Galley Gossip: SFO airline museum, LAX airline show & a request for photos!

Here are two different letters I recently received from two different guys named Ken concerning two different airline themed topics you may be interested in – the San Francisco airline museum and the airline show that is now on tour…


Thanks so much for your blog and Galley Gossip, I’m a regular reader! As a matter of fact I gave your blog info to a pilot I met today (through my regular course of work) who actually has flown with and knows Kent Wien (and his brother) but was unaware of Kent’s Cockpit Chronicles on Gadling, which is where I found your site. Since you have a mini airline museum perhaps I will email you a few things from my Pan Am collection some day that would be suitable for framing! Don’t worry, no pictures of me! If you ever get a long layover in SFO check out the Airport Museum in the non-secure part of the International terminal. It’s pretty impressive and free!

All the best and I will continue to read and enjoy your work.

Warmest regards,

Ken A.

Ken A.

Thank you for reading my blog! And thank you, thank you, thank you, for telling me about the San Francisco airport museum located in the international terminal. I went to the website and found myself amazed. The museum is so cool, in fact, that I don’t know how it is I’ve never heard of this museum.

“I told you about that museum!” my husband exclaimed when I mentioned it in passing.

I looked at him like he was crazy. “You did?”

“Don’t you remember when I told your friend Stephen he should donate a couple uniforms from his collection to the museum?”

“Oh yeah!” I exclaimed. As for Stephen, he’s a flight attendant who has an amazing collection of flight attendant memorabilia that may just rival any museum in the world.

Anyway, next time I find myself at the San Francisco airport I will definitely make the extra effort to visit the exhibits on display. I’m bummed that I missed Take Your Seat, A History of Passenger Airline Seats, as well as Cathay Pacific Airways, Six Decades of Service, but I do hope to catch Cabin Comforts: Photographs of Airliner Interiors, which will be running until May 2009. And to think something so amazing is actually free!

Like you mentioned above, Ken, most airline enthusiasts have a mini airline museum of their own. I’d love to see your Pan Am collection. As you already know, I have my own collection of anything and everything airline related located in my guestroom closet. Gadling writer and pilot Kent Wien apparently has a pretty big collection, too, and my guess is a lot of his memorabilia has his name on it due to the fact that Wien Air, which folded in 1985, was the second oldest airline in the United States. So what do you say we – me, you, Kent, Stephen, and anyone else who has a collection – take photographs of our personal airline museums and share them here on Gadling? I’ll create the gallery. All you have to do is take a photo, just one photo, and email it to me at the address posted below.

Thanks for writing, Ken!

Heather Poole


I just thought I’d let you know, that the airline memorabilia show will be held Sat. Jan.24th 9:00a-3:00p. It will be at the Hacienda Hotel on Sepulveda just south of LAX. I know you’re in NYC this month on reserve but i thought I’d let you know just the same. Hope you make it through reserve!!! UGH!!! Keep well. Fly Safe!!!!

Ken J.

Ken J.

Thank you for the reminder. I’ve been meaning to check out that airline show for two years now. After five scheduled days off, I’ll be on-call in New York on the 25th, so I’ll be commuting from Los Angeles to New York on the day of the show. Just my luck. But I did go to the website and saw that the show will be in New York at the LGA Marriott hotel on March 21st, so perhaps I’ll catch it then. Are you going to the show in Los Angeles? If so, let me know what it’s like, and more importantly, what is sold, because as you know I’m interested in anything with a flight attendant theme that I can add to my own airline museum, the one I will be photographing for the gallery I mentioned above. My husband recently boxed up my museum and put it in storage while I was away from home on a layover. Hey, that’s okay, just means I have more room for more stuff! Thanks again for the reminder.

Happy travels,

Heather Poole

Email photos to

All photos courtesy of Telstar Logistics –

Cockpit Chronicles: Miami Closed? You’re pulling my leg!

Occasionally international pilots at our company will fly domestic trips, and a Miami turn I had on my schedule last week is a good example of that. Fly down and an hour later, come back to Boston. When you live somewhat close to the airport, these trips are a great way to avoid being away from home so much.

It would also give me a chance to fly with a domestic captain, Frank, who I had never flown with before. This can be good or bad, since you have no idea what kind of personality you’ll be sitting next to for the next 7 hours. Most captains I’ve flown with can be grouped into five different personalities:

The quiet type – who manages a few words an hour.

The thinker– who engages you with conversation about the industry or politics and keeps you pondering the future, asking questions like, “Do you think people are genetically predisposed to favor monarchies over democracies?”

The grump– who can’t come up with anything positive to say about the day.

The comedian– who keeps you smiling for the entire trip.


The control freak– who makes sure that his method of flying becomes YOUR method of flying.

Fortunately in our base we have very few grumps or control freaks. I’m not sure if that ratio holds up at the other bases or not.

For this one-day trip to Miami, I really lucked out. Captain Frank is a comedian. There wasn’t anything subtle about his sense of humor, as this example shows:

Often a captain will turn to ask at some point in the preflight what leg a co-pilot prefers. That is to say, which leg of a flight would they wold like to fly the aircraft while the other pilot talks on the radio. Once this is decided at the beginning of a trip, we usually trade off the flying duties for the rest of the legs. The decision as to who starts off is really up to the captain — as is the choice of meals — but if the he has no preference he may defer the choice to the co-pilot. Frank’s method of asking this question is by pulling out a plastic leg from what I presume was a very chubby doll and saying, “Whose leg is this?” with a puzzled look.

I couldn’t think of a better way to start off a trip than this. It tends to break the ice and makes for a fun day. And a fun day we had.

Halfway into the flight, I was coming back to the cockpit after using the restroom when Frank announced, “The Miami Airport is closed.”

“Yeah, Right.” That Frank is pretty funny, I thought.

“No, it really is. It’s completely fogged in,” he said, pointing to the ATIS (the current airport weather report) that we can print up inflight.

Sure enough, Miami was socked in. The second picture above shows the visibility in feet at the touchdown, midfield and roll out areas on each runway. We commented on how rare of an event this was, since neither of us had actually seen fog in Miami in our careers. It’s so rare, in fact, that the Miami airport doesn’t have an approach system called a CAT III ILS which would allow us to land by using the airplane’s autopilot down to visibilities as low as 500 feet.

So we had to enter yet another holding pattern just abeam Fort Lauderdale while we waited for the fog to clear. Fortunately we had plenty of fuel and we could literally see the FLL airport next to us, which was clear.

We did some quick calculations to figure that we could hold for more than 50 minutes given our current fuel before we would be burning into the reserve needed to go to our furthest alternate airport, fly the approach and still have 45 minutes to play with.

The next calculation was if this extra flight time was going to cause me to exceed 30 hours of flight time in 7 days, which would cause me to lose the three day London trip scheduled the next day. I might have been able to find another trip to pick up, but I had already made plans for the long layover in England. It took just a little bit of adding to discover that I wasn’t going to lose any flying the next day.

The Miami airport opened up after thirty minutes. By the time it was our turn to land, the fog had completely lifted and we were sure that passengers would question the reason for the late arrival. While that wasn’t the case, we did have a couple of people complain, one even saying, “I refuse to say thanks since you got us here late.”

I couldn’t help thinking that we could have certainly got him on the ground on time, only it would have been at the Fort Lauderdale airport.

After this trip, I’ve added Frank to my list of captains that I’ll go out of my way to fly with. Thanks, Frank, for making the day such a pleasure. And thanks to the passengers who understand that we don’t really have much control over the weather.

Cockpit Chronicles takes you along on each of Kent’s trips as a co-pilot on the Boeing 757 and 767 out of Boston.