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Pam Am German Operation

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Pam Am German Operation

Old 13th Jul 2022, 02:04
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Pam Am German Operation

When Pam Am operated the internal B727 operation in Germany, how was it crewed?

Was it a secondment from the US, for the crew or was it German crewed?
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Old 13th Jul 2022, 04:26
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During the the mid1970's One of my school friends (in the UK) father was a Pan American Airways 727 First Officer, Berlin based on detachment from the States. The family rented a house and I believe the posting was for at least Two Years.



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Old 13th Jul 2022, 05:57
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Two pilots I knew were US citizens being based at Berlin and for more than two years if they wanted. Many cabin crews were german.
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Old 13th Jul 2022, 08:19
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I just checked my old records of my PA flights to Texel by PanAm 727 and 737s in 1982/1983 and see that of the four captains' names that I noted at the time two were clearly not Germanic but two were possibly German (which doesn't stop them being Americans!), so I wonder if there were indeed some German flight crews.
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Old 13th Jul 2022, 08:56
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Originally Posted by l.garey
I just checked my old records of my PA flights to Texel by PanAm 727 and 737s in 1982/1983 and see that of the four captains' names that I noted at the time two were clearly not Germanic but two were possibly German (which doesn't stop them being Americans!), so I wonder if there were indeed some German flight crews.
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NO.. PA and BEA rotated flight deck from home countries. I'm not sure that West German pilots were allowed to operate in the corridors. When did PA stop using THF and move to TXL?
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Old 13th Jul 2022, 10:13
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Originally Posted by bean
NO.. PA and BEA rotated flight deck from home countries. I'm not sure that West German pilots were allowed to operate in the corridors. When did PA stop using THF and move to TXL?
On 1 September 1975, according to this article. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Berlin_Tegel_Airport
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Old 17th Jul 2022, 09:33
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I think that BEA rotated BAC 111 crews on multi-day tours which would have included overnights in Germany. The BAC 111 crews may have been based outside London - I'm not certain.

Pan Am certainly had a crew base (read Robert Gandt's excellent Skygods for interesting anecdotes) but I think that most crews commuted from the U.S. for a couple of weeks at a time. Pilots & most mangement were U.S., most cabin crew & groundstaff were German.

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Old 17th Jul 2022, 10:53
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Panam had their own crew lounge in the city for its employees. It closed in the early1990s amd was rediscovered in 2005 and is now accessible to all. https://panam-lounge.de/en/pan-am-lounge-history/
The operation in the late 1980s also included ATR-42 and they used to struggle in the Winter weather due to icing.
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Old 17th Jul 2022, 12:11
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The ATR finally worked. I had a friend who flew for Express.
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Old 20th Jul 2022, 14:27
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BEA/BA crews either worked into Berlin or pax'd in for normally 6 day tours , inc. standby tours . Originally Viscounts then 111s [ MAN as well as LHR crews ], lastly 737s , up to 10 a/c . With up to 4 748s/ATPs . Glad to hear ATRs had ice probs , the ATP's let down was engine deicing gizmos .
The 2 Pan Am 727s trips I hitch hiked on were all US flight deck . Cabin crew on both not regulated as to nationality .
The only a/c and Flight crews who could operate in the corridors were US , UK , French , or Russian .
On ATPs a Danish pilot could not fly the corridors , and on 73s an accent was queried on the radio , and it's Aussie owner banned from Berlin .

rgds condor .
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Old 23rd Jul 2022, 23:43
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The corridor agreement was that only pilots who were nationals from the four powers could fly them, any aircraft type, commercial, private or military. As the Soviets did not use the corridors this meant just UK, USA and France. This applied to the end. It gave some issues for the likes of BEA who had various other nationals on the fleet. The Soviet ATC were very adept at picking up accents which sounded unlikely, or even those who did not speak by radio. Prominent UK TV entertainer Hughie Green, ex-WW2 RAF DC3 pilot, flew his own aircraft down the corridor, presumably expecting by his accent to be assumed American, but was picked up being Canadian, had to return by airline and get a pilot to fly his aircraft out.

Cabin crew were not part of this, and the corridor airlines, plus the various holiday charter operators who set up base there, typically ran with crews recruited locally in Berlin, who would do the bulk of passenger PAs, in German. UK holiday carriers like Dan-Air (particularly) and Monarch had longstanding cabin crew bases there.

In the last few years a competitive carrier called EuroBerlin emerged, an Air France-Lufthansa joint venture, which operated with leased Monarch 737s and UK national Monarch pilots.

My understanding was, in the jet era, that BEA/BA One-Eleven crews typically did one week details there, as described above, and Pan Am 727 crews did three month tours. The main Pan Am 727 base was at Miami, whence an equivalent fleet operated over the Caribbean (there were also a couple of Pan Am 727s in Vietnam/Thailand until 1975, operating military charters, likely done the same way). I don't know if Pan Am crews could do multiple three month tours in Berlin, one after the other. The 727s were periodically returned from their European base, which was Frankfurt, not Berlin, to Miami for major checks every few years, and could be seen at Prestwick etc occasionally ferrying to and fro. BA through-routed several flights a day from the One-Eleven's Manchester base to West German cities, and thence to Berlin, running the aircraft in a common pool, and did the same when twin turboprops came along.
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Old 24th Jul 2022, 06:15
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I knew a senior PA 727 captain (US citizen) who permanently lived in Berlin.
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Old 24th Jul 2022, 08:54
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Originally Posted by Less Hair
I knew a senior PA 727 captain (US citizen) who permanently lived in Berlin.
I understand and agree. Since IGS's were totally Berlin focussed. Perfect sense for expat crews to be based there for their tours and night stop aircraft ay outstations. Just what BEA did
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Old 24th Jul 2022, 10:29
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Originally Posted by bean
. Since IGS's were totally Berlin focussed.
Looking at Pan Am 727 schedules from the 1970s-80s it appears that Frankfurt contributed several early morning starts each day, unlike the other outstations with one, or none. Frankfurt was the 727s maintenance base in Europe. Furthermore, getting into the 1980s Pan Am started to develop quite a range of feeder flight 727s from Transatlantic 747s at Frankfurt to various other European secondary points. So my hunch would be there were crews based at both, and likewise there was a mixture of crew tenure, both 3-month visits from the USA and longer term residents. Would be likely that some had met partners while operating in Germany, and settled down there.

The corridor operations were rejigged around 1968, which dropped some, though not all, of the competitive element. Air France gave up, and pooled with BEA, the One-Elevens getting a revised bland livery with little mention of the airline name, just titled "Super One-Eleven". The two main carriers did a bit of route swapping on the low frequency destinations, and each had one main high-frequency trunk route from Berlin, Frankfurt for Pan Am and Hanover for BEA. This was co-ordinated by the West German authorities, who bankrolled the whole operation to an extent.

I was in Berlin two years ago, just before Lockdown, and having a few spare hours went out to look at Tempelhof. The classic late-30s era vast terminal building is still there, immaculately preserved on the outside, Didn't get inside, it seems to have dropped to some residual offices use. I last used it in the 1990s, Conti-Flug BAe146 from London City straight there. What a shame it didn't continue operations.
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Old 24th Jul 2022, 10:45
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English language guided tours are available:
https://www.thf-berlin.de/fuehrungen...uided-tours/#/
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Old 24th Jul 2022, 11:01
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Originally Posted by WHBM
Looking at Pan Am 727 schedules from the 1970s-80s it appears that Frankfurt contributed several early morning starts each day, unlike the other outstations with one, or none. Frankfurt was the 727s maintenance base in Europe. Furthermore, getting into the 1980s Pan Am started to develop quite a range of feeder flight 727s from Transatlantic 747s at Frankfurt to various other European secondary points. So my hunch would be there were crews based at both, and likewise there was a mixture of crew tenure, both 3-month visits from the USA and longer term residents. Would be likely that some had met partners while operating in Germany, and settled down there.

The corridor operations were rejigged around 1968, which dropped some, though not all, of the competitive element. Air France gave up, and pooled with BEA, the One-Elevens getting a revised bland livery with little mention of the airline name, just titled "Super One-Eleven". The two main carriers did a bit of route swapping on the low frequency destinations, and each had one main high-frequency trunk route from Berlin, Frankfurt for Pan Am and Hanover for BEA. This was co-ordinated by the West German authorities, who bankrolled the whole operation to an extent.

I was in Berlin two years ago, just before Lockdown, and having a few spare hours went out to look at Tempelhof. The classic late-30s era vast terminal building is still there, immaculately preserved on the outside, Didn't get inside, it seems to have dropped to some residual offices use. I last used it in the 1990s, Conti-Flug BAe146 from London City straight there. What a shame it didn't continue operations.
look at 1967 BEA summer timetable. 11 Viscounts in daily use including 5 night stoppers at outstations plus, no doubt a couple of spares at THF
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Old 24th Jul 2022, 12:06
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Originally Posted by bean
look at 1967 BEA summer timetable. 11 Viscounts in daily use including 5 night stoppers at outstations plus, no doubt a couple of spares at THF
This would have been at the time of most competition. BEA used Viscounts by the early 1960s, which gave them the edge over Pan Am who were still using reciprocating DC-6Bs, some quite new (and indeed still some unpressurised DC-4s). Pan Am then brought in the 727, which reversed things. BEA, to compete, then rejigged their fleet and came up with the "Viscount Silver Star", a sub-fleet specially for Berlin, with reduced seat numbers and better pitch (you might find this mentioned in the timetable), but realised this was short term, and looked to BAC for the forthcoming One-Eleven 500, first arrived I think in 1968.

The ATR-42s, mentioned above, which operated lesser Pan Am destinations in the latter days, were I believe operated by Ransome Airlines, a Pan Am Express feeder operator of the time at New York - they operated for various other major carriers as well, and they must have brought their own crews in. They competed with the BA minor routes which used 748s, and later ATPs, and also Dan-Air, who in their typical style of everything, everywhere, had started a couple of 748 short-haul routes. I seem to recall the Pan Am/Ransome ATRs from Berlin even got as far afield as Zurich.

Last edited by WHBM; 24th Jul 2022 at 12:18.
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Old 24th Jul 2022, 20:31
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The one-eleven titling was due to a code share with Air France on German routes.
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Old 25th Jul 2022, 03:48
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Pan Am also operated leased 737-200s in Germany for a spell during the 1980s. I don't know if the pilots were contractors or Pan Am employees.
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Old 30th Jul 2022, 12:16
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BEA also deployed Comet 4bs to match the Panam 727s - again with London-based crews on tours. I also managed a couple of Trident 3b trips before Templehof closed..


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