Themed “Flying Down to Rio” commemorated Pan Am’s presence in Brazil, starting in 1930 with its flying boats to Rio and continuing until the last Boeing 747 in1991 when Pan Am’s operations ceased.
Caipirinhas and Cariocas evoked the Carnival theme, and guests were also entertained by the pianist United Airlines Captain Beau Brant.
This year’s honorees were Dorothy Kelly and Ed Trippe. Dorothy was the Pan Am inflight purser on one of the worst aircraft disasters, in March 1977, when a KLM 747 collided with a Pan Am 747 on the runway in Tenerife. Despite being badly injured, Dorothy pulled passengers out of the burning aircraft and had to jump from the plane, then returned to rescue more passengers.
Ed Trippe is the youngest child of Juan Trippe, Pan Am’s founder, and is Chairman and Founder of the Pan Am Historical Foundation. Mr. Trippe is credited with saving documents, artifacts, and images from Pan Am’s history and his dedication to preserving the airline’s story through the Pan Am Historical Foundation.
Linda Freire, Chair of the Pan Am Museum Foundation, welcomed guests back after a three-year hiatus due to COVID and updated the attendees on the Museums’ work. As usual, Linda introduced and spoke eloquently about the background and accomplishments of this year’s honorees and those who contributed to making the Museum and the evening a success.
We look forward to next year’s Pan Am Gala on October 12th, 2023 – “A Passage to India.”