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The Fall of Pan Am

Robert Gandt


In 1966, Pan American Airways reached the zenith of its wealth and influence. Its pilots were lords of the sky; Skygods. Under aviation pioneer Juan Trippe's autocratic control, Pan Am bought jet airliners before its competitors, and made record profits. It was the first U.S. airline to order the supersonic transport; it accepted reservations for the first service to the Moon.

Then Pan American Airways fell to earth.

In Skygods, Robert Gandt, a Pan Am pilot for 26 years, gives an inside account of the great airline's unprecedented demise. He interviewed hundreds of former Pan Am airmen and executives. He reveals how Pan Am's captains, in Navy-style uniforms, once commanded their ships like petty tyrants. They were the best and brightest in the airline industry, but there were disturbing stories of captains who allowed stewardesses to land their aircraft, flew them at the wrong altitude and in the wrong direction, and who tragically disappeared, often without a trace.

All was not well either in the Pan Am Building, the massive landmark in New York, where a succession of impulsive and short-sighted CEOs combined to preside over the demise of a great airline. Pan Am bought a domestic airline it did not need; bought aircraft if did not need, and operated half-empty airplanes on low-density routes. It sold the entire Pacific network for a bargain price and sold precious assets to meet its payrolls. And then came the Lockerbie tragedy.

This is a fascinating account of what can go wrong with a pillar of strength of the U.S. industry, when its leaders lose their sense of direction and when their star employees - the Skygods - discover that they are mere mortals.

Author's Preface

Chapter 1 That's Why We're Here
Chapter 2 Trippe
Chapter 3 Skygods
Chapter 4 Jets
Chapter 5 The Empire
Chapter 6 The Man from Camelot
Chapter 7 New Hires
Chapter 8 The Everyman Airplane
Chapter 9 On the Line
Chapter 10 Succession

Chapter 11 Crash
Chapter 12 Vietnam
Chapter 13 The Boy Scout
Chapter 14 Besieged
Chapter 15 Just Call Me Jeeb
Chapter 16 A Place Where You Never Have to Grow Up
Chapter 17 The Cold War Gladiator
Chapter 18 The Children's Crusade
Chapter 19 Deep Pockets
Chapter 20 The National Caper
Chapter 21 Orange Pukes and Blue Pukes
Chapter 22 The Crown Jewels

PART III: IMPACT Chapter 23 The Texas Huckster
Chapter 24 How Sweet It Is
Chapter 25 Strike
Chapter 26 The Pacific
Chapter 27 White Knights and the Maximum Skygod
Chapter 28 Mister Nice Guy
Chapter 29 A Village in Scotland
Chapter 30 The Coyote's Last Leg
Chapter 31 The Yawning Abyss
Chapter 32 Delta
Chapter 33 Tango Uniform


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Availability: OUT OF PRINT

Format: Hardcover  286pp
ISBN: 1888962119
Publisher: Paladwr Press
Pub. Date: 1994
Item No: 6211-9

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