A View From the SNA Ramp
By Jerry Search
Updated 1/14/2005
Page 1 of 4
If you are looking for "Air Cal", sorry, but you're on the wrong page!
Air California began operations in 1967.  Everyone called it Air Cal for short, but it was Air California,
for at least 14 of its 19 years.  And, as Air California, it had a look and feel that was unique among airlines.
At least a lot of people seem to feel that way.
This is a photo album of sorts, showing what is actually a micro-look at a truly great airline.

There was so much more than what is shown here, but this is all I've got.  I only worked for Air California for one year,
as a "ramp service agent".  But it was a fun year.  And a great company with neat  people.
I left Air California to become a Firefighter for the City of Long Beach, and that has been a great career.
Had that opportunity not come, I would have probably stayed with the airline (and been gobbled up by American).
I also feel that spending a year "throwing bags" with Air California helped me get through the rigorous
12 week training academy for the Fire Department.  SNA was the hub, and we "humped" there!
All photos were taken by myself, except the ones I am in, and in the new one, shown first below (photographer unknown for that one).

In 1976, Air California had 8 Boeing 737-200's and 2 Lockheed L-188 Electras.  The 737's were N461GB, N462AC, N463GB, N464AC, N465AC, N467GB, N468AC, N469AC.
Pages 1, 2, and 3 are the 737's.  Page 4 is the Electras.  Enjoy!  Oh, yeah:  {Click} on any thumbnail for a full-sized image.

"Disneyland Grad Night", 1976.  This photo was sent to me by Teresa Kent.  The entire fleet of 737's and Electras parked (most by myself!) for a 7:00 am departure. Thank you, Teresa! 

Rod Quick Parking 461

Craig Eisele and others unloading bags.  We had no belt loader at SNA, although OC got one soon after I left.

Mike O'Brien loading outbound bags inside a 737 baggage compartment. 

Bruce Vanderwilt (Bruce was a speedskater for years) with chocks in hand as the door closes on 465.

Not sure who, sending out 461.  We were the eyes 
for the flight crew 

 ...as they could see very little except what was right in front of the aircraft.

Rod Quick waves 'bye to the captain of 462.  This was a way of both people confirming that they were on their own.

462 taxiing out to the runway.

Beautiful sunset takeoff.

Taking off into the evening sky.

"Gear up", and on the way.

Time exposure, of maybe 20 seconds, as a plane comes in. 
Not sure, but it is possibly 461.

Agents assist a wheelchair traveler down the stairs.

Bruce Vanderwilt signaling that it's clear to start No. 2. Probably Jerry Trapp waiting for Bruce's signal to remove the chocks.

Bruce sending them out.  Again, they can only see directly forwards, so the ramp agent has to tell them when it is clear to taxi.
Where are they now?  Photos of N462AC and N465AC at Kingman, before and after their fate.
Soon Photos of some of the other fleet of this time, after their OC tour.
Online July 16, 2000:
H.G. Wells was right!
CONTACT:  Any and all comments are welcome.  I'd certainly like to hear from anyone I knew back then.
LINKS:  A few Links that might be of interest to Air California folks.
Parent Directory: http://www.socalspeedskating.org (my other websites)
A Special Thanks to Henry Campos!

Where am I now?  A Brief Bio Page.
COPYRIGHT © 1976, 2000, by Jerry Search.  All rights reserved.
This page, and all photos contained herein, are copyrighted.
You are welcome to use any you wish, for any personal reason you wish,
like your own webpage, a background for your desktop, a screensaver, etc.
The only exception to the above is use on a commercial website.  For that, please contact me.
For that matter, any and all comments are most welcome! You can even just say Hi!
Jerry Search

About the 737 artwork at the top of the page:  This was a decal from earlier in the 1970's.  I saw one in the employees' parking lot and was able to talk someone (can't remember who) into giving me his only extra (thank you!).  It stayed proudly in the rear window of my Chevy Van for over 10 years and 120,000 miles.  I just happened to take a picture of the window just before I scraped the decals off to sell the van.  I wanted to save this decal, but there was just no way to get it off.  The artwork here was scanned from that 3x4 snapshot of my van window.  Then I refreshed it, reduced it, etc. using Paint Shop Pro.

1600 kingman page added 7/25/02
1734:  New artwork added 8/29/02
4569  AirCal??...3/9/04
6038:  New Teresa Kent photo added, 1/14/2006
6527:  Minor update: August 29, 2006