June 1979 -
Oakland AP 1967
CAPTAIN TED SECOLA
DC-7, DC-8, DC-9, DC-10, B-747 COMMANDER
I hired on with ONA April 1st, 1966, as
a F/O on the DC-7 and eventually checked
out as captain. Then on to the DC-8, DC-9,
DC-10 and finally the B-747 (United Air
Carrier Inc) and my first assignment with
ONA was to report to Lakeland Florida to
join a group of employees already in place.
I remember Bob Travelute was there and
Billy Tedder, I canīt recall who else was
there. However there were quite a few
people there. We were to test fly the DC-7īs
as they came put of the overhaul facility.
We flew 3 or 4 of the overhauled a/c and
accepted them prior to taking them up to
JFK for use by ONA. It was an interesting
experience as we put the a/c thru its paces
to make certain all the components were
firmly attached and working. I was given
the opportunity to hone my flying skills
thanks to Bob Travelute with whom I flew
most of the time and at least one flight
with Tedder. When we returned to JFK,
Bob Love who was the chief pilot
finally gave me the final check out and
turned me loose for line flying as a
Prior to joining ONA I was with Saturn
Airways based at San Antonio TX.
With Robert Love, Steedman Hinckley and
a few other furloughed ONA pilots. If I
remember correctly Steedman invested some
monies with Mr. Goodman who was the
president of Saturn with the expectation
of investing more money and eventually
taking over the company. This was only
rumours at the time. I have often thought
how much better off ONA would have been
if Steedman would have been able to
acquire Saturn instead of starting from
initial start up of ONA from the
Steedman accepting first DC-10
Steedman left Saturn early in 1966, I believe,
to work on getting ONA back together and
shortly after recalled all the furloughed
crew members back. Then called for new hires.
Thatīs when I got a call from Bob Love to
work for ONA.
One story comes to mind.Ron Preede was
with ONA while I was still with Saturn.
ONA and Saturn flew the same CAM flights,
as it was usually the case. It was at
Ft. Lennardwood that I parked my DC-7 next
to an ONA DC-7 with all its props lined up
and squared away. I knew immediately Ron
was the F/E on the ONA aircraft so I got
my crew to dress up my aircraftīs props.
Then we changed Ronīs props to an
esqued position. I donīt think Ron ever
mentioned it to me but I think he probably
knew who did it!
I have a few more stories to relate but I
think I will hold them for another time.
Captain Ted Secola