Contract Airline Services

"We are the protagonists of our stories called life, and there is no limit to how high we can fly."

Type rated on A330, B747-400, B747, B757, B767, B737, B727. International Airline Pilot / Author / Speaker. Dedicated to giving the gift of wings to anyone following their dreams. Supporting Aviation Safety through training, writing, and inspiration.

Friday, May 22, 2015

Captain Dixie

Fridays Fabulous Flyer

Who Was Captain Dixie?  

This story came to me from a reader. A bit of editing prevailed to keep the name of the airline out of the picture for self preservation. But I loved the story. And this was the essence of the good ole days of airline flying when those boys had a whole lot of fun doing a job they loved. Play the video above and listen to the music as you continue to read.

"When I was a kid in Knoxville in the 60's, one of my favorite Christmas gifts was a VHF portable radio.. we had "all kinds" of traffic in those days, around 13-15 airliners a day, including the first French Caravelles in the US by United Airlines. Piedmont was a big player, but another Air Line of the South was the big player, too. Capital Airlines also flew to DC of course and Southern Airlines was our choice for two engine Martin 404 transportation.

So I listened to all these guys coming in and out of Knoxville; one that worked for the big Air Line of the South... when the DC-7's first flew there was called "Captain Dixie" by ATC. Why? He played Dixie on a harmonica during his initial transmission to Departure or Approach. It don't get no better does it... Air Line Captain Dixie coming in from Atlanta on long final..."


 Enjoy the Journey!
XO Karlene


  1. Oh, such fun and thanks for sharing this, Karlene. Southern Airlines and a Martin 404? Done that, probably between Tupelo MS and Atlanta. Mid-to-late 70s and probably my only trips (save one DC-3 ride) on a radial twin. Cockpit, not just open, but No Door, open avionics racks, luggage racks and seats 1-1 or 1-2. Part way to Atlanta I remarked to the FA that there was a LOT of oil coming from the right engine. Her response: "Oh, we know. We fill it up every time we stop." Those were the days when pilots flew and most pax enjoyed it. (Also the days of the 4-radial trans-con airline with about the same number of seats as today's smaller RJs.) Personally, I miss that kind of flying, but today no airline could survive that business model. -Craig
    (Of Cedarglen. Still cannot make the commenter ID thing work properly, but will try something else.)

    1. Thanks for the comment Craig! Sad to see those good ole days go. I'm listening to the music as I write, and thinking of my good ole days myself. Ahhh...when men carried their bags, flew their planes, and laughed often. One night coming out of Terre Haute I was on a Kalitta bird and they were planning on departing without one of the engines working. They had two others, what's the big deal? I decided to find another ride. But nothing made the news so all was well.
      Thanks again for the comment. Busy writing legal briefs this weekend and redesigning the A330 EFIS selection panel. :)


Thank you for your comment! If your comment doesn't appear immediately, it will after I land. Enjoy the journey!