... from The Flight Deck
m e m o i r s
f r o m  m y  l o g b o o k
by John L ange
We are intensly grateful John L ange and World Airnews for the stories reproduced below, with permission. We know you will enjoy reading about his experiences on practically every SAA type from the 1950's to the 1990's. John's depth of experience and writing skills are a tribute to South Africa, its culture and its aviation history. This rich archive of stories brings us back onto the  South African flight decks of yesteryear ... All stories below are copyrighted by John L ange and World Airnews.
AIR MISS – CLOSER TO DEATH 
by John L ange
John reports as Captain of an SAA/SAL 747 on a near miss with a Lufthansa 747 in Spanish airspace in 1982 that came closer to total calamity than anyone would like to imagine in a lifetime in aviation.
Okavango Via The Milk Run by John L ange

... way back in 1957 that is, I had the good fortune to fly as a first officer on the old “Gooney Birds”, more commonly known as Dakotas or DC-3s, on one of the most fascinating routes anyone could wish to fly.

Powder in the Sky by John L ange
 "... the mostsuperb exhibition of flying skill and crew cooperation that I had ever witnessed..." 
A  SAA  707 crew deal put their skills to the test
THE AUTO FLIGHT SYNDROME by John L agne
John examinnes the gradual  automation of flight and the advantages and dangers this poses
Celebrities remembered  by John L agne
Ava Gardner, Elizabth Taylor and Bridget Bardot are just some of the celebreties John met whilst flying for SAA.  But one meeting stands out above all ... on a 707, late at night across the Atlantic ocean and winging westwards towards JFK ...
NEW GIRLS AND GOONEY BIRDS by John L ange
Initiation tricks played on new air hostesses on local DC-3 routes in the South Africa of 
the 1950's bring back a laugh.
THREE BREEDS OF AVIATORS HAVE BECOME EXTINCT  by John L ange
The long lost world of the aviation navigator
THREE BREEDS OF AVIATORS HAVE BECOME EXTINCT  by John L ange
The long lost world of the aviation navigator
 FOG IN THE TOWER  by John L ange
John recalls a fascinating trip from Oudtshoorn to George, in South Africa's Cape Province 
in the 1950's aboard  a SAA  DC-3
CAPTAINS NOT SO COURAGEOUS Part 1
by John L ange
South African and other aviation disasters, especially the late 1960's
A NEAR ENCOUNTER WITH KILIMANJARO
"Stan had only one remaining option – climb like hell and hope!"  A human error leads to a close encounter with Africa's highest peak in a SAA  DC-4 on a Nairobi outbound in the 1950's. Co - pilot John L ange vividly recalls ...
CAPTAINS NOT SO COURAGEOUS Part 2
by John L ange
South African and other aviation disasters
Operation “Ompad” by John L ange
John recalls the dark days of having to fly around "the bulge" of Africa when South African flights were banned from just about every African country north of the Zambezi ... 
BIRDSTRIKE!    by John L ange
John recalls and examines the effects of being suddenly struck  by "vertebrates of the feathered variety" at takeoff speeds in various types.
FROM GIANT JUMB0 TO PUNY PIPER 
by John L ange
Flying a Piper Aztec after nigh
on ten years of flying nothing but 747's
JET STREAMS by John L ange
Two amazing tales in one article, one of a SAA 707 over the wastes of Australia early one Ocober 1973 morning with a tailwind that made for a supersonic trip, and of a dangerous incident on final approach to Rio de Janario in an SAA 707.
ICING-THE FIRST ENCOUNTER by John L ange

A somewhat sobering experience on a DC-3 flight from George to Cape Town in the 1950's


 



 
 
 

re-dispatch  by John L ange
What happens when your options and your fuel start to run out and you have difficult descisions to make in an airliner cockpit? An example from a 707 QC coming in over Lisbon in the early 1970's
 
How Low Can You Go by John L ange
A story of the SAA DC-4 in the 1950's 
- low and slow over Ancient Africa

 
 
 


 

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