Planning the trip was an absolute pleasure. The Lockheed L-1011 Tri-Star is a special aircraft, both unique and beautiful. The privilege of being involved at the end of this historic airliners’ career was a rare opportunity.
Dusting off its desert coat, L-1011 msn 1242 was prepared for what was most likely its final charter flight. World Air Ops was given the task of route selection, flight planning, and arranging ground support for a trip half way around the world – Central America to Europe, back across the Atlantic, and on to Tahiti.
The trip was not without its challenges. First, loading the flight planning system with accurate performance data took some work. What Lockheed published in 1968 when the aircraft was shiny and new was a far cry from the real world performance these days, so tech logs and aircraft records were reviewed to get accurate fuel burn figures. The initial departure from Central America was delayed a number of times due to maintenance issues, so Flight Plans had to be re-calculated and re-filed several times.
During fuelling on the stop-over to Tahiti, the tanker went dry, and no more fuel was available. So, another stop had to be put in place last minute in El Salvador, and a new set of plans, permits, and handling arrangements had to be made while the passengers waited. Dealing with the unforeseen hitches is all in a day’s work, and this particular job brought the team at World Air Ops great credit and customer satisfaction.