Though not a friend, I took a New York State Trooper up in the Chief for a ride on floats the day after he and some others from his Barracks came to tell us that we could not operated on that section of the Hudson River anymore, at least inside the channel. He had a blast. Good to keep the police happy.
Bob West Nyack Aviation, L.L.C. New York, New York - East Hampton, New York & Warwick, New York 631.374.9652 email@example.com WA2YDV
Biscarosse's Latés were quite the impressive airplanes, the largest of their time. In testing, they were highly spoken off and seemed very reliable. However, all seven built and flying were lost at sea for unknown reasons... At this slow speed at low level, anything can happen and it did...icing, thunderstorms...etc... DC-4, DC-6 and Connies could cruise up and out of most trouble so they, with their large number, could overtake the odds.
Get a load of the throttle quadrant...The french of these times did not believe in co-pilots, the right seat was that of the flight engineer or the extra captain, in back the radio(morse)operator and the navigator.
When I was in Marignane, we were two captains, but the locals(les Pompiers du Ciel-Flying Firemen) had still a mechanic on the right, quite a pointless rule as all the planes returned home every nights...eventually, the engineers' union, (Europe is ruled by unions) had their members get a pilot licence and both groups were merged, ending that nonsense. It was even crazier in WW II, on big sea planes, the Captain was actually a navy BOAT captain, sitting in the back and giving orders to the two mechanics up front, non-com officers being also pilots!
The Laté had a real captain...lonely at the top!
Navigator would be left, right the radio operator...lookin back of the radio station
Europe had different standards...Planes had farm tractor controls...you PULLED BACK the throttle and PUSHED FORWARD the prop... America's aviation vocabulary in contrast, derive from railroad operations, as passenger service was linked to passengers transferring to railroad sleeper cars for night travel or bad weather. Flying was a fair weather luxury option for first class train traveling.