From the Hangars

747 Memories - Captain Tony Osborne

Aug 14, 2017

Ship 6301 welcomes are monthly free tour - every 4th Tuesday of the month at 1pm!

It has been five months since the Delta Flight Museum opened Ship 6301 and introduced Delta’s 747 Experience. It has been our pleasure welcoming visitors from around the world to board the Queen of the Skies and explore the magnificent aircraft.

We’ve met people who travelled on 747s and some who even travelled on Ship 6301. Many have shared images of their visit on their social network, but a few have taken the time to write down their memories. In the coming months we will feature a few of these stories. This first one comes from 747-400 Captain Tony Osborne:

“My love affair with the 747 goes back to 1975, when I first saw the movie “Airport 1975”.  As a 10-year-old boy, I was blown away with this “super jet” that took a hit and kept flying.  I was in awe of how cool and professional Efrem Zimbalist Jr. was as the 747’s captain.  Nothing being said of Charlton Heston playing the 747 instructor, who was lowered out of the jet helicopter and into the 747 via the hole on the F/Os side caused by the collision with the small twin engined turboprop.

Still image from Aiport 1975

As a U.S. Air Force C-141 instructor, I often was the last crew member off the plane at Rhine Main Air Base, which shared runways with Frankfurt International Airport.  From across those runways, I could see many brand new 747-400s representing the world’s major airlines. This was a nice visual ending to a long flight.  Once again, there was the smile I had when I was 10 years old, longing to fly that super jet called the 747.  

After leaving the U.S. Air Force, my employer subsequently purchased the very plane in the movie.  As luck would have it, I ended up being a crewmember on that very plane.  

Today, as a 747-400 captain, N661US is the first 747 my eyes see as I start every trip.  It is also the last 747 my eyes see as I leave the parking lot to go home.  Regardless of the time of day, the sight of N661US manifests itself in that same 10-year-old smile I had while watching that movie.  The thought remains the same. This is one magnificent airplane…Queen of the Skies!”

Captain Tony Osborne, 747-400

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  1. Sylvester Pittman | Aug 14, 2017

    Had the pleasure of meeting Captain Osborne at the Delta Flight Museum about 2 years ago. Friendly, professional, and has a great love of aviation and flying. Thanks for sharing his story. 

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