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Boeing 737-800 (N915NN) - Making just its second visit to Reno Tahoe International since being "unveiled" last year, AALs N915NN, the Trans World Airlines heritage paintbird, is captured here as it is crossing the threshold of runway 16R only fifteen minutes after high noon at the end of a July 4th (2016) ORD-RNO trip.  The single previous visit to Reno was a late night RON arrival with an early (before sunrise) departure the next morning, so yesterdays arrival at midday was the first opportunity that most Renoites have had to see this scheme since it came out.
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Boeing 737-800 (N915NN)

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Making just its second visit to Reno Tahoe International since being "unveiled" last year, AAL's N915NN, the Trans World Airlines heritage paintbird, is captured here as it is crossing the threshold of runway 16R only fifteen minutes after high noon at the end of a July 4th (2016) ORD-RNO trip. The single previous visit to Reno was a late night RON arrival with an early (before sunrise) departure the next morning, so yesterday's arrival at midday was the first opportunity that most Renoites have had to see this scheme since it came out.

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Gary SchenauerPhoto Uploader
Right after it landed, I overheard a brief radio conversation between the tower and the pilot of this one that graphically reminded me of how old I am. As N915NN turned on to a taxiway and headed toward the terminal, a young voice in the control tower radioed to the pilots, "We are just a bit curious about the paint scheme on your aircraft." One of the pilots radioed back with a chuckle that "... there was a lot of leftover red paint so ..." it [the paint] had been used on this fleetbird. But then, the pilot must have realized that the tower controller's curiosity meant that the controller did not recognize the livery, so the pilot then briefly explained about the TWA, Air Cal, and Reno Air heritage livery schemes. A few moments later, a different voice came from the tower, and the man said, "It's been a long time since I've seen TWA." Hearing that short exchange of comments made me realize how old I am; there are young people involved in aviation today who do not know about the airline once recognized the world over as a premier airline: Trans World. The times, they are a-changin'.
Greg Byington
Great shot, Gary! It is nice to see the old TWA livery. I remember it well.
Gary SchenauerPhoto Uploader
It was very hot and there was a brilliant noon-hour sun in a cloudless sky directly overhead when it landed, so I knew I had to be quite close and somewhat lucky if I was going to get a decent shot that was not heat-hammered and distorted. Of the sixteen sequence snaps I took of it as it came past my location, I trashed all but three. But getting those three made the hour-long wait on an extremely hot Fourth of July day well worth it.
Roy Hunte
Also many people don't know that the current JetBlue terminal at KJFK used to be the TWA terminal. When did they stop flying, can you remember Gary?
Roy Hunte
Awesome capture.
Gary SchenauerPhoto Uploader
Hi, Greg. I'd caught this one when it visited at night, but I've been tracking it daily in hopes of getting it again in the air in daylight, so I was thrilled when I learned it was coming. I (sort of) abandoned my wife in the midst of our Fourth of July activities to make the 40 minute drive into Reno, wait the hour for it to arrive, and then drive 40 miles back. But it was so worth it. Except ... the young guy in the tower, who did not recognize the TWA livery, made me understand how many years have elapsed. So, Greg, Thanks for letting me know that I'm not the only one who remembers TWA. Geez, it is a beautiful sight to see TWA in the sky again, even if it IS only on one paxbird. :-)
Gary SchenauerPhoto Uploader
Hey, Roy, howdy and Tks. I don't recall the year that TWA folded the tent, but I'll find out and get back with that info. As for the terminal at Kennedy, the final segment of my old 8mm movies will (when Chris finishes editing it and posts it on You Tube) show that building when it was almost new and ... at the time I filmed it ... it was considered a very futuristic design so it was being talked about all the time.
Greg Byington
I couldn't remember, either, Roy. But it looks like Trans World Airlines (originally Transcontinental & Western Air) lasted from 1925 to 2001.
Mark Thomas
That's a bizarre question from the tower! How can you be so intimately associated with commercial aviation and not know about the airlines that used to serve the US? And it wasn't THAT long ago! I guess for some people, it's just a job.
Roy Hunte
Thanks Greg.
Mark dont be too hard on him it may have been a 'newbie'
Tom Vance
Gman..I never would have gotten a shot so clean!! 5+ Aliens fer sure!
Mark See
Great shot Gary!
Gary SchenauerPhoto Uploader
Alien and Mark S. ... TY, guys. Appreciate the comments.
Mark T. >> As difficult as it was for me to believe when I first heard the question, after thinking about it while on my way back home, I realized that if a younger tower controller today is in the mid to later twenties, that person would have only been in the preteen or early teenage years when TWA, PAA, TCA, etc., were still big names in commercial aviation. So, if a younger person had no interest in aviation back during those years of his / her life, I suppose it is possible that he / she may truly not know anything about what some of the heritage schemes are representing. I've met people who work in specific fields of employ but who know little to nothing about the history of the profession. For some, it is (as you said) just a job. But I don't think the young tower controller I overheard is one of that type. After all, he DID inquire of the pilot about the heritage paint scheme here, and asking is one way of learning.
Mark S. >>> Watch for a reply to your email question in your email.
John Lequerica
Great catch, glad to finally see this one in Reno.
Tomer Ariav
Braniff, Pan American were other great names in commercial aviation (at least in Brazil)
John Fahey
My favorite recollection of TWA livery is on the triple tail of a Super-G Constellation.
John Fahey
My favorite recollection of TWA livery is on the triple tail of a Super- G Constellation.
Carrie Wooley
I am a former TWA flight attendant. Thank you for the picture! I gasped for a moment as I don't very often see the TWA livery unless I search for it. Such a pleasant surprise!
Carrie Wooley
Thank you for this picture! I certainly appreciate what you went through to get it! I'm a former TWA flight attendant. Sure wish I could see this bird in person!
Carrie Wooley
Roy, TWA was bought by American in 2001, I believe. Not sure about the month.
Gary SchenauerPhoto Uploader
Carrie ... If you are living near Princess Juliana, you'll get to see it. It has been there several times and I'm certain it will be there again. Also, TY for the comment.
John F. .... Indeed, seeing TWA tail paint x 3 on a Super G was a wonderful sight. My fave TWA scheme was the twin gold globes surrounding the TWA name. I've got a couple old film prints of a TWA jet at Newark with that dual globe scheme on the tail but in the shots the a/c nose is slightly blocked by one of those "Pay-a-dime-and-listen-to-the-control-tower" boxes that used to be located on observation decks ... (remember THOSE??) (grin) ... so since they are obstructed shots I don't post them. :)
Roy Hunte
Thanks Carrie!
Darryl Sarno
Beautiful shot Gary!
Jim Newton
Your post dates me as well; I remember the old Air Cal livery on the 737-100/200. Anyone have a good pic of those old birds?
Tom Vance
Carrie Wooley
if you are ever in SFO when we have the Airline Collectible Show - stop on by - and we'll let you in as a TWA guest! I help run the show - search Facebook: SFO Airline Collectible Show ( TV)
ACTIVITY LOG
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Date Aircraft Origin Destination Departure Arrival Duration
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04-Dec-2022 B738Dallas-Fort Worth Intl ()Kansas City Intl () 09:32PM CST 10:41PM CST 1:09
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