Knowing I collect airline memorabilia, one of my readers contacted me last week and asked if I might like a piece of her family’s history – two certificates issued to her recently departed grandmother bestowing “Freeman of the Air” rights for crossing the equator.
My reader’s grandmother, originally from Australia, was married to a U.S. Navy man and living here in the United States, but needed to return to Australia to visit with her dying father. She flew British Commonwealth Pacific Airlines in December of 1952 and was issued the following certificate commemorating her first crossing of the equator by air.
It’s truly an incredible piece of aviation history and a reminder of just how much the industry I love has changed to one where such a crossing today has become so very commonplace without pomp and circumstance. My reader’s grandmother returned to Australia on another trip in 1978 flying Qantas and received a similar certificate.
I’m so very appreciative and thrilled to add these to my collection and thought some of you would be equally interested to see a piece of an era long since passed.
P.S. If there are any Boeing historians out there who have a deep insight about the original design process and development of the 747 (particularly of the team working on it), please shoot me an email as my reader is looking for information about her grandfather’s role on that team.