TWA L-1011 Cockpit

L-1011 1977 PICTORIAL
Flying on an L-1011
e-mailed from gary thompson (8-2002)

My only actual connection to the disaster was that when I was 13 I lived in Miami Lakes with my aunt and uncle. I must have slept right though any noise coming from the Opa-Loca rescue aircraft as I understand they flew over Miami Lakes. I definitely remember seeing the pictures on the news the next day. I have been interested in flying/aircraft since before I could talk.

It wasn't until I guess my junior year in high-school that I became interested again when I bought "The Ghost Of Flight 401." I live near Daytona Beach and I do remember going to the library at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and reading an official copy of the NTSB accident report. I noted the large number of x's denoting foul language used by the flight crew in their perplexing situation. Anyway, I became totally engrossed in the book, perhaps a little too engrossed. Later I read Elizabeth's Fullers book also.

The reason I'm e-mailing you is in 1977 I had the opportunity to fly on an Eastern 1011, there were servicing Daytona Beach for a while. I forgot to mention the 1011 has always been my favorite in commercial aviation. Anyway, there was hardly anyone boarding in Daytona and I asked if I could take pictures of the flight deck. They said "sure." They even let me sit in captains seat.

I have a few pictures of the flight instruments including the 3 lit green squares below the landing gear lever and some shots of all three flight crew during pre-flight. If interested I will scan them and e-mail them to you. (You could add them to the image page) I guess the 30 year anniversary is coming up. Is anyone doing anything special?


Gary G Thompson
(Electronics Technician for United Space Alliance-gov't contractor for the Space Shuttle Program)


This is a 1/100 scale model of a TWA L-1011 that I painted to resemble Eastern's current scheme, complete down to the N310EA designation.

Model of TWA L-1011

Pilot's Seat

I took this as I was sitting in the Pilots seat. Note the airspeed indicator on the left of the yoke and the altimeter in the middle. I wish I had had the key!!

Still in the Pilot's seat, just panned down slightly for this shot. The captains entire steering yoke is seen here. Noting it's size, it looks easy to bump accidentally.

TWA L-1011 Cockpit

This is the best shot of all of them. It shows a little of the pilot's side and all of the copilot's side. A little left of center the three green gear down lights are in plain sight and lit with landing gear lever just above.


The crew in
pre-flight checks, looking over the flight engineer's console with the first officer in view.
Pre-flight Checks on an L-1011

L-1011 Captain and First Officer A view of the captain and first officer during preflight. A good overall view of the flight cabin.

Another picture of the crew in pre-flight. An out of focus picture, why I did this I don't know. Sorta makes for a slightly ghostly effect? Pre-Flight L-1011

Pre-Flight: Crew Another picture of the crew in pre-flight. This shot looks like I am probably standing at the entrance of the flight cabin.

I believe this is where I sat for the flight. This is looking at the closed flight cabin door with the flight attendants console in the middle of the picture. I assume I was in first row seat 1A. This is, I believe, the general area where flight attendants Stephanie and Patricia were seated before the crash. Flight Attendant's Area

Flight Attendant's Area This is basically the same shot (as above), just panned to the right and down, good view of the flight cabin door.

This is perhaps quite a similar view that the passengers of the starboard side of flight 401 saw as they were still a bit over the Atlantic approaching Miami International (this is Miami in the picture, I'm sure with some research the large highway in the right portion of the pix could be identified. It may be Alligator Alley which is still in Fort Lauderdale).

I had moved to the right side of the plane for this shot.

Flying over Miami

This is a shot of Miami after the plane has turned right (heading of 270 degrees) for the downwind leg of their approach to runway 9L. I don't remember the actual approach pattern so I'm not sure if the plane turns left or right in this picture for the base to final approach. I'm sure it followed the same approach as flight 401 so it would turn to a heading of 360 (left) before turning final.


I hope you liked these pictures and I hope you actually use a couple on your 401 site. Thank you for giving me the pleasure of meeting online. I, of course would be interested in any discussion or activity related to Flight 401.



Well, Bob, we actually used 'em all!

I really, really enjoyed what you sent, and I think our readers will too. To see the inside for yourself, and to feel like you have actually been there, are more than any of us could ever ask for. Thanks for sharing them with us and please, if you ever wish to have me revise or update this pictorial page, just let me know.

For now, all the best,



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