Piedmont Aviation Employee Newsletter /
April 1, 1984, edition 1 /
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volume 35, number 2
News about Piedmont. The Up-And-Coming Airline.
We're all the way to LA!
Piedmont’s Flight Number 3 had
been in the air almost five hours
and was 15 miles from the Los
Angeles Airport when the control
center handed the 727 over to the
"Welcome to LA!” the controller
said enthusiastically. Flight 3 was
just minutes away from making
history as Piedmont's first nonstop,
“It was quite an experience," Jim
Combs, captain of the first flight,
“1 didn’t realize the impact we
would have, the excitement that
our first flight would generate. I'm
just glad I was able to be part of the
comt>s, ajongwith First Officer
Bobby Leach and Second Officer
James Nichols, set the 727 down on
California soil at 10:10 a.m. On
board were 103 passengers includ
ing a group of 30 from Fort Wayne,
and GSO-based flight attendants
Patty Mabe, Bob Henz, Nancy
Nuckles, and Tiara Roberts.
“It was really exciting," Roberts,
who has been part of a special task
force that planned our new first-
class service, said.
“1 wanted to see if the procedures
we outlined would really work.
We’ve had to make a lot of changes
already, and on the way out had to
improvise, but we got a lot of com
pliments on our service."
The night before the first flight,
Roberts stayed up late working out
the procedures on the modified air
craft. She was excited but appre
hensive. Would it work?
“Maintenance did a super job,”
Roberts said. "I don’t know where
they found 36 hours a day to get the
plane ready, but I’m sure glad that
Combs echoed her sentiments.
“The plane looked really good," he
said. “Maintenance did a fantastic
job. In fact, everyone in the com
pany pitched in together to make
things work. It was a joint venture
of all departments, and I think
that’s what makes Piedmont great.”
Leon Fox and his wife were
among the passengers on Flight 3.
Flight 3 taxis to its gate at the
Los Angeles International Air
port. making history as Pied-
service. A local television sta
tion recorded the eventJor the
GSO basedflight attendants Jeanne Don
nell. Debbie Ashley. Betty Ann Stone, and
Kay Graver are ready to pop the cork on a
Fox, who retired from Piedmont in
1978 with 31 years in the cockpit,
piloted Piedmont's veiy first flight
on February 20, 1948. When the
aircraft arrived in Los Angeles, he
and retired Piedmont Founder T.H.
Davis, who flew in from Charlotte,
cut the ribbon for the inaugural
flight from Los Angeles.
But the celebration began long
before the champagne was un
corked for passengers on Flight 3.
Early that morning, mayors,
bottle of champagne to serve passengers on
Flight 1 's inaugural trip April I.
chamber of commerce officials and
other representatives from the
eight midwest cities we serve plus
our station managers flew into
Dayton to be part of the festivities
surrounding the historic flight.
Following a brief ceremony
sending the plane on its way,
approximately 100 people gathered
at the Dayton Country Club where
Leonard Martin, vice president-
passenger services, and Don
McGuire, staff vice president-
public affairs, announced new sei'v-
ice planned for the hub. Among the
dignitaries present were 30 Kala
mazoo residents who had come to
hear Piedmont announce that serv
ice would soon begin to their
“Everything went like clock
work,” Martin said of the day’s
events. “Our station managers and
sales people did an outstanding job
helping to organize all the festivi
ties. And our station personnel
really handled the llights well.”
At Charlotte, similar events took
place but the numbers tripled.
Some 300 people — representatives
from 25 cities that feed into the
early morning complex as well as
dignitaries from Charlotte —joined
together to send off the first Los
Ten minutes before the 9 a.m.
departure, the crowd moved to a
roped-off area on the ramp.
President Bill Howard, Charlotte
Airport Manager Josh Birming
ham, Winston-Salem Mayor Wayne
Corpening, and Robert Shipp from
the Wilmington Airport
Commission donned Piedmont
caps and helped load luggage onto
the aircraft. Dozens of representa
tives from the news media
including numerous television
crews who had flown in for the
event filmed all the activities.
From the cockpit. Captain Bill
Kyle waved to the crowd. Then amid
continued on page 6
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