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ONA stories by Al Quack
My ONA and Other Airline
Experiences by Al Quack


San Francisco and
Golden Gate Bridge


Al at San Francisco
Golden Gate Bridge


Golden Gate




San Francisco 1967




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AROUND THE WORLD WITH ONA
Al Quack tells about his ONA flights
which took him twice around the globe.
Al is another ONA globetrotter!

I bid and was awarded the DC-8 class and started 
to ground school on September 3, 1968 at ONA JFK, 
NY facility. We used National Airlines DC-8 
simulator in Miami. Check Captains were: Bill 
Carson and Don Teeslink and Check Flt. Engineers 
Dave McCloy, Dick Halberslaben and Dick Howard. 

After I got all checked out in the DC-8 aircraft, 
I flew many trips to Europe and the Pacific, during 
my eleven years employment. 

My first Round the World flight of eight days started 
on April 17, 1969 from JFK, NY, ferry to McGuire AFB, 
NJ, fly to Anchorage, Alaska, fly to Tokyo, Japan, 
fly to Cam Ranh Bay, Vietnam, ferry to Bombay, India, 
ferry to Rome, Italy, ferry to Amsterdam, Holland, 
then dead head to Copenhagen, Denmark, then fly to 
JFK, NY on April 24, 1969. The Capt. was Frank Kleczek 
and Co-Pilot Carroll Jones. Out of Tokyo the Capt. was 
Bill Hobbs, Co-Pilot Chuck Reuter and Nav. R. Frittier.

My second Round the World flight was also one of my 
unusual trips and started June 4, 1970, was a dead head 
(Commercial Flight) from JFK, NY to Athens, Greece stay 
overnight. Then pick up our DC-8 aircraft from another 
ONA crew bringing it in from the states and fly it with 
a cargo load (High Density) to Singapore, with a fuel 
stop in Bombay, India. 

The aircraft still had the entire passenger seats 
installed in the main cabin. The Custom man at Bombay 
came onboard and looked at our manifest also noticing 
all the seats and said Cargo Flight? 

Our Captain said yes high-density cargo. It so happens 
that this was one of the last flights or the last 
shipment of Gold Bars being transferred from US to 
Singapore over the past few weeks. I was waiting for 
the Custom man to ask next, what kind of high-density 
cargo is it? I thought if we tell him what it is, we 
probably wonít get out of here, but he didnít ask, 
thank goodness! 

We had a Bank Representative riding onboard with a 
shotgun they gave him still in the box (he said he 
wouldnít use it no matter what). He said they put 
sheets of plywood lining the belly compartments floor 
down first, then a layer of Gold Bars then another 
layer of plywood and etc. 

We never saw any of it; armed Military soldiers 
unloaded it at Singapore airport. 

I heard later that the first few flights of this 
Gold shipment ONA used the Electra aircraft and later 
changed to the DC-8 aircraft. Probably to cut down on 
extra crews and fuel stops. We stayed overnight at 
Singapore, then ferried the aircraft to Seoul, Korea 
then flew the trip to Anchorage, Alaska then on to 
Bangor, Maine and then dead head to JFK, NY arriving 
June 11, 1970. 

Making it eight days to complete the whole trip. 
The Captain was Frank Foster, Co-Pilot O. Deroule and 
Navigator J. Roberts were on the trip with me.

One trip Aug. 1971 we landed in Stuttgart, Germany 
and had three days before our next trip out of Amsterdam. 

Originally the whole crew was to commercial from 
Stuttgart to Amsterdam, but the Captain talked crew 
schedule into letting us rent cars and drive, which 
turned out to be cheaper than the airfare. 

Very interesting road trip and very scenic, also always 
wanted to take the boat ride down the Rhine too and 
drive back with stops at the different Castles,
but not till my wife could do it with me too.

Hadj flights

I flew a lot of Hadj trips in and out of Jeddah, Saudi Arabia like everybody else did over the course of my employment with ONA, canít say I enjoyed those flights. In Nov. 1976 we were based in Morocco flying trips out and back to Jeddah and I got food poisoning from one of the crew meals I had eaten. I was out sick for a month, wonít forget that experience.

AIR SIAM

And oh yes the Air Siam flights I flew with ONAís aircraft painted in Air Siam colors, from Los Angeles to Honolulu and back to LA after 48 hour layover in Hawaii. Those were very nice flights with great layovers in Hawaii. Took my wife on one and so did the Co-Pilot Charlie Mott and they stayed in Hawaii while we made trip back to LA and back again. Charlie Mott

BANGOR

At one time I just bid Bangor to LA and LA to Bangor trips for the month. Staying at the Twin City Motel in Bangor was almost like going home, because they were so friendly there and knew everybody. Same with LA staying at Hacienda Hotel was also very friendly to all the ONA crews. Meeting up with other ONA crews staying at both places from other trips also made it enjoyable too. Bangor International Airport

Off road en-route adventure

A bid trip with an unexpected road trip in between flight legs in Aug. 1977. We landed in Milan, Italy on ONA aircraft N865F. Our crew was supposed to deadhead (Commercial) to Nice, France to position for our next trip out. The Captain thought it would be a good idea to rent three cars and drive since we didnít leave till late the 15th. So our representative checked with NY Ops for approval then rented three cars and the whole crew piled into them, the Captain drove one, the Co-Pilot drove the second and I drove the third one. We all left at the same time, but they both started driving way too fast for me, since there wasnít any speed limit that I could see. I was driving a speed I felt safe at, but I wasnít staying up with them and it wasnít long before the other two cars were out of site. Two times during the trip they pulled off and waited for us to catch up, but then again they took off driving too fast for me again. The countryside was beautiful with the mountains and all during the entire trip, also had to go through a couple of tunnels in the mountains, which was really different. I wanted to enjoy it all; because I knew this probably would be the only time I would ever see all this particular countryside.

Spain in my heart

Canít forget all the different Spain trips either, such as; Madrid (went to my first & last bullfight there), Barcelona, Malaga (Sangria drinks), Palma and Mallorca, local people all very friendly, nice trips with good layovers.

Algiers adventure

One trip we flew to Tangiers that was different and another time a trip to Algiers where one of our Flight Attendants took a picture of this street merchant selling all kinds of hats and he had them all stacked fairly high, which really made for a unique picture. Come to find out seems the custom was, you have to pay them first if you want to take their picture. He chased her for a short distance, all the while demanding money from her. Needless to say after that, none of us took any pictures of the local merchants. Later we all did wander down through the Casbah just to see what is was like and noticed one thing that stood out, everybody had huge locks on their doors and a lot had more than one, so what does that tell you!

JFK to LAX

Well Dec. 15, 1977 was my last DC-8 (A/C 864) trip with ONA, JFK to LAX ferry to JFK. Capt. Bob Templeton and Co-Pilot Tom Fenwick was the crew with me. I was told I was being furloughed as of the end of December, but would be called back in January 1978 to go to DC-10 ground school consisting approximately of a month. At this time ONA was operating two DC-10-30 aircraft, but had two more on order from Douglas Aircraft Factory and this class was going to crew the two new planes. The problem was Douglas mechanics were on strike at this time and our two DC-10ís to be delivered that spring were for ONAís summer charters. Well, we finished ground school and then got furloughed again, till ONA could set up DC-10 simulator time with American Airlines in Dallas. About a month and a half went by and I got a call from Flt. Engineer Bill Parks (who was also in that class), who said he heard that ONA was going out of business and we better start looking for a job. I heard later that because of the strike, Douglas told them that they wouldnít be able to deliver the two aircraft till the fall of Ď78í, which of course is too late for the summer charters they had scheduled already.





Leaning Tower of Pisa, Italy


Al on top of the leaning tower of Pisa

Layover at Athens, Greece






ONA AC 864 at Dacca Bangladesh 1974 - ONA DC-8 N1976 in Spain 1975 - ONA DC-7C 1966




Al Quack in National uniform with daughter Susan
Jeri Quack in EAL Uniform Miami 1959
Al in ONA Uniform 1966
Al & Jeri - Fifty Years Wedding Anniversary 1959 - 2009


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Warranty - WEBSITE FIRST PUBLISHED AUGUST 30, 2003