With Eastern Airlines...
"The origin of the call sign Air Force One became newsworthy this past March when a restored Lockheed Constellation took flight for the first time in more than a decade. The aircraft’s given name is Columbine II, but it was also the first presidential aircraft to be called Air Force One."
Air Force 8619: "Washington Center this is Air Force 8610 (eight six one zero). We’re at 19,000 feet and descending to an assigned altitude of 15,000 feet. We’re about 15 miles from the Richmond VOR and landing at Andrews Air Force Base. We have the President of the United States on board."
ATC: "Roger Air Force 8610, let me know when you are level at One Five Thousand and crossing the Richmond VOR. Be aware that there is an Eastern Airlines Flight 8610 about to come up to my frequency."
Air Force 8619: "Roger, Center. Air Force 8610. We’ll give you level at 15,000 and crossing the VOR."
Eastern 8610: "Hey, Washington Center. This is Eastern 8610 checking in with you at One Niner Thousand about 25 miles from the Richmond VOR. Were you trying to call us? We heard our flight number as we were checking in. Hope we didn’t miss anything."
ATC: "Eastern 8610, I have you in radar contact. Please confirm your altitude at 19,000. And we have an Air Force C-121 ahead of you landing at Andrews. His call number is Air Force 8610. That’s what you heard."
Eastern 8610: "OK, we copy that and we’re at nineteen thousand and looking for a lower altitude. We’re landing at Washington National. We’ll stay out of his way."
ATC: Be right back with you Eastern……..Air Force 8610, there is an Eastern 8610 on my frequency at 19,000 feet. Confirm your type aircraft, altitude and position.
Air Force 8610: "Washington Center, we’re a Lockheed Constellation C-121A aircraft level at 15 Thousand and just crossing the Richmond VOR."
"A Secret Service agent on the plane noted the confusion and thought the president’s plane should have a unique call sign. The agent later arranged a meeting at then-Washington National Airport that included William Draper, Aircraft Commander of Air Force 8610, and officials from the Civil Aviation Authority (the FAA’s precursor), Air Force, Secret Service and the White House."
The History of Columbine II
If you want to learn more
Join your Eastern Airlines Crew
on the EAL Radio Show
December 11, 2017
7 pm EDT
Where you can either listen or talk
Or log on to listen at
Captain Neal Holland ♦ Jim Hart
*Captain Steve Thompson *Chuck Allbright * Linda Fuller
*Captain George Jehn*Dorothy Gagnon*Don Gagnon
Will be your hosts!
Enjoy the Journey!