My TWA Inaugural L-1011 Flight

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

By Dennis Danesi

Way back in July 1972, I was heading with my parents to Los Angeles to visit Disneyland. This was going to be my very first time flying on an airplane and I was thrilled to learn that we were flying aboard a TWA 747. I was already in love with aviation as my Dad would take me to Chicago O’Hare Airport all the time to see the planes and walk around the terminals (back when you could do that) and he would even ask a Pilot or Flight Attendant to take me onboard an airplane for a few minutes just to see the passenger cabin and cockpit.

However, as things usually go, we received a call from our Travel Agent telling us that we were no longer going to be flying on a 747. TWA put this new aircraft on the route and we were going to be on their inaugural L-1011 flight. I was NOT happy at all, what was this L-1011 thing and why can’t we fly a 747?!?!  

When we arrived at the airport that day, I remember the news media being there. On board, they gave us beach towels as a remembrance of this inaugural flight.

 An old Instamatic shot looking out the window of our TWA L1011.
A nose-in shot of the L1011 prior to our departure from Chicago O’Hare. 

I remember the Captain visiting the cabin and greeting passengers, including myself!!

Here is our Captain greeting me with a hearty handshake and smiles all around.
A quick peek into the flight deck and our Flight Engineer looks my way.
Looking forward in the passenger cabin from our seat vantage point. Note: the big screen for inflight entertainment.
Here is a neat view of the L1011’s wing.

Here is the crazy part, I have always wondered which TWA aircraft I was on for my first flight as a kid.

Fast forward to a couple of years ago.  I was starting a page on Facebook for Past US Aircraft and Liveries (US Airlines Past Liveries and Aircraft | Facebook) and was searching for photos. I came across the photo below and the caption Mr. Jon Proctor wrote. Needless to say, I was blown away.  My family and I were on that exact aircraft when Mr. Proctor took the photo so many years ago.  I only wish I had known sooner to share this with him.  His photos are amazing and I am glad that I found his site.

Editor’s Note:  This is why we at the World Airline Historical Society keep the late Jon Proctor’s website alive, for great stories such as this. Do you have a story to share about a memorable flight or an aviation collectible? We want to hear from you! Leave your comments/contact information below or send us an email. We regret we are unable to publish all submissions.

Tags: , , ,

Trackback from your site.

Comments (1)

  • Avatar

    Bill Sablesak


    Absolutely awesome story. Thanks! 👍✈️


Leave a comment

47th Annual Airliners International™
Kansas City, MO
June 26-29, 2024

See you at the
World's Largest Airline Collectibles Show & Convention
at MCI in 2024!


World Airline Historical Society, Inc.
PO Box 13693, Tampa, FL 33616 USA
Contact Us


Copyright © 1978-2024 World Airline Historical Society, Inc.

Read our Privacy Policy