Photo: Maestro Goodman University of Illinois Symphony Orchestra, Bernard M. Goodman, Director
1964 South American Tour, “Virtual 40th Anniversary Reunion”
 

Date: Thu, 22 Apr 2004 05:30:19 -0700 (PDT)
From: Skidmore William <billytheskid@yahoo.com>
Subject: Mountain flying

...I flew with about 20 others from San Juan (actually from a nearby city's airport) to Santiago, Chile, on the "cargo" flight. While most of the orchestra flew on a Caravelle and made it in 20 minutes or so, we were on a DC-4 and wound our way through the mountain passes (we had to turn around in one pass and fly south to another pass because of cloud cover). It was a spectacular experience! The Andes mountains were up as high as we were on both sides of the plane. The plane wasn't designed to fly quite as high as we had to go, and the oxygen masks popped out from above.

WS+

Date: Thu, 22 Apr 2004 09:14:23 -0700
From: "Tom Jewett, 1964 Tour Site" <thetour@tomjewett.com>
Subject: Re: Mountain flying

...The town we flew out of was Mendoza, which is now becoming quite famous in wine circles for producing very high quality wines -- many of which are readily available at least in the L.A. area.

I was on the DC-4 flight with you (I think that all of the cello, bass, and percussion players were there along with the cargo). The Andes were actually much *higher* than we were, which was the problem -- they couldn't make enough altitude to get over the planned mountain pass, probably because of weight. Due to the lack of pressure, I got a horrible pain in my ears, and missed the next two days of concerts. It's bothered me on and off for flying to this day. The CBS-TV film crew was on the plane with us -- in their eventual special, the only sort-of-recognizable picture of me was behind an oxygen mask! The mask, by the way, wasn't the cute little yellow-cup/elastic-band/plastic-bag one that we know from pre-takeoff briefings today -- it was a genuine World War II-issue monstrosity (as was the airplane itself).

Tom

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