Northwest Airlines  Boeing 747-251B  N624US       (c/n  21706)


                                  The series 200 Boeing 747 had basically the same dimensions as the earlier series 100, but
                                  had a strengthened airframe allowing a max gross take off weight at take off of 820,000 lb.
                                  N624US is seen above in another Frank C. Duarte Jr. classic image with "everything hanging
                                  down" on short finals into LAX in July of 1996.    I lived in the Far East in the 1970s and early
                                 1980s and was a frequent passenger on NWA's 747s traveling from my (then) home in Taiwan
                                  back to the States.  My log indicates I was aboard N624US in the fall of 1979 when it was brand
                                  new waiting to push back from the gate at the old Chung Shan Airport in Taipei when we were
                                  told of a delay since "the captain had not filled out his paperwork correctly".    This, in the days
                                  when resident ex-pats ("round eyes") needed a "tax clearance" in order to escape the island.
                                  Heaven forbid that anyone should run off owing the Taiwan Government money.  Anyway, evidently
                                  some wayward passenger didn't have one.  Why do petty officials in Third World countries love to
                                  exercise their authority?  Is it to prove something?   Hence some 400 tons of upholstered aluminum
                                  tubing was delayed for an hour while some bureaucratic small fry upheld yet another absurd rule!  
                                  Not to worry, our trusty NWA captain put the pedal to the metal and, as my notes recall, we were
                                  on time into HNL!