Straight & Level 3 December 2013

Pan Am Amigos meet up in Miami
Almost exactly 22 years after its winding up, Pan Am continues to evoke more nostalgia than any other former airline, thanks in large part to the film Catch Me If You Can and a recent US drama series.
On 7 December, former employees of the airline will gather in their old HQ and the only building that still sports its name and the famous blue logo.
Pan Am Day will take place at Pan Am International Flight Academy in Miami, the surviving training division of the carrier, now owned by All Nippon Airlines, and is being hosted by the organisation for former staff, Pan Amigo.
Its president Mary Diorio says the former employees are “still very connected and loyal to each other, with a great sense of pride having worked for what many still consider the world’s greatest airline”.
The training centre, next to the city’s international airport, has a Pan Am memorabilia shop offering flight bags, aircraft models, uniforms and other memorabilia. Having visited it last year, we can thoroughly recommend it.

All Boeing wrong
Red-faces at the Washington Aerospace Partnership, an organisation which lobbies for Boeing and its suppliers in the US state. An ad from the group in the Seattle Times aimed at encouraging politicians to pass an incentive scheme to protect aerospace jobs in the state, used an airliner as its main image.
Trouble is, the airliner in question was not a product of Seattle, but an Airbus A319. The future of Washington’s aerospace industry – building bits for Airbus?

Future of Washington

Not light work
No one who travels through Heathrow’s Terminal 5 can fail to be impressed by its architectural splendour. The problem is, the building is getting darker. Designers forgot to come up with a way to change any of the 120,000 light bulbs on its 40m (130ft) high ceilings – and 60% of them have blown.
Various attempts to replace them, using gondolas and cherry pickers, failed the health and safety test. But then someone had a lightbulb moment. Vertigo-proof engineers, working on high-level ropes, circus style, will be enlisted to replace them. Just don’t ask how many will be required.

Changing guards
Harvey Smith lives in Moscow and recently booked an EasyJet flight to London. He received an email from the airline with a picture of a red-coated sentry on guard duty.
Hang on though. He “noticed that the gun was not a British SA80”. Neither was it “Windsor Castle, Buckingham Palace or Horseguards Parade”. Instead – as a quick check of a tourism site confirmed – the typical London scene was of a Canadian soldier at the Citadelle in Quebec City.


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