It is passed from generation to generation
My grandfather is the one who got me interested in aviation. He started in 1928 for a little mail carrier that flew the mail in open-cockpit biplanes built by it’s owner — Harold Pitcairn. Mr. Pitcairn had to sell the airline part and choose to continue his quest for a safe, crash-survival airframe and that airline became known as Eastern Air Transport. After some Congressional interest in the mail contracts, and the purchase by Capt. Eddie, they became Eastern Air Lines. He retired as a Lead Mechanic in 1972.
The Circle is Complete
Out front of the Udvar-Hazy Annex of the NASM, there are panels where you can donate to the museum and honor someone. I did so in my grandfather’s name and the boys got to see their great-grandfather’s place in history.
I still have my grandfather’s application for his A&E license, back then airplanes had engines not powerplants. One of the questions listed is “types of airframes worked on”. Listed is the Pitcairn PA-5 Mailwing. Under engines he listed the Wright J-5, like the one hanging on this Mailwing. More specifically, he worked on this airplane hanging here when it flew the line under the hand of the likes of Captains Dick Merrill and Gene Brown.
When Captain Eddie donated this DC-3 to the NASM, it was the highest time -3 in the world. She has since been surpassed by another PBA (when that airline was in existance) bird that possibly still flies today. My grandfather’s name is in her maintenance records too.
Wish he was here
My grandfather never got to see me fly, much less know his great-grandchildren. Wish they could have talked to him.
“Ish” Cauthorn at RIC circa 1946.