Jetrader - May/June 2012 - 23
Fred Bearden CEO, Aircraft Information Services, Inc.
I met Bill when we served together at Pan Am through the late ‘60s and ‘70s— some of that airline’s best years. We shared a few adventures, like the ﬁrst re-certiﬁcation of a Boeing 747 back onto U.S. registry. It was a Trans Mediterranean Airways 747 cargo aircraft, the one that overran the runway in Athens, broke its back and was repaired by Boeing. Pan Am later bought the aircraft from TMA, and we sent a crack crew of pilots, mechanics and inspectors over to Beirut to accept the aircraft, get it recertiﬁed, and bring it back to the states. Bill handled the ﬁnancials; I was the troubleshooter. It was a sporty time in Beirut then; our hotel’s front face was stitched with machinegun ﬁre several times, and we passed through ﬁve trigger-happy Arab checkpoints every day to and from the airport. TMA did not at that time have a very good understanding of Western principles of aircraft maintenance and record-keeping, to say the least, so I became the translator. It was the ﬁrst time for us, and also the ﬁrst time for the FAA representatives, who were scared witless. We learned a valuable lesson there: You do not want to be the ﬁrst to go through a complex technical certiﬁcation exercise with our FAA. We ﬁnally got the job done and ﬂew the aircraft away. Earl Brown, our chief pilot at the time, said that aircraft ﬂew better than any of ours.
asked, “What’s another bloody limey doing here?” He had been the only one up until I was hired; he then proceeded to say, “Why is your tin cracking around my engine?” We became good friends, and in 1963 he and Lucie purchased a house next to our summer place in Miller Place on the north shore of Long Island where we spent many fun weekends. I left Pan Am in 1965 and Bill went to Zaire soon after that. We stayed in touch and when we were back in the U.K. for a couple of years before moving to California, he came and stayed with us. In the early 1970s, Bill was in Kinshasa working with Air Zaire on a Technical Assistance Program for Pan Am. Mobutu Sese Seko, the president of Zaire, had a pet project to hatch ﬁsh up in the hills somewhere inland and had invited the heads of state of various African countries to come to the opening ceremony. Bill was responsible for ﬂying the visitors in Fokker F-27s from Kinshasa to the ﬁsh hatchery, which had an unpaved runway. He had told Mobutu that only a propeller aircraft could land at the hatchery. The visiting heads of state all arrived in Kinshasa by various jet aircraft and were then transferred to the F-27s. Sometime during the afternoon, a Boeing 737-200 landed with Qaddaﬁ and
another leader from a North African country. It was equipped with a kit enabling it to land on gravel. I think it was a Boeing demonstrator ﬂight, and when Bill met the crew and told them they would have to wait for the next F-27 they said, “No problem we can land there.” So they proceeded to load the next group of VIPs on the 737 and take off for the ﬁsh hatchery. When Mobutu saw the 737 land, he ordered Bill arrested assuming Bill had arranged this to let Qaddaﬁ get one up on him. Bill spent the next 48 hours in a cell with guards with automatic weapons watching him. I assume it all ended OK because Bill laughed when he recounted the story. I have some other stories but they can only be recounted verbally in these politically correct days.
John Keitz President, BK Associates, Inc.
Bill and I founded and were partners in BK Associates, Inc. Bill was a very private person and although we never got as close as my colleagues that have all these stories to tell about their days at Pan Am, I do have one story to tell of how he had a positive inﬂuence on my life and for which I will always be thankful. After our ﬁrst year at BK Associates, we had done much better than we expected. I
Gil Speed President, Gil Speed & Associates, Inc.
I ﬁrst met Bill in 1959 at Pan Am. I had just been hired as a staff engineer working in the maintenance hangar at Idlewild (now JFK). Bill was already there working as an engineer on jet engines. One of my ﬁrst jobs was to investigate reasons for skin cracking on the DC-8 nacelles. The cowlings were sheet metal with stiffeners and were wrapped around the engines and secured by Hartwell toggle latches. The 707 didn’t appear to have the same problem. I was in Hangar 14 looking at the cracks in one of the doors and showing a mechanic how we could repair the cracked area when Bill came along. We introduced ourselves and Bill immediately
A group of former Pan Am employees meet up at the 1991 ISTAT Conferences in Newport Beach, Calif. (l-r) Anders Folkedal, Bill Bath, Fred Bearden, Gil Speed, Larry Crawford, Tom Seery and Paul Hannuk.
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Jetrader - May/June 2012
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Jetrader - May/June 2012
A Message from the President
Q&A: Nicholas E. Calio, Airlines for America
Forecast at ISTAT Americas 2012 Beckons Bright Year Ahead
Fans, Financiers Fancy the Dreamliner on its ‘Dream Tour’
What’s Ahead for the Freighter Conversion Market?
The International Appraiser’s Program
Remembering Bill Bath
Jetrader - May/June 2012 - cover1
Jetrader - May/June 2012 - cover2
Jetrader - May/June 2012 - A Message from the President
Jetrader - May/June 2012 - 4
Jetrader - May/June 2012 - 5
Jetrader - May/June 2012 - Calendar/News
Jetrader - May/June 2012 - Q&A: Nicholas E. Calio, Airlines for America
Jetrader - May/June 2012 - 8
Jetrader - May/June 2012 - Forecast at ISTAT Americas 2012 Beckons Bright Year Ahead
Jetrader - May/June 2012 - 10
Jetrader - May/June 2012 - 11
Jetrader - May/June 2012 - 12
Jetrader - May/June 2012 - 13
Jetrader - May/June 2012 - Fans, Financiers Fancy the Dreamliner on its ‘Dream Tour’
Jetrader - May/June 2012 - 15
Jetrader - May/June 2012 - What’s Ahead for the Freighter Conversion Market?
Jetrader - May/June 2012 - 17
Jetrader - May/June 2012 - 18
Jetrader - May/June 2012 - Aircraft Appraisals
Jetrader - May/June 2012 - 20
Jetrader - May/June 2012 - The International Appraiser’s Program
Jetrader - May/June 2012 - Remembering Bill Bath
Jetrader - May/June 2012 - 23
Jetrader - May/June 2012 - 24
Jetrader - May/June 2012 - 25
Jetrader - May/June 2012 - Advertiser.com/Advertiser Index
Jetrader - May/June 2012 - cover3
Jetrader - May/June 2012 - cover4