Airport 1970,

Minute 096: Ursa Major and Cassiopeia

December 12, 2016

Guest Host: Sherwood Harrington

Sherwood Harrington is head of the Astronomy Department at De Anza College in Cupertino, California. In his spare time, he enjoys playing with the equipment in the College’s Fujitsu Planetarium and taking snapshots of his

Visit the De Anza Planetarium!


As the stars sweep to the right in the cockpit windows, Flight Two begins its slow turn back to Lincoln International.

Vern is talking to Gwen in the First Class galley.

“So, delay serving dinner,” says Vern. “Put every cup, bottle, glass, and everything else away and lock it up.” Vern gestures with a locking pantomime.

“Right,” says Gwen. “Be careful, Vern.”

“I’ll tell the girls in Tourist,” replies Vern. He heads aft, through the First Class compartment. Gwen begins to stack the trays back in the galley cupboard.

As Vern makes his way through the tourist section, Mrs. Schultz grabs the Captain’s sleeve.

“Oh – oh, Captain,” says Mrs. Schultz, “Our son has a question to ask you.” Vern pauses and looks at young Schuyler, sitting in the window seat. “Schuyler,” says Mrs. Schultz, “here’s our Captain.”

“Before,” begins Schuyler, “Virgo and Leo were right there, sir.” Schuyler points out the window. “Now I’m beginning to see Ursa Minor and Cassiopeia. We must be turning around!”

Vern looks at Mrs Schultz. “Why,” says Vern, “You have a young navigator here!” Mrs. Schultz laughs. Vern looks back at Schuyler.

“Well, I’ll tell you, son,” says Vern. “Now, due to a Cetcil wind, Dystor’s vectored us into a 360-tarson of slower traffic. Now we’ll maintain this Borden hold until we get the Forta Magnus clearance from Melnics.”

Schuyler is flummoxed, but acts as though he knows what Vern’s nonsense means. “Oh yes,” says Schuyler, “of course!” Vern nods and continues down the aisle.

“What did he mean by that?” asks Mr. Schultz.


In this minute

Jacqueline Bisset as Gwen Meighan
Ena Hartman as Ruth
Gary Collins as Cy Jordan
Barry Nelson as Anson Harris
Dean Martin as Vernon Demerest
Eileen Wesson as Mrs. Schultz
Lou Wagner as Schuyler Schultz
Dick Winslow as Mr. Schultz



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