9 thoughts on “Troutdale Airport, circa 1962

  1. Take a look at the February 1, 2021 post under “Related” for a reminder of the time a United plane landed at this airport by mistake. Thanks to Merv and wploulorenziprince (and the YouTube creator) you can watch a video about it!

  2. Off topic, but the moderator has given me permission to submit this comment as I know every VP reader will love this!

    From yesterday’s Oregon Historical Quarterly e-news:
    “OHS research library staff recently digitized 88 glass plate negatives that were found in a Northeast Portland house in the 1930s. In this week’s Dear Oregonblog post, Digital Collections Assistant Ilana Sol describes the collection, which includes glimpses of emerging early twentieth-century neighborhoods on the east side of the Willamette River in Portland. While the photographer is unknown, they captured candid images of house and road construction and residential scenes that document leisure activities, gardens, animals, and children.”

    The URL is:

    THEY ARE WONDERFUL PHOTOS!!!! (There’s a link inside to all 88 of them, too.)

  3. United Airlines Captain Styles Whipple a pilot with 10,000 hours of experience landed his DC-8 airliner with 88 passengers at the Troutdale airport at 4:18 am on August 12, 1962. Capt. Whipple had been given clearance to land at PDX on runway 28 or 10-R by PDX controller Guy Sykora. On August, 12, 1962 in those early morning hours the general aviation Troutdale airport control tower was not staffed, but the runway lights were on leading the United pilot to mistake it for PDX which was 8-10 miles to the West. Once on the ground in Troutdale Capt. Whipple made the announcement “Ladies and gentlemen by some mistake we have inadvertently landed at Troutdale airport instead of Portland International” Meanwhile at the PDX tower controller Sykora was asked by a fellow controller 10 minutes after last radio contact with the airliner if it had landed. Controller Sykora at this point saw the plane was no longer on radar, and a scan to the East with binoculars showed no aircraft..
    Transcript of tower and aircraft
    “Let me call him” — “United 861 Portland Tower”– “Ah, Portland tower”–“861, what’s your position?”– Ah, Portland tower I think we’ve gone and landed at Troutdale”– “Everything OK” (another voice “He what?”) — “He landed at Troutdale”– “No joke”.

    In the days following the landing United Airlines tired of pranksters calling to see if the fare to NYC would be less if they departed from Troutdale instead of Portland.

  4. Closest approximated “today” image possible, above.

    The plane nearest the camera looks like a 1955 Cessna 172.
    The single-engine looks similar to an SN-J training plane.
    The twin-engine in the distance looks like a DC-2.

  5. I believe the trainer is either a Fairchild PT-19 or PT-26. The twin is a Cessna Bobcat, or commonly called the Bamboo Bomber, a WW II multi-engine trainer

  6. Oregon historical society just digitized some images from around 1905 of Portland. They were found in a home in the 30’s. Mostly people in their yards.

  7. The Oregon Journal published this same photo on Wednesday December 6, 1961 page 10

    Troutdale Airport’s new $130,000 control tower built with. Port of Portland and Federal funds, was dedicated Wednesday. The six story, concrete and steel structure has the most modern equipment in any Federal Aviation Agency facility according to Joe Burris chief controller at the installation. Burris heads a nine man FAA crew which operates the tower from 7am to 11pm daily.

  8. Liz, thank you for the link. Most are interesting snapshots of daily life, but there is a series of photos taken in “the yard” that are somewhat disturbing. The first shows the family standing in the yard with a man in the background in shadows and the children looking somewhat worried. There are others showing the same yard but with a figure scratched out of the photos in the background.

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