Friday Fabulous Flyers
Kevin Brady has a career in airline and travel management, is writing a book on his travel adventures, and he had a travel blog, photos and videos too. I'm thinking he has some stories to share. I've been snooping on his blog and found a few things...
"I have been in six emergency landings in my life. I define "emergency landing" as a time when fire trucks, ambulances and police cars line the runway, Air Traffic Control has been notified, all airspace is cleared, and the pilot gives a reassuring platitude downplaying any danger - "everything will be fine." Pilots are usually very good at this, but we travelers know better. It's not unlike a Doctor saying, "well, we have some problems here, but don't worry." I like the way the doctor says "we." Emergency landings are so uncommon today that it usually makes the evening news. They were not so unusual in the past, when I was flying frequently."
But Kevin did not reach out to shout about himself. He wanted to share the story of his father, who has an amazing history in aviation."
"We are an aviation family -
My father learned on the Stearman,
flew the B29 in WW2,
|John Brady in B29|
started with Eastern Airlines on the DC-3,
and flew every plane they had
except the Electra,
retiring in 1980 on the L-1011."
|Captain Brady in L1011|
Unfortunately Kevin couldn't fly due to an eyesight limitation but he ended up working in sales for National Airlines and PanAm, then managing travel for Merrill Lynch for 20 years, and has had the opportunity to fly all over the world.
|Keven and traveling partner in front of PanAm B747|
"I've flown on 60 different airlines.
I've only been on about 1,845 flights in my life."
1845 flight and six crashes. I would say that's pretty good not being a pilot. He's also flown a Cessna and flew about 10 minutes on the 727 and and L-1011 during checkrides. But, back to his father ...
Kevin says his father is nearing completion of his 97th year on earth, and he has many great old-time aviation stories. Thankfully Kevin is writing down these stories, and recording some as his father reminisces about the good old days. I'm looking forward to reading them.
|John Brady Reminiscing|
Twice John took over for captains who lost control, he landed a prop plane with the right wing landing gear up, he even knew a captain for Eastern who wore a parachute while he flew, after an Electra had a wing separation. Kevin says, "EAL management frowned on their pilots wearing parachutes."
Captain John Brady had an un-contained engine explosion on L-1011 out of Atlanta on a hot summer day headed to SJU (San Juan). He also flew with a captain that got completely lost. He has many more stories and I'm looking forward to reading them all.
|Captain Brody's Grandson|
The pilot with eyes that tell many stories...
97 and living strong!
Kevin has a model collection you wouldn't believe, and says, "all of planes I have flown on with the exact livery, and a video of a Concorde flight I took from start to finish. I also have a video of the inaugural CO EWR-HKG flight, which I was told was the first twin engine plane to fly over the north pole (B777)"
You'll have to check out Kevin's
The stories are amazing...
"It was a regular day in March, on a milk run shuttle flight from Newark to Boston, Eastern Airlines flight 1320. At the controls was Captain Bob Wilber, a good friend of my father’s, a fellow Eastern pilot who visited us often to play golf. Many years later, his arms still show two large scars from his hands to his elbows, a lasting reminder of multiple gunshot wounds he survived.
Normally, gunshot wounds to the arms would not put you in grave danger. Not unless you happen to be the captain of a commercial flight at 5,000 feet altitude after your co-pilot was mortally wounded and a hijacker was in the cockpit with a gun intent on killing you and crashing your airplane. This was the situation Captain Wilber faced on St. Patrick’s Day, Tuesday, March 17, 1970.
John DiVivo boarded the flight at Newark Airport bound for Boston’s Logan airport, with 72 other passengers and a crew of five. Everything was normal until passing over Franklin, Ma. About 30 miles south of the airport. At that time passengers paid in flight for the shuttle and were guaranteed a seat, without a reservation. If more passengers showed up that the plane held, they would pull out another plane. When the flight attendant asked for the $15.75 one-way fare, DiVivo said he didn’t have it and pulled out a .38 caliber revolver. He demanded to be brought to the cockpit. Captain Wilber told the flight attendant to tell the passengers they were being diverted but everything would be fine. The pilots expected him to demand to be taken to Cuba “That was the destination of choice” said Wilber. This was long before the suicide hijackers of today. But DiVivo said “take me east.”
Enjoy the Journey