11:32 a.m. Where was Pete? His wife was in Phnom Penh. She probably would have caught one of the flights to Bangkok since most of the crews knew her, but I was afraid Pete might try to make sure she had gotten out.
11:46 a.m. The station manager was squatted down next to my co-pilot in the shade of the wing. Nobody was talking, just staring to the north where the shimmering heat seemed to magnify the hills in the distance. No dust, no breeze, just eerie quiet.
11:58 a.m. Here came the Land Rover, its driver looking like he was trying to qualify for the Indianapolis 500. He skidded up to the airplane, and the steward and stewardess jumped out.
The steward was panicky. “No people on the road, people all go!” he said.
“Where did they go?” I asked.
“I no know, just go. No good here, we go now?”
“Let’s get this show on the road.”
12:07 p.m. No Pete. Nothing else to do but leave.
Before going up the air stair, I looked into the station manager’s eyes. “We are going to Bangkok. I want you to come too.”
Unflinching, he stared directly back at me and fought to control his emotions. “No sir, I stay. My family. My family Phnom Penh, sir.”
I didn’t reply. What could I have said? We shook hands for the first and last time.
12:11 p.m. We started the engines and broke the stony silence. No chocks to pull since I had already removed them, but the station manager was standing in his place, as usual, looking up at the cockpit, tears tracking down his cheeks. He snapped a salute. My earlier cynicism depleted, I returned his salute, and he waved us out of the ramp.
Läs hela den intressanta artikeln - skriven av Neil Hanson - om det sista flygplanet ut från Kambodja vid röda khemerernas maktövertagande våren 1975. Det tillhörde Tri-9 Corporation, som opererade för Air Cambodge, och var av typen Convair CV.440. Två av dem, N999JZ och N999TZ, var före detta OH-LRA respektive OH-LRC. Finnair hade sålt dessa till Tri-9 runt årskiftet 1971-72. Den förstnämnda förstördes den 12 juni 1973 när Phnom Penhs flygplats attackerades med raketer. N999TZ klarade sig längre och hamnade senare på Filippinerna.