Wednesday, April 24, 2013

A Special Trust

We performed testing on the world’s most prestigious aircraft
by George B.
I joined Lockheed in 1958 to manage its newly formed non-destructive testing group in the engineering department of LAS-NY at Idlewild Airport, later rededicated as the John F. Kennedy International Airport in Jamaica, New York. We performed ultrasonic and radiographic non-destructive testing services for commercial and private aircraft, as well as military Constellation-type aircraft.

What the public did not know was that we all provided these services on the presidential fleet of Lockheed Constellation aircraft, which were undergoing service and modification work in our separate and secure private hangar at the airport. The Air Force provided 24-hour surveillance inside the hangar and inside the aircraft using video cameras and Air Force guards. We had to obtain individual Top-Secret security clearances for our work with ultrasonic and x-ray testing personnel. We had to sign in at the hangar entrance and sign in at the aircraft entrance door to work inside the aircraft. The FBI investigated all of us by contacting out neighbors and people who would know us personally to grant us this clearance.

Idlewild Airport