Airplane Stuff
Flying|June 2018

Decades Of Accumulated Aviation-related Treasures

Dick Karl

Hey, can you hand me a ballpoint pen?”

“You’ll like this one,” says Cathy, my wife. Sure enough, she’s right. The pen says “Kaiser Air,” complete with phone number and Arinc frequency. I just love these pens, worth little in terms of construction cost, but worth a lot to me. This one is white with stylish green lettering and reminds me immediately of last week’s flights to the West Coast, especially the ILS to Runway 32 at Santa Rosa, California (KSTS), called Charles M. Schulz- Sonoma County Airport. The approach fixes include LUSEE and PIGPN.

I’ve swiped a lot of pens from a lot of places. I just love seeing where I’ve been and thinking about what I was doing. I have a pen that says “Jet Clean” that I got somewhere while flying Part 135 for JetSuite. We must have had an airplane detailed by this company after an especially riotous (for the pax) flight. I remember smelling the refurbished airplane and seeing the invoice with two pens, one for each pilot, nestled on the throttles when we opened the airplane up the next day.

One of my all-time favorites is a pen I got at Higher Power Aviation when I got my Boeing 737 type rating. I never got a job flying that Boeing, but I kept the pen on the autopilot control panel in our Cheyenne. It said “Jet Crew” in bold letters. It reminded me of my forays into the jet world and the really terrific folks who taught that class.

Pens aren’t the only memorabilia that I hold dear. I’ve got keychains. For the past 32 years, my car key (my current car still requires a key in the ignition; it’s 14 years old) has been attached to a soft red rubber fob, reminding me of the excellent maintenance provided to several of my airplanes over several decades at Aircraft Engineering in Bartow, Florida. I don’t need to look at it to know their phone number though. I know that by heart.

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