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Skygods: The Fall of Pan Am

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Overview

The Fall of Pan Am

In 1966, Pan Am had reached the zenith of its wealth and influence. Under aviation pioneer Juan Trippe, the airline had risen from the muddy back-waters of Latin America to a place of preeminence in world commerce. Told from points of view of airmen and executives, Skygods gives the inside story on the demise of the world's most experienced airlines.

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Skygods: The Fall of Pan Am

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Overview

The Fall of Pan Am

In 1966, Pan Am had reached the zenith of its wealth and influence. Under aviation pioneer Juan Trippe, the airline had risen from the muddy back-waters of Latin America to a place of preeminence in world commerce. Told from points of view of airmen and executives, Skygods gives the inside story on the demise of the world's most experienced airlines.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Pan Am and its founder Juan Trippe were major players in the creation of the commercial airline industry. Pan Am, founded in 1927, was the first airline to fly across the Pacific, across the Atlantic and around the world. It was also the first U.S. airline to fly jets. Pan Am's early success in aviation allowed the company to expand into other areas such as ownership of the Intercontinental Hotel chain and the Pan Am Building in New York City. In the mid-1970s, however, Pan Am began to lose money and Trippe's successors were unable to turn the airline around. The company's last years were punctuated by attempts to find a buyer as well as the piecemeal divestiture of the company. Gandt peppers his recounting of the decline of Pan Am with anecdotes from former employees, mainly pilots. And while this is an involving account, Gandt, an aviation freelance journalist, does not provide much analysis of the root causes of Pan Am's failure, attributing its demise in 1991 to bad management and bad luck. At the end of this tale readers will likely ask themselves-as apparently did most Pan Am employees-why did Pan Am die? (Mar.)
Library Journal
Aviation journalist and pilot Gandt interweaves the complex and interesting story of Pan Am's rise under founder and visionary Juan Trippe with American business and politics. Trippe molded Pan Am from the glory days of flying boats and the opening of Pacific routes to new piston-driven airliners and the transition to jets. In 1965 Pan Am was the world's preeminent airline, boasting 40,000 employees, 143 airliners, and over $1 billion in revenues; it was also the torchbearer for new aircraft designs. How Trippe achieved this and influenced Presidents Kennedy and Johnson reveal the workings of American business and politics. In 1968 foreign carriers increased, revenues declined, and Trippe resigned. In the Seventies a series of catastrophic accidents, increasing competition, rising fuel costs, and a strike started the downward spiral exacerbated by the 1988 Lockerbie tragedy and Chapter 11 proceedings. A fascinating commentary on aviation and American business; for public libraries.-William A. McIntyre, New Hampshire Technical Coll. Lib., Nashua
Wiliam McIntyre
Aviation journalist and pilot Gandt interweaves the complex and interesting story of Pan Am's rise under founder and visionary Juan Trippe with American business and politics. Trippe molded Pan Am from the glory days of flying boats and the opening of Pacific routes to new piston-driven airliners and the transition to jets. In 1965 Pan Am was the world's preeminent airline, boasting 40,000 employees, 143 airliners, and over $1 billion in revenues...
David Rouse
The history of pioneering Pan American World Airways has already been well chronicled in more than a half dozen books, but Gandt--himself a pilot--tells Pan Am's story from the point of view of those who proudly worked for it. He focuses on the airline's heady glory days of the 1960s, when it showily began accepting reservations for the first commercial flight to the moon, and then he tracks its slow but steady descent and ultimate crack-up when it was forced to call it quits at the end of 1991.
David North
Robert Gandt's book SKYGODS accurately depicts the demise of Pan Am with a depth and human element often missing from books of this type.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780615611839
  • Publisher: Black Star Productions
  • Publication date: 3/29/2012
  • Pages: 350
  • Sales rank: 361,575
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.73 (d)

Meet the Author

ROBERT GANDT is a former naval officer, international airline captain, and a prolific military and aviation writer. He is the author of thirteen books, including the novels The Killing Sky and Black Star Rising and the definitive work on modern naval aviation, Bogeys and Bandits. His screen credits include the television series Pensacola: Wings of Gold. His acclaimed account of the Battle for Okinawa, The Twilight Warriors (Broadway Books, 2010) was the winner of the 2011 Morison Award for Naval Literature. He and his wife, Anne, live with their airplanes and two cats in Spruce Creek, a flying community in Daytona Beach, Florida. Visit his website at www.gandt.com
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 4 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 23, 2013

    The sad story of a lost dream

    Great book about the rise and fall of an American Icon, Pan Am. Easy to read and informative

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 25, 2012

    A great glimpse into the history of an American icon

    WHAT A BOOK! Definitely a must-read for anyone interested in commercial aviation history as well as what happens when a clash of corporate cultures in-house occurs. The company was the personification of its founder, Juan Trippe, and when he no longer was involved, the company began to unravel. Of course, changing trends in governmental support also contributed to its demise. I recall as child visiting Pan Am's maintenance facility at Idlewild in the late 1950s and seeing a brand-new 707 sitting in the hangar. This book brings back my memories of Pan Am and how great an airline it was but, sadly, what also brought it to a close.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 19, 2002

    A Definite Read for any Airline Buff

    Recalls an era when airline travel was for the few and every stop was an adventure on the world's most experienced airline.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 13, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews

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