United States Airways

Captain Lucien Pickett established the small, non-scheduled carrier in 1964. The airline operated a Douglas DC-7C and a Lockheed 1049G on lease-purchase. In July of that year, the aircraft operated charter flights from London Gatwick to Kenya and Jamaica but remained inactive at Frankfurt, Germany, from September to December 1964. Despite facing challenges, the Super Connie continued her charter work, flying to the Azores and Jamaica in January 1965. However, upon returning to Gatwick, she was impounded due to non-payment of landing and parking fees, which threatened her operations. In a bold move, in February 1965, she departed for Amsterdam and flew to Beek Airfield in the South of the Netherlands, marking a new chapter in her journey. 

At Beek, the aircraft received a load of parachutes and was given the false registration 9G-28. After that, it left for Prague to collect a cargo of arms for dropping in the foothills of Algeria. While overflying south of Italy, the eventually overloaded aircraft developed engine trouble and made an emergency landing at Luqa, Malta, on 4 February 1965. The Super Connie was immediately impounded, and the arms were confiscated. As a result, US Air subsequently ceased operations. 

Three and a half years later, Captain Pickett formed another airline, Inter City/Air Mid-East, and attempted to start operations with another Super Connie into Biafra. Pickett lost his life when the Douglas DC-4 he was piloting disappeared into the Atlantic in 1969.







1964 - 1965


US Air Inc. Constellation Gallery