Las Vegas Airlines

They went out of business……..good.

LV Airlines was my first A&P job.  In fact, while I was testing, I also swept the hangar and filled oil bottles.

Me at work.  the hammer is a joke.

LVA took tourists out to see the Grand Canyon. First the aerial tour and then a landing at Grand Canyon Airport to be bussed over to see the Big Ditch. I actually took the flight and got paid to do it. The door on PA-31 N77LV kept popping open in flight. Usually drawing concern for the tourist sitting next to the door. We kept shimming and shimming the door and it checked good on the ground but still popped open in flight.

Lo and behold, I was sitting next to it when it popped open. Yes, other passengers were aboard. Over the screaming, I carefully measured how far it moved. About an inch. That done, I closed the door and the screaming stopped. The passengers got to fly a different aircraft home, but lucky me got to fly 77 back to Vegas with the crew. Once again, it popped open. More measurements. Since we were alone the pilots tried different altitudes. Different speeds and maneuvering. It turned out that it popped in right hand turns. Made sense to me.

It was determined that the whole needed to be replaced. Management said that was too expensive, so they sold it an bought another. N45LV.

We were doing a 50 Hour inspection on 45 one night and found a crack on the left engine block. Starting at the bottom seam heading up between the number one and number three cylinders. Management said wipe it down and keep flying it. 50 Hours later, the crack had propagated further up the casing. I and three other AP’s had a heart to heart with management. What the crack meant. What it meant to the FAA. What it meant to us. What it meant to the poor bastards climbing into that airplane.
They decided to put an engine on order but keep flying the airplane.

I quit. My license meant more to me than that job. I tried to get another, the LV general aviation business is close and cliquish. Once they knew I had worked for LVA, they wouldn’t hire me. All of them.

I went to work for Radio Shack.

Two months into my Radio Shack career, 45 crashed taking off from Grand Canyon Airport. Engine failure on takeoff.


August 17, 1983: Las Vegas Airlines- Crashed into Canyon Wall, N88LV

May 20, 1987: Las Vegas Airlines Crashes on Take Off, N22LV

They kept 22 on the brochure and postcard.

September 23, 2003- North Las Vegas Runway Collision

I think that last one finally sank LVA.

I can’t find the report on 45.  If you do, leave it in the comments.