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Looking for an Eastern captain

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Member in Good Standing
Jul 29, 2002
Back around 1980 or '81, when I was about eight years old and my dad was a fairly senior Miami-based DC-9 F/O, he took me on a short MIA-BUF overnight trip. About ten minutes after liftoff, Captain Mel Keene had the senior F/A bring me up to the cockpit, and I rode all the way to the descent through 180 in the jumpseat.

Just being the son of an ATP had a strong influence on the path my life has taken...but that night jumpseat ride to Buffalo, N.Y. crystalized my desire to fly more than just about anything else. I would really like to personally thank the man that made it possible.

Is there anybody out there who knows where Capt. Mel Keene is now, and how I might get in touch with him? I would really appreciate it.
Great to see so many Eastern spawn here! Dad was based in NY on everything from the convair 440 up to the 1011. Great airline with great people.
I fly with alot of Eastern pilots. Most of them flew for Kiwi after the what they call the big event. I will ask about Capt Keene when I get to the hub next week. I consider it a privilege to fly with these gentlemen. I wish I could have flown with them back when Eastern was the place to be. That was the ultimate pilot's company. What a shame.
I might be able to help you my Father is a 25yr Captain with Eastern on the DC-9 out of miami, and they just left today for Panama city for an eastern reunion. well se what happens
Tell your Dad thanks, for the great job that he and his associates did during my many Eastern flights, from the 1960's to the 1980's.

I felt that everyone I met was top notch.
727cargoAv8R said:
I wish I could have flown with them back when Eastern was the place to be. That was the ultimate pilot's company.

Ditto. I wanted to fly for Eastern ever since I was five.

My dad got hired in '66 into the right seat of the Convair 440. (He had 300 hours. A few of his classmates had never flown all-metal airplanes.) Flew the DC-8, Electra, 727, L-1011, and DC-9, on which he upgraded in '85...just in time for Lorenzo to take over. :mad: Went out on strike in '89 and never went back. He could have looked for work at United and other majors like a lot of guys did, but he didn't want to go back to the right seat if he could help it. (He used to have nightmares about being fifty-five and sitting on the panel of a 727 for a twenty-eight-year-old captain.) He finally ended up as variously a check-airman and chief pilot for SunJet International and, later, Southeast Airlines. Just retired recently.

His airline career advice to me: "no matter what decision you make, you'll be wrong." :p He never really discouraged me, though. After all, he taught me and my little brother how to fly, and he's tickled pink we're both Part 121 captains now.

Anyway, thanks for the leads, guys. I'll try them.

Stingray, who's hosting the reunion?
I searched for people named Melvin Keene on the Internet White Pages on yahoo.com. Four people by the name Melvin Keene are listed in the United States. One resides in West Palm Beach, Florida. That may be him! Two others lives in Pa and Va (abbreviations).
Are you sure you are not looking for Mel Green??? He's ex Eastern DC9 captain living in ATL. If I remember correctly he flew ex-MIA.

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