Wednesday, August 25, 2010
A trip to France and later to England 1973
The company was downsized from over 200 employees to less than 60. Also they hired a few new people to improve the marketing of the J-2. Bill Poremba was first to come on board and he had decided to look into the international market, to see if the foreign buyers were interested in our aircraft. The 1973 Paris airshow was coming up and this would be a big undertaking to transport two aircraft to France. At first I was not included in the initial group that was going over, but I was told to apply for a passport. Later on I got the word to pack my bags and to pickup a ticket at the TWA ticket counter. The flight departed Los Angeles to New York and then on to London with a brief stop and finally on to Paris. We departed LAX in the afternoon and it seemed like I had been on the airplane nearly 12 or 15 hours. I know after I cleared customs and caught a cab to the hotel where everyone was staying, it was sometime in the morning. Most of our people were in the dining room having breakfast. I met with Fred McLane where he informed me that I would have a flight demonstration around noon that day. I was drop dead tired and suffering from jet lag. I begged off for a few hours of sleep, I did not have a clue about how it was going to be flying out of the Le Bourget airport. I guess if Charles Lindbergh did it 46 years earlier with very little sleep, I could manage too. It just would have been nice to get a briefing from one of the local pilots and a few more hours of sleep. The Paris airshow is a big deal. I had never been to this event and I was looking forward to seeing some of the new flying hardware from around the country.