received a letter with the above photograph enclosed, from John Ryan,
the old cargo pro.
John is an air cargo builder. From 1987
until 2004, he and Angelo Pusateri put Virgin Atlantic Cargo on the map
in the Americas.
Today, John with wife Gloria lives near
Port Washington on Long Island, (the couple are pictured at home with
grandson Cole) and still keeps his hand in, operating as a GSA for special
“I guess I am retired, but the reality
is that air cargo bites and never lets go.
“My long association with Hawaiian
Air was shut down as the flights were discontinued because of the pandemic,
but as always something else pops up.
“There is cargo to be moved and the
need is for smarts and inventiveness in getting the goods delivered and
that is still a sweet spot for me.”
At JFK Air Cargo
also serves on the Board of the JFK Air Cargo Air Cargo Association, as
he shows strength and passion for a business (logistics-shipping) that
he has been part of since 1970, when he started at Bloomingdale’s
Department Store directing movements of 40 ft containers by rail.
Later John moved over to International Sea
Freight where he was based in the World Trade Center in Manhattan.
What we have learned from contact with low
friends in high places, like John and Kari
Tikkanen (Finnair Cargo, semi-retired, kariKT@aol.com)
goes way beyond the immediate, by offering a sharply focused glimpse of
the future, based on the past.
The other thing unfolding here is just great,
if for no other reason than, having something else to think about, as
we trudge daily through this COVID-19 world.
A Trip To Port Washington
It is amazing what vacancies there are in
knowledge, especially when inwardly you might suppose that maybe you know
quite a lot on a subject.
I have written extensively on Port Washington,
flying boats, and even done books on the subject
Have sat in Louie’s, a favorite watering
hole located at Port Washington, Long Island-New York. It is a spot that
overlooks the place where international aviation first came to New York
City via Pan American flying boats before they moved to LaGuardia Airport
At Louie's recall mapping out a scheme over
a couple pints with some Irish people (who walked into my LaGuardia office
looking for help) at Louie’s when the place was a genuine saloon.
Today that scheme is now The Irish National
Air Museum located in Foynes, Ireland on the Shannon estuary.
But looking at this amazing picture, I never
knew that the Blohm & Voss HA-139, a four-engine, all-metal inverted
gull-wing floatplane named Nordmeer called at Port Washington in 1938.
The Voss, to increase range, travelled with
a picket ship usually placed half-way through a journey.
In this case, that would have been in the
Atlantic Ocean, midway from Germany to New York City.
So the HA 139 took off after being delivered
waterside somewhere on a beaching gear, and then landed at sea near the
picket ship in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, where it was scooped
up, hoisted aboard for fuel and supplies and then catapulted into the
wind back into the air to continue the journey.
I must admit that the mahogany looking chase-launch
in the picture above holds a very special interest; it is so sleek and
One More Thing
All of this brings to mind that in August
1938, Lufthansa flew a 24-passenger, Focke-Wulf FW 200 Condor landplane
non-stop from Berlin to New York, landing at Floyd Bennett Field in Brooklyn
and then returned non-stop as a proving flight for the development of
The movement scared the hell out of Pan
Am, which at the time was operating big, lumbering flying boats.
In 1940, both Finnair and Lufthansa planned
scheduled passenger and cargo flights into New York from Helsinki and
Berlin, utilizing the FW 200, but of course the war changed all of that.
When the lamp is lit again, John and I are
meeting up at Louie’s.
Meanwhile we dream of the time when the
JFK Club meets again, so we can go back to the future with that fine group
of dear hearts and gentle people.