Photo Of The Week
Southwest Airlines Captains Randy Hansen (left) and Rusty Jensen (right) wave to the crowd as “Missouri One” arrives at Lambert.
After 30 years of service in Missouri, Southwest Airlines surprised St. Louis with a gesture of dedication by unveiling the Missouri One Boeing 737-700 aircraft. Nearly two weeks of painting done in secret in Kansas City paid off, as the big reveal was made at both Kansas City International Airport (MCI), and later at Lambert-St. Louis International Airport Thursday afternoon. Missouri One is detailed with images of the Missouri State flag, and is one of only ten planes with state flagship liveries in the Southwest fleet. Southwest Airlines CEO Gary Kelly was aboard the debut flight and gave a brief presentation, followed by words from City of St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay. “Kansas City and St. Louis have been vital cities in our network for more than 30 years,” Kelly said. “I couldn’t think of a better way to show our love to our employees, customers and friends in the great state of Missouri than by dedicating this high-flying salute to them.”
Melanie Diane Gilmore embraces her brother for the very first time amidst family and news media outside the A Concourse.
Lambert-St. Louis International Airport was the backdrop for a very emotional moment Thursday, and a truly incredible family reunion. Melanie Diane Gilmore (left) is 50 years old, and for her entire life, her family didn’t even know she was alive. Hours after giving birth, before even holding her child, Melanie’s mother was told her baby had died. For reasons unknown, Melanie was then adopted by another family, and currently resides with her husband and three children in Oregon. It was her children who uncovered the unbelievable story, and actually found the long-lost family members on Facebook, living in St. Louis. This image captures the first time Melanie and her brother met. Happily, she and her mother reunited that evening.
The Missouri National Guard at Lambert removes 1968 F-4 Phantom from display on Tuesday.
Lots of folks are saying their goodbyes to the three historic fighter jets that have been proudly displayed for two decades outside of the Missouri National Guard at Lambert. Two of the iconic jets flew for the last time this week, and for those close to their heritage, it became a very emotional moment. This tactical fighter jet served in the Vietnam War, and is a legacy piece for the 131 Bomb Wing. The stars painted near the cockpit memorialize the aircraft’s two confirmed enemy planes it brought down in combat. Even with most of the avionics removed, at 15 tons, it required a massive 100 ft. crane to lift the fighter jet from its display pedestal to an awaiting flatbed truck. All three jets will be dismantled and relocated to their final resting place in Whiteman Air Force Base Heritage Park. On Friday morning the F-100 was removed in similar fashion, and the F-15 will come down next week.
Jacqueline Taylor of Lambert’s Business Diversity Development Office shares information at the Business Diversity Forum.
Crew of American Airlines’ Boeing 787 Dreamliner chat underneath the plane as the sun rises at Lambert.
American Airlines is getting ready to launch their Boeing 787 Dreamliner, and Lambert has been a frequent stop during this period of training, testing, and certifications for the aircraft and crew as it prepares for its grand debut. Lambert has also been preparing for the new-age of aircraft that the Dreamliner ushers in. Lambert recently rehabbed two additional gates in the C Concourse; one being specifically equipped to accommodate the 787 for both scheduled, and unscheduled flights. This is the first Dreamliner for American Airlines, who begins passenger service in May out of Dallas/Fort Worth. This aircraft seats 242 passengers and has an impressive wingspan of 200 feet. It was a real treat this week when we were invited to see the Dreamliner up-close for the first time Monday morning and take photographs.
Lambert Airfield Maintenance repaints an airfield roadway sign in the warm weather.
We got a taste of spring weather in STL this week, and it felt amazing! Our Airfield Maintenance crews wasted no time in starting projects that were held-off by the winter weather. On Thursday, we caught Airfield Maintenance repainting one of Lambert’s airfield vehicle roadway stop signs using a special sprayer. This type of roadway marking is not intended for aircraft, but for the many other automobiles that traverse the airfield. Signage in high frequency areas like these are to encourage vehicle safety and alertness while maneuvering around aircraft, and each other. The location of this project was just outside of the A Concourse.
American Airlines’ Boeing 787 Dreamliner lands at Lambert Airport in view of Terminal 1.
We’ve had a lot of excited visitors and staff who have spotted American Airlines’ brand new Boeing 787 Dreamliner making several surprise visits to Lambert this week. This is the first Dreamliner for American Airlines, and it has been making brief stops into Lambert while performing a series of test runs in preparation for its debut passenger flight on May 7 from Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW) to Chicago (ORD). This aircraft will start flying daily between Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW) and Beijing (PEK) on June 2, and begin flights between Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW) and Buenos Aires (EZE) on June 4. With a wingspan of nearly 200 feet (the length of four semi-trucks parked end-to-end), this massive 242 passenger aircraft has been quite a sight to see!
A Delta jetliner is deiced during Thursday’s winter snowfall.
Thursday morning, St. Louis was enveloped in beautiful snow flurries that lasted into the afternoon. People in the region were all bundled-up trying to stay warm and dry, and so were our planes here at Lambert! So, how DOES a giant aircraft stay warm and dry in winter weather? With a special deicing shower! To cover an entire jetliner quickly it requires 2-3 people at time, each on specialized hydraulic lifts. The spray is pressurized and heated, which causes billowing clouds of white steam as the hot spray hits the frozen air. The liquid itself is a dark orange color, which demarcates well on the aircraft. Depending on your view from the terminals, you may be able to catch a glimpse of this process next time you fly on a snowy day!
Two crew members fuel this American Eagle jet in freezing weather.
St. Louis has been extra cold and snowy this week with temperatures plummeting into the single digits. Here at Lambert we’ve got hundreds of incredible crew members who are out in the elements every day keeping our planes coming and going safely. Next time you’re flying, take a look out our terminal windows and watch these teams work. It’s fascinating! We spotted these two crew members bundled-up for the winter weather inspecting the fuel pump of an outbound American Eagle jetliner. Did you know that most passenger jets fuel-up through the wing? These under wing workers wear reflective gear and vivid, fluorescent vests to remain highly visible in varying weather conditions. We’ve got some great people taking care of our thousands of travelers each day, and whatever the weather, these crews are having a great time doing what they love.
Brenda Jones (center) accepting her Catch Us Giving prize of two airline tickets. With Michelle Hagan (left) and Rhonda Hamm-Niebruegge (right).
We have thousands of team members who give their all every day to provide our guests with the very best Lambert experience. Each year, the public has the opportunity to nominate Lambert employees for the annual Catch Us Giving Awards for exceptional customer service. This week, Brenda Jones of HMSHost won two free airline tickets, presented by Air Choice One representative Michelle Hagan, and Lambert Airport Director Rhonda Hamm-Niebruegge. We just love how excited Brenda was to win! And she deserved it. Have YOU had an awesome customer service experience here at Lambert? Tell us! Just fill out a Catch Us Giving comment card located throughout the terminals.
Avoid parking fees the next time you pick up a passenger. Lambert provides free waiting zones for motorists near each terminal.