Pan American Airways  McDonnell Douglas DC-10-10   N69NA   (c/n  46942)


                                           Another absolutely stunning Bob Garrard shot showing "Clipper Star Light" at point of touchdown
                                           at Miami International in 1983.  In 1980 Pan American acquired National Airlines and most of its
                                           assets, N69NA being one of the DC-10s it picked up in the deal.    National was a casualty of the
                                           price wars caused by the Deregulation Act of 1978, and a decade later mighty Pan American itself,
                                           once the "Chosen Instrument" for US international air travel, succumbed to the vagrancies of too
                                           much competition on too few routes and filed for bankruptcy.  It had sold off many of its routes
                                           to Delta and tried to stay afloat with a reduced Caribbean operation (where, in fact, it had all begun),
                                           but was still hemorrhaging cash and, after United and American had picked up whatever routes
                                           were left, the airline folded in December 1991.  It was kind of like in Monopoly, where you have
                                           been reduced to selling all your hotels and houses, and hoped that you could pass "Go" enough times
                                           to stay afloat, but unfortunately it doesn't happen.  So it was with Pan Am.    Anyway, N69NA was
                                           sold to American Airlines in 1983 and eventually re-registered N161AA.  After several terms
                                           "in storage" at various desert locales it wound up at Victorville and received a second lease on life
                                           when it was converted to a water bomber.  I am not clear as to its current status but is, I think, still

                                           Footnote on Pan American:

                                           In 1996 an effort was made to resurrect the airline.  Some Airbus A-300s were purchased and a schedule
                                           set up to fly from new York to San Juan,  It absorbed Carnival Airlines but also went bankrupt in 1999. 

                                           A third Pan Am, operating as a charter company and based in Portsmouth, New Hampshire was formed
                                           in 1999 operating Boeing 727s.  Although using the trademark "Clipper" name, this outfit had nothing to do
                                           with the original Pan American World Airways, and as late as 2004 shut down its own flight operations and
                                           had its scheduled services operated by its affiliate, Boston-Maine Airways (itself a resurrection of an old airline

                                           At time of writing the fate of many of the US's major airlines is in the balance.