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      Braniff2


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      Post #73278, posted on 09-08-2019 GMT-5 hours    
      Hi everyone,

      In 1968 and 69, TWA and National Airlines had a seasonal swap of 727-200's.
      In the summer (TW peak season), TWA would lease in NA 727-200's, and in the winter (NA peak season), National would lease in TW 727-200's. I believe that the swap was for 4 727's per season. The aircraft remained in the original operators colors...with just a sticker up by the forward pax door saying something like "Operated by TWA" or "Operated by National Airlines".

      Question:
      Were these planes flown by their owner airline crews (a wet lease)...or were they flown by the operating carriers cockpit crews (a dry lease).

      I remember seeing these National 727-200's coming into/out of Kansas City Municipal (MKC) airport (not an NA station) during the summer. I can also vividly recall coming across the Broadway bridge toward MKC and seeing an NA 727-200, or two, parked at the TWA gates on more than one occasion (the single story gates next to a row of Frontier Convair 580's).

      Anyone know who was flying those birds?....TW cockpit crews...or NA cockpit crews?

      Thanks!

      Braniff2
      MCI

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      MrMD11


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      Post #73279, posted on 09-08-2019 GMT-5 hours    
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      Braniff2 :
      Hi everyone,

      In 1968 and 69, TWA and National Airlines had a seasonal swap of 727-200's.
      In the summer (TW peak season), TWA would lease in NA 727-200's, and in the winter (NA peak season), National would lease in TW 727-200's. I believe that the swap was for 4 727's per season. The aircraft remained in the original operators colors...with just a sticker up by the forward pax door saying something like "Operated by TWA" or "Operated by National Airlines".

      Question:
      Were these planes flown by their owner airline crews (a wet lease)...or were they flown by the operating carriers cockpit crews (a dry lease).

      I remember seeing these National 727-200's coming into/out of Kansas City Municipal (MKC) airport (not an NA station) during the summer. I can also vividly recall coming across the Broadway bridge toward MKC and seeing an NA 727-200, or two, parked at the TWA gates on more than one occasion (the single story gates next to a row of Frontier Convair 580's).

      Anyone know who was flying those birds?....TW cockpit crews...or NA cockpit crews?

      Thanks!

      Braniff2
      MCI



      My Father was a TWA pilot and began his career with TWA in 1966. He started-off as a flight engineer on the 707 and was JFK-based at that time. I'll ask him about it later this week when I call him and see if he remembers anything about this and get back with you.

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      Jeff Jarvis


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      Post #73280, posted on 09-09-2019 GMT-5 hours    
      Greetings!

      The 727 swap airplanes were flown by TWA crews on the TWA routes, and when they were operated on the National system, they were flown by National crews. As you said, TWA peak was summer (east-west) and National was winter (north-south).

      A National PFE friend of my Dad's told me this was interesting because TWA had their switches reversed from industry standard (forward-ON, rearward-OFF) because that was how the Constellation was configured (forward-OFF, rearward-ON). Then, when I flew the 727 (-100) I would always know immediately if I was flying an old ex TWA airplane because the switches worked backward. This would not be allowed in the UK because it is considered dangerous and would require dedicated crews who do not switch airplanes back and forth, but the FAA allows it with the use of a Differences section in the AOM. The TWA 707 and 727 fleets were built with backward switches, but I do not know if the CV-880, DC-9 or the 747 were built that way for them or not.

      Regards,
      Jeff Jarvis

      God's "Curse" to aviation!

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      727flyer


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      Post #73285, posted on 09-10-2019 GMT-5 hours    
      The other odd thing on the TWA birds, beside the switch orientation, was that their 727s (at least the -100s) had an Essential Power switch on the overhead panel, within reach of the Captain. On every other 727, it was on the Flight Engineer's panel. "Check Essential" was probably THE most important action for a 727 FE (other than possibly catching the gear horn silence lever before someone pulled a throttle back). In fact, some had to learn songs that were coined to help novice FEs learn their trade, and Essential Power was the first item in the loss of generators song. Apparently, TWA was so fully bought into the "Captain is God" thinking that they did not trust a lowly Engineer to control Essential Power, so they had Boeing put the selector within reach of the boss.

      Jeff, on the switch orientation, what a couple former TWAyers that I flew with told us is that the switches were oriented switch UP = ON, switch Down = OFF, just like light switches work in your house. The landing light switches were the ones that most often caused issues...

      Mike

      "Looks like I picked the wrong week to quit sniffing glue!"

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      Post #73286, posted on 09-10-2019 GMT-5 hours    
      Hey everybody!

      This is great stuff. Thanks Jeff for the great sidebar info (you always have cool stories!).
      Thanks 727flyer for the input as well....I love these interesting tidbits of behind-the-scenes workings.

      So...a follow-on question would be...if these 4 (I think) birds were flown by the operating carrier (dry lease)...what happened to the crews (approximately 12 complete crews) when the planes went to the other operator? For example, what happened to the National crews when the planes were sent to TW for the season?

      Keep the stories coming!

      And thanks for the info!!

      Braniff2
      MCI

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      Jeff Jarvis


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      Post #73317, posted on 09-14-2019 GMT-5 hours    
      Greetings!

      Well, that's a good question! My guess is that they had more vacation time allotted for the pilots to bid on during their more slack times of the year, vacation time being awarded in seniority order. As well, they probably did more recurrent training during those times, also usually being bid on in seniority order. Also, they might have put out system bids for fleet realigning so they could train crewmembers changing airplanes with less disruption in schedules.

      Airlines are pretty creative in how they plan manpower needs and shifts around their systems and domiciles and where they put the crews to cover their seasonal and growth routes.

      Regarding switches, yes, it was weird pulling them back to turn the landing lights on and pushing them forward for off. And, regarding the remark about the UK requiring dedicated crews for oddball cockpit layouts, etc., I agree with their assessment that it is safer to do it that way. Sometimes, it is a PITA to try finding something to test it when it is not where you expect it to be, such as the stall warning in a DC-8. The F/O and I looked for it for at least 2 or 3 minutes one morning, only to have the F/E test it when he returned from his walk around because it was back on his panel! This is so common with a few airplanes from each of many carriers making up a fleet of 50!

      As to what Mike said above, "Check Essential" was critical on the 707, 720 and 727 because essential power is selected by a switch that selects which generator will power those items that are essential for flight, such as lights in the cockpit, flight instruments, a VHF comm and NAV radio, etc., in other words the stuff you MUST have in the dark, clouds, etc.. You do not need galley power, cabin reading lights, etc., so that stuff is not powered by the essential bus. For a "Loss Of All Generators" in the Quick Reference Handbook (QRH) there will be a list of what you will have on Essential Power as a reference to avoid potentially fatal boo-boos, as well as advice to be sure you do not have an "All Engine Flame Out" causing the loss of all generators! Checking essential is necessary to be sure that the engine you lost or the generator that just failed is not the one selected for essential power. Not an issue on the DC-8 because it has a Preferential Circuit to power the AC Tie Bus at all times that ships power is selected with any generator available, and the preferential order is 2,3,1, and 4, and you parallel the generators by pushing a single parallel button. On the Boeings, you turn a tuning knob to adjust frequency on each generator and manually parallel each one to power the AC Tie Bus. Both systems work well, but I NEVER had a DC-8 generator become unparalleled in turbulence, but the 707 did it all the time. Oddly, the 727 did not. Don't ask me why!

      Regards,
      Jeff Jarvis

      PS: My cousin (USAF) was briefly with TWA and confirmed to me that TWA was a "Captain is God" type of company, and if you failed a checkride even once in any position, you were fired. That type of policy was confirmed to me by many furloughed TWA people I flew with at other airlines, but sometime in the 1980's, they changed the policy. My cousin quit TWA by choice and finished his career at Delta (from the Northeast Airlines merger) flying the L-1011 in 1994. He loved working at Delta, but was ready to retire at 60. He was, without any doubt, one of the nicest, most generous people I have ever known, and I greatly miss him. May he RIP.

      God's "Curse" to aviation!