As a lover of large prop-driven transport aircraft, affectionally known as Propliners, on my first visits to USA I wanted to fly on the
dwindling numbers of these aircraft still in use with airlines. In those uncomplicated days, when an interest in an airline's operations
was welcomed,  my requests for cockpit jump-seat rides were often approved, which added to the experience.

Lockheed Electra September 1977

I took a passenger flight on this Air California L.188 Electra N124C in September 1977. 
In those pre-computer days, when planning the trip, my travel agent's OAG and ABC airline schedule publications
showed that some Air California departures from San Francisco began with a short hop across the bay to Oakland.
So for $17, I booked SFO-OAK only, which was scheduled at 5 minutes

Foggy weather resulted in the 5 minute sector actually taking 30 minutes flying time, as N124AC was vectored
to join the queue of aircraft making the ILS approach into Oakland. Here we cross the Golden Gate Bridge

Martin 404 October 1977

Marco Island Airways  flew Martin 404s on high-frequency services from Miami to the Marco Island resort development
on the Gulf of Mexico. I took an outbound flight on N973M in October 1977

Airborne at Miami International, the view from the Martin's window

After a 30 minute flight, on the runway at Marco Island, Florida with the Everglades lapping against the airport boundary

The return flight to Miami was to be on board Martin 404 N968M, seen pulling in at Marco Island

Convair 440 October 1977

A full day out on Mackey International Airways' Convair 440 N446JM, seen here at Treasure Cay, Bahamas

An early start at Fort Lauderdale, Florida.  As we lined up for departure, this view through the Convair's windscreen
shows a Curtiss C-46 freighter running up at the holding point on the opposite side of the runway

Mackey International Airlines was a long-established Florida operator, in 1977 using DC-6s and CV440s

My hospitable CV-440 crew on the scheduled FLL-West Palm Beach-Treasure Cay-Marsh Harbor-Miami-FLL service

Next stop was Marsh Harbor, Bahamas where this drug running Lockheed Lodestar had run off the runway and was stripped

Also at Marsh Harbor was another drug-running Lodestar N669, which had been impounded here for some months.
Among our passengers was a ferry pilot and mechanic, with tool kits, to get N669 airworthy for a ferry flight to Ft Lauderdale

While closing doors for departure from the small terminal ramp at Marsh Harbor, the crew of this arriving Bahamasair FH-227
decided the ramp should be theirs, edging forward and showing zero airmanship.  The Mackey crew were unconcerned, saying
this turf war was a on-going battle.  I took this photo through the Convair cockpit windscreen with a standard lens

By contrast, the courteous crew of this arriving DC-3 at Marsh Harbor pulled over to let our Convair enter the runway

View of the starboard P&W R-2800 from the First Officer's seat while inbound to Miami

Martin 404 October 1979

Florida Airlines had taken over Air South on intra-state services. The duty operations supervisor invited us to go along
on a no-passenger ferry from Miami to Fort Lauderdale on N144S, seen parked at Miami International terminal

Takeoff view of the joys of the cargo and maintenance ramps at Miami

Coming back over the Miami terminal with the airport hotel on the left

Captain Rocky Rouzer (left) and F/O Bruce Wheeler with my wife Jane, on arrival Fort Lauderdale

Convair 580 September 1979

In 1979 Frontier Airlines had a large fleet of CV-580s in passenger service. N73127 at Denver-Stapleton has an earlier
paint scheme, while behind on the left is a CV-580 in Frontier's new scheme

Boarding N73127 for the Denver-Laramie-Cheyenne service. Note the Jet Powered 580 on the nose and airstair.
My destination was remote Casper, Wyoming where three Christler Flying Service Constellation sprayers were reportedly stored.
Unfortunately they had flown out a month earlier for forest spraying in Canada - such are the trials of the long-distance enthusiast

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