United Airlines DC-8 with a problem

892On August 12th, 1962, UAL flight 861 had the misfortune to mistake Portland International for the more provincial airport at Troutdale, just up the Columbia River.  Getting in was one thing, getting out was another.  The DC-8 was stripped of everything but its paint to lighten the aircraft for what was no doubt an “eventful” departure. 

This photo is from a Christmas card sent to my dad from a fellow UAL captain – the pilot of the DC-8.  If he could make a card out of it, he must of had a sense of humor.  Interestingly, the pilot mentions they toyed with the idea of using a JATO type device to get the plane out of Troutdale. 

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