I was connected with Dominican aviation for years and also operated my own airplanes as Santo Domingo de aviacion with a DC-7C and a Curtiss C-46 T-Cat which I changed for a DC-4. I am an experienced Connie pilot as well and Quisqueyana asked me if I wanted to fly the Connies but I lived in Miami and commuted to fly to Europe on the 707, but I would not move permanently to SDQ. The pay for flying the Connie was quite low also, so I only got to fly them a few times, my thing was the 707.
Boeing 707-320 N731JP
Boeing 707-320 (Non-fan) N731JP another of Jet Power's 707s (Halwany) operating for Quisqueyana, this is one of the first 707s that I flew. Picture on the left is at FCO Fiumicino "Leonardo de Vinci" Airport in Rome, Italy which we visited often and the other is at Miami International's NW Corner ("Corrosion Corner") We can write book about crossing the Atlantic on that 707, from Santo Domingo to Madrid which was a scheduled run...never ending adventures
My first flight for Quisqueyana was out of Rome believe or not. I got hired right out of the Pan Am simulator and before it was my time to go on the line I had to fly urgent to Rome to cover for a sick copilot. My new uniform was still at the tailors (Tally Ho at MIA) And I had to leave Miami that same evening on a flight to LHR...It was a lot of fun, I wrote an article about that first flight... From, Rome the plane flew to Madrid, Santo Domingo and Miami... always full... 186 seats.
A -32 (non-fan) bulk freighter
This is the first DC-8 that I owned. It was back in 1977. I already had a Convair 880 bulk freighter working hauling beef to Venezuela. The contract was expanded, so I leased this 8 from my former boss, Badr Halwani (Jet Power) in MIA. He wanted to get rid of it, so I leased purchased it. It was a -32 (non-fan) bulk freighter but it was ok to haul beef around the Caribbean. It was plagued by problems from day number one...On our first flight, we landed in San Jose, Costa Rica without hydraulics and used emergency brakes with the result of blowing out all eight mains and with the wheels on fire, we turned out of the runway on the last minute, before the 200 foot drop at the end of the runway in a manoeuvre not unlike the one in the movie "airport." I had more emergencies in that airplane that in all other airplanes ever combined! We called it the "Sim". Once we had FIVE emergencies on a single flight from Miami to Santiago which took us three days, after one emergency return to Miami ( and landing ?overweight-what fuel dumping? What is that? ) and a RON stay in Cali, Colombia. But gave me the experience to fly the 8, all the models that I flew, mostly straight pipes, 21, 32, 33, 34, 42 etc. and the good ones 54, 55 and 62 (i never flew the stretched ones)
Old N7182C now N995WL parked by the fence at the old “corrosion corner" at MIA. Notice the new paint. I had the colors of the Uruguayan flag painted as we had plans to take the airplane down there but things didn't work out and the plane stayed in Miami for a while longer before going on to Mexico and then Venezuela. Those JT4A-12 really rocked, a fuel hog but Jet fuel was $0.35 a gallon in most places and we got it really cheap in Venezuela. Since we returned empty (it didn't pay to stop in Santo Domingo to pick up tomatoes) we tanked in Venezuela where fuel was around $0.06 or $0.07 a Gallon (U.S. Dollars) — at Miami International Airport.
My crews for N7182C where Ernie Trapaga (ex-Panama Sr. Captain, a great pilot, and a very colorful quite particular guy...came to the airport riding a bike on full uniform and with his luggage strapped to the handle bars...) Bobby Brush (another very colorful guy and one of the best pilots I knew, he was just a little older than me, in his early 30s in 78, died young) Sometimes we would use Mike Murciano, another great guy. Those were the captains, Wyatt Fuller (a real good pilot, who went on to become a millionaire and collect war airplanes -he got kill on his F-86) and I were the copilots. The almost permanent flight engineer was Al De Angelis, another real good friend and a great guy... Sadly Murciano and Al De Angelis died on a cargo DC-8 crash in Iquitos Peru back in 80…
Below some info from the net of Mr. Charles Lindberg his fellow aviators and friends and what has become of them:
Badr Halwany info:
A point of interest is that NWAC was formed by Badr Halwany (along with a Mr & Mrs Samaha) in 1974. Halwany was also president of Jet Power, famed clapped-out Boeing 707 and DC-8 operator based in Miami in the 1970s. Jet Power's sphere of operations covered Latin America as well as the Middle East and Indian sub-continent.
Ernie Trapaga info:
CAIRO, EGYPT CAIRO, Egypt (AP) - A Nigerian cargo plane loaded with cows, a limousine and tons of other goods crashed on takeoff from Cairo International Airport today, killing all four crewmen, including an American, officials said.
The DC-8 was chartered by the Egyptian air transport company ZAS and was bound for Sharjah, one of the seven emirates of the United Arab Emirates. Ahmed Salem, operations chief of ZAS, told The Associated Press the plane crashed on desert terrain just beyond the runway at 4:10 a.m.
Salem said the American pilot and three Nigerian crew members were killed. A spokesman for ARAX, the Nigerian firm that owned the plane, identified the pilot as Ernie Trapaga but didn't know his age, hometown, or how long he had been with the company.
Salem identified the American only as Trapanga and said he didn't know his first name. It wasn't known which spelling of the name was correct. Egypt's state-owned Middle East News Agency said he was an American of Spanish origin.
The ARAX spokesman, at the company's London office, identified two of the Nigerians as Tony Thomas and Patrick Adjaye. The third was identified only by his last name, Oladunni. Neither the spokesman nor Salem had Oladunni's first name.
The news agency quoted control tower officials as saying the plane caught fire in the air. The agency said the pilot needed two tries to get the plane into the air.
The first time, he sped down the runway but failed to become airborne.
The second time, ''the plane caught fire as it was about 50 yards above the ground and crashed in the desert area around the airport,'' the agency said.
Airport officials said the aircraft's 28 tons of cargo included 50 cows and a Mercedes Benz limousine.
Salem said the plane was a replacement for a DC-8 that slid off a runway Wednesday in Denmark while en route to Cairo to pick up the cargo. That plane was seriously damaged, and ARAX dispatched another plane, with a different crew, to Egypt, Salem said.
Mike Murciano and Al de Angelis info:
Polair DC-8-33F N715UA crashed into the jungle on approach Iquitos airport, Peru on Sept. 12, 1980. Flight operated for Aeronaves del Peru on a cargo flight from Lima to Iquitos.
Wyatt Fuller info:
At age 19, a close friend of Wyatt's took him flying for the first time in a Piper Colt. He was smitten by the bug and immersed himself so completely in learning and acquiring new ratings that in just a few short months, he was helping the same friend who introduced him to flying, train for his advanced ratings while acting as his safety pilot.
His flying career took him to Learjets next, then on to a surplus Curtiss C-46 and on to Beechcraft 99s for Air South, where he amassed over 4,000 hours flying time the "weedeaters" before landing a job with Airlift International flying DC-8s out of Miami. The heavy jet experience got him in the door with Braniff Airlines where he ended up staying until they began furloughing pilots due to financial problems.
While furloughed with Braniff, Wyatt flew classified military freight in Lockheed Electras on what was referred to as Log Air. The game was to constantly keep the Air Force's missile guidance system on the move to confuse the Soviets.
In 1982, Wyatt had a chance to hire on with start-up Northeastern Airlines as captain of their sole aircraft - also a DC-8. By 1986, the airline was in trouble and Wyatt was furloughed for the last time, by his own choosing.
The years 1995 through 2006 saw Wyatt work with Harley Davidson as their design and concept consultant in a number of areas. It was a period of accomplishments and successes of which Wyatt was rightfully proud. And, after a long hiatus from aircraft, Wyatt took up flying again in 1998 buying his first airplane, a Cessna 421, followed by a King Air 100 and then, in 2000, with the acquisition of a T-6G, Flying Fossils LLC, was born. The company acquired an L-39 and, in 2003 Wyatt's pride and joy, the F-86E. The last aircraft to join the Flying Fossils stable was a T-33 Silverstar, acquired in 2005.
Wyatt Fuller was one of those rare individuals who could truly say loved what he did professionally and personally. Years of flying and building custom motorcycles led him down the road of restoring classic military aircraft and sharing them with all whom are able to get out to the flight line at one of the many airshows the Flying Fossils are scheduled to appear."
Wyatt died during a crash of the F-86 on July 27, 2006.
Bobby Brush info:
Moreover, Bobby Brush - who'd been Steve Quinto's DC-8 Captain in AirFreighter operations and also a prior owner/operator of similar aircraft L-1049, CV-880 etc - was both available and interested in helping Steve Quinto with starting Northeastern Airlines DC-8 operations.
N731JP history file: PanAm N729PA 1960/1971 THY TC-JAM 1971/1974 Greyfin Nassau TC-JAM 1974 Jet Power Inc. N729JP 1975 Jet Power Inc. N731JP 1975 Aerovias Quisqueyanas N731JP 1976 Jet Power Inc. N731JP 1976 MCA Leasing Corp. N427MA 1978 Trans Panama N427MA 1978/1979 Air Express N427MA 1979/1980 Jet Power Inc. N731JP 1980 Scrapped Miami 1983 Photo: Bob Garrard
N7182C history file: Northwest Airlines N802US 1960/1963 National Airlines N7182C 1963/1973 Pan Aero Int. Corp. N7182C 1973/1974 Kuwait Airways N7182C 1974 Jet Power Inc. N7182C 1974/1977 Worldwide Air Leases N7182C 1977 /1979 Worldwide Air Leses N995WL 1979 Aero Leon Cargo Mexico 1979 Worldwide Air Leases N995WL 1979/1981 Interamericana Carga Venezuela YV-392C 1981 Scrapped Caracas 1989