Skygods: The Fall of Pan Am

Skygods: The Fall of Pan Am

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by Robert Gandt
     
 

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Originally published by Wm. Morrow in 1995, SKYGODS is the story of Pan American World Airways from its meteoric ascent to its plunge to extinction. Pan Am blazed the way across the world's oceans with its magnificent Clipper ships, launched the first international jet service, was the first to fly the behemoth 747, was the lead customer for America's SST

Overview

Originally published by Wm. Morrow in 1995, SKYGODS is the story of Pan American World Airways from its meteoric ascent to its plunge to extinction. Pan Am blazed the way across the world's oceans with its magnificent Clipper ships, launched the first international jet service, was the first to fly the behemoth 747, was the lead customer for America's SST and the Concorde, and was even taking reservations for the first commercial flights to the moon.
SKYGODS is the true story of an American legend.

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
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. Gandt documents the toll taken by the company's participation in airlifting troops to Vietnam, a bitter strike in 1985, deregulation, and the Lockerbie terrorist bombing tragedy; and he vividly describes the subsequent effects on both the company and the men and women--in particular the pilots ("skygods")--who worked for it.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
2940033296064
Publisher:
Robert Gandt
Publication date:
06/12/2012
Sold by:
Smashwords
Format:
NOOK Book
Sales rank:
230,070
File size:
2 MB

Meet the Author

Robert Gandt is a former naval officer and aviator, an 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. He and his wife, Anne, live with their airplanes in Spruce Creek, a flying community in Daytona Beach, Florida. You may visit his website at gandt.com

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Skygods 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great book about the rise and fall of an American Icon, Pan Am. Easy to read and informative
Guest More than 1 year ago
Recalls an era when airline travel was for the few and every stop was an adventure on the world's most experienced airline.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.