Don Frost's Office

Take a stroll back to 1984 where we enter a small room on the ground floor of the Air Service building, south ramp of Honolulu Airport. This is Don Frost's office and it's ok to be here, I have a key. Those parachutes in the corner belong to Art Daegling, and Don lets me use them when I fly acro.
         It's not a big office, but what a sight! I can't pick up the chutes without checking out the photos which absolutely cover these two walls. My favorite? It's this one over here of an early airliner called the Boeing 247. Don spent years as the head of the FAA office in Seattle, and while there he gave author Ernest K. Gann a type rating flight in the Boeing 247. Ernie thanked him with this photo, upon which is scribed, "Quick, get the stewardess off my lap. Here comes Frostie of the CAA."
          Don Frost was on duty in Seattle for the introduction of Boeing's 707 when Tex Johnson livened up the presentation with a barrel roll in the huge jet. Thousands saw it. Apparently Tex did a nice job of it, but Don had to violate him, nonetheless. After Seattle, next stop was the Honolulu FAA office, located on the second story of this building. Upon retiring from the FAA, Don stayed involved in aviation as a private examiner, thus the need for an office.
          These photos are like Don Frost himself, they're reminders of a different age in aviation. I'm told that Don was soloed by none other than Tony Levier. Don maintained the traditional aviator's mustache and retained a trim form throughout his later years. He once pointed at a flight instructor and said, "Now that man LOOKS like a pilot". He was referring to a tall, muscular pilot with central casting features which would make him a worthy companion to John Wayne up on the big screen. You see, Don was alive when the likes of Roscoe Turner were streaking around pylons and if you needed some flying for a film you'd hire Paul Mantz and Frank Tallman. It was a proud bunch of aviators in those days, a time when pilots carried their bags, they didn't drag them behind on squeaky little wheels.
          Over on this wall are the signed photos of air race and air show stars, so many in fact that you supposed if Don attended an air show, he could talk old times with most of the performers.
          Here is the hot seat, the chair in front of Don's desk where you sat while he asked questions to see if you were ready for the new certificate or rating. You probably never listened so well as when you were getting a rating ride, and Don knew this, so he used the time to teach a little, not just quiz. Maybe he told you the story of the Western Airlines crew who lost total electrical power over the Pacific Northwest one dark and stormy night with low ceilings and low vis everywhere. The captain not only knew where the bad weather was, he knew where to find good weather as well, and the jetliner landed safely at a strip in Winnemucca, Nevada, or some such place.
          Well, my friend, it's time to leave. Take a good look around, because shrines to aviation's earlier years are getting hard to find. These were glorious days with some fine airmen, and there's plenty to learn from them. Plenty.

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