The Story of Snow Leopard – Part 5: A Postscript

Snow Leopard at Dushanbe, Tajikistan

Snow Leopard at Dushanbe, Tajikistan

 

A Postscript to the Story of Snow Leopard

Some new photographs have emerged about Tajik Air’s Boeing 747SP operation told in “The Story of Snow Leopard” previously posted on this blog site. The images illustrate the spirit of cooperation between the Tajiks and the ex-Pan Am crew who were enthusiastically and selflessly working to give Tajik Air a name for itself in Central Asia. Many thanks to Purser Gunilla Crawford for providing the photographs.

The first set of images includes scenes at Dushanbe Airport with airport staff and security guards. They all were very happy to come on board the “giant” airplane and enjoy the buffet laid out for them by the flight crew.  Also are pictures of TU-154s at the airport and a photo taken from Snow Leopard while flying over the Pamir mountains. There is also a photograph taken by one of the Snow Leopard pilots from the ground in Dushanbe of a mysterious flying object. They were told: “They never saw anything! No Explanation!”

The next series of images shows the level of meal service enjoyed by the First Class passengers on Snow Leopard. As the cabin crew were former Pan American World Airways pursers, the service replicated Pan Am’s iconic “Seven Cart” gourmet meals.

This short-lived Boeing 747SP operation gave Tajik Civil Aviation an all too brief “shining moment” that for two short months gave Central Asia a glimpse of what could be done in commercial flight. It is gone for now, but the memories remain, thanks to the ex-Pan Am cabin crew and pilots who shared their photographs and memories to make “The Story of Snow Leopard” possible.

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About James Patrick ("Jamie") Baldwin
James Patrick ("Jamie") Baldwin is an author, blogger, lecturer and consultant in air transportation, an Adjunct Associate Professor at the University of Maryland University College and a Visiting Lecturer at the University of Westminster (London). Previously at ERAU’s College of Business he taught Business Law, Business Law for Airline Managers, and Airline Management. He was also faculty advisor to Sigma Alpha Epsilon. As a lecturer he coordinates Aviation Law workshops for Aeropodium, a UK-based aviation-related events company and organizes Aviation Law Conferences at his law school, American University Washington College of Law (AUWCL). As a consultant he specializes in start-up airline strategies, airline marketing, regulatory compliance, licensing, aircraft sourcing, strategic planning, contracts, agency agreements and preparing business plans. An avid golfer, Mr Baldwin is a golf correspondent for the Daytona Beach News-Journal. Previously Mr Baldwin served as Deputy General Manager for Legal and Regulatory Affairs of Star Airways, a small Turkish cargo airline of which he was a founder, and prior to that, the US Representative of Tajik Air, the international airline of the Republic of Tajikistan. In the latter capacity, he represented the airline’s interests before the US government, multilateral development banks and private US and international business interests. He also coordinated and prepared on behalf of the government of Tajikistan a request for a grant from the US Trade and Development Agency for a feasibility study on its air transport sector. Mr Baldwin also served as an officer in the US Navy (1974-1978) and the active US Naval Reserve (1978-1994). His latest assignments included service as a Naval Liaison Officer on tanker convoys during the Iran/Iraq War, Officer in Charge of military officers boarding, inspecting and briefing masters of merchant ships delivering military cargo during the first Gulf War and Commanding Officer of a US Naval Reserve unit. He is now retired with the rank of Commander. Mr Baldwin is the author of Pan American World Airways – Images of a Great Airline (BluewaterPress, 2011). He also co-edited, with Jeff Kriendler, former Vice President, Corporate Communications at Pan Am, Pan American World Airways – Aviation History through the Words of its People (BluewaterPress, 2011). Mr Baldwin obtained an A.B. (Bachelor’s) Degree in International Relations from the University of Southern California (Los Angeles) and a J.D. (Juris Doctor) Degree from the AUWCL (Washington DC). He is a member of the U.S. Naval Institute, the U. S. Golf Association and Sigma Alpha Epsilon. He has traveled widely and includes among his interests golf, hill walking, sailing, model railroading, spectator sports, classical music and writing. He is married and resides in Maryland.

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