:15 a.m. through 8:15 p.m. The
movies are shown on a screen nine times the
size of conventional screens.
Admission to the film is 50 cents for adults
and 25 cents for children, students and senior
Hughes rumor confirmed
Hughes Airwest management has confirm
ed that its shareholders, Summa Corporation
and the estate of Howard R. Hughes Jr. have
been considering the possibility of disposing
of the airline.
John G. Carlson, staff vice president and
executive assistant to Russell V. Stephenson,
president of Hughes Airwest, said, “It is em
phasized, however, that negotiations aren’t un
Hughes Airwest is a subsidiary of Hughes
Air Corporation, which is 22 per cent owned
by the Hughes estate and 78 per cent owned
More proposals for less smoking
The Civil Aeronautics Board has formally
proposed new steps for restricting smoking on
The CAB won’t adopt all the proposals but
will choose from them after getting comments
from the public. The comments from inter
ested parties are due by August 20.
The new proposals would go beyond more
general regulations put into effect by the CAB
on February 23, this year.
The new proposals include establishing a
buffer zone of at least one row between smok
ing and nonsmoking sections; the buffer row
could be left empty or filled with nonsmokers
who don’t mind sitting next to smokers. An
other proposal would place at least seven rows
of cigarette smokers or indifferent nonsmok
ers between cigar and pipe smokers and the
regular nonsmoking section.
Other proposed rules would ban all cigar
and pipe smoking on domestic flights, require
smokers to extinguish cigars or pipes if an
other passenger requests them to do so, or
force cigar and pipe smokers to sit by air vents
or at the rear of the plane.
The proposals also include requirements to
limit smoking sections to one for each passen
ger compartment to ban all smoking on small
planes or short flights, or to place partitions
between smoking and non-smoking sections.
Piedmont Aviation, Inc.
Betsy Allen, Editor
Smith Reynolds Airport
Winston-Salem, North Carolina