You’re welcome, Your Eminence

By Fred Cooney

One of the most interesting things that happened to me during my time at TWA was when I was asked to travel with Pope John in Oct 1997. I served as the maintenance “shepherd” for the three 727s carrying the Papal entourage from PHL to ORD, and back to Andrews Air Force base in Washington, DC.

When we parked at Andrews, I was alone in the cockpit completing paper work at the F/E table when I heard someone ask if there was anyone in the cockpit. With that, the Pope came in and said that he wanted to thank me for all the extra time I had spent, and that he had enjoyed his trip with TWA. Although I am not Catholic, I kissed his ring and cannot come close to describing the feeling of awe and respect I had for him.

In my airline career I was able to get to know and work with a lot of warm, caring people -- thanks TWA, for 35 wonderful years!

Fred R. Cooney (1958-1992) served in Technical Services, Maintenance and Station Operations at BWI, DCA, IAD, ONT and SEA.