This article is about the airline founded as Henson Airlines in 1962, but currently called Piedmont Airlines. For the airline founded as Piedmont Airlines in 1948, see
Piedmont Airlines (1948–1989)
Piedmont Airlines, Inc. is an American regional airline operating for American Eagle, formerly US Airways Express. It is a wholly owned subsidiary of the American Airlines Group, headquartered in unincorporated Wicomico County, Maryland, near the [1 ] city of Salisbury. It conducts flight operations using [2 ] Bombardier Dash 8 aircraft. Its main base is [3 ] Wicomico Regional Airport, Salisbury, with hubs at Philadelphia International Airport and Charlotte Douglas International Airport.
History [ edit ]
The airline was formed in 1961 by
Richard A. Henson as Henson Aviation, a fixed-base operator in Hagerstown, Maryland. It began its first scheduled flights to Washington National Airport in 1962 under the Hagerstown Commuter name, later changed to Henson Airlines. [3 ] Allegheny Airlines (which became US Airways, which in turn has now merged with American Airlines) and Henson began one of the world's first code sharing arrangements in 1967. Henson re-branded itself as an Allegheny Commuter carrier using Beechcraft 99 aircraft. It initially developed a route structure serving Washington D.C., Philadelphia and Baltimore, while establishing a new headquarters for Allegheny Commuter at Salisbury, Maryland in 1968. In the 1970s, the airline upgraded to Short 330 and de Havilland Canada DHC-7 Dash 7 turboprops. [3 ]
In 1983, Piedmont Aviation bought Henson and re-branded the airline as "
Henson, The Piedmont Regional Airline." Under Piedmont's control, the airline expanded rapidly, particularly in Florida. Both were purchased by the USAir Group in 1987 with Piedmont absorbed two years later and Henson's aircraft repainted in USAir Express livery. The 1980s saw rapid growth by the company with the upgrade of its fleet to the de Havilland Canada Dash 8 aircraft and fleet expansion. With the growth in capacity, the airline expanded to [4 ] Florida, including numerous intrastate routes in Florida, and it opened a maintenance facility in Jacksonville. [3 ]
The Piedmont name was resurrected in 1993, when USAir (now
US Airways) renamed Henson to " Piedmont Airlines", to protect the Piedmont brand name, which could be used by others if not exercised in trade use for a period of time. USAir continued this practice by changing the name of its two other wholly owned regional airline subsidiaries, Jetstream and Allegheny Commuter, to PSA Airlines and Allegheny Airlines, respectively. ( Pacific Southwest Airlines was the name of a California-based airline merged into USAir.) In 1997, USAir was renamed US Airways, and Piedmont was likewise re-branded as a US Airways Express carrier. US Airways merged Allegheny Airlines into Piedmont in 2004.
Operations [ edit ]
The airline had 5,221 employees, as of October 2013. It operates crew bases in
Roanoke, Salisbury, New Bern, Charlottesville, and Harrisburg. As of October 2013, the airline operated 300 daily flights to 47 unique destinations. [5 ] [5 ]
As of December 2013, Piedmont is currently the exclusive operator out at
Tweed New Haven Airport, Hilton Head Airport, and Williamsport Regional Airport, and is the only operator out of Salisbury–Ocean City–Wicomico Regional Airport.
Piedmont Airlines flights are expected to be rebranded as
American Eagle in 2015, due to US Airways' merger with American Airlines in December 2013.
As of April 2015, the Piedmont Airlines fleet consists of the following aircraft:
[6 ] [7 ]
In April 2015, Piedmont Airlines average fleet age was 24.8 years old.
Retired fleet [ edit ]
Incidents and accidents [ edit ]
On September 23, 1985,
Henson Airlines Flight 1517, a Beechcraft B99 Airliner 15-passenger turboprop airplane, crashed near Grottoes, Virginia. The crash was fatal to all 12 passengers and both crewmembers; This was the first fatality of a female commercial U.S. pilot, First Officer Zilda A. Spadaro-Wolan. The National Transportation Safety Board concluded that part of the probable cause of the crash was the airline's failure to standardize the cockpit configurations of its aircraft and on its failure to provide adequate training to its pilots. [11 ] On Sunday, November 16, 2008, Flight 4551, a
US Airways Express de Havilland Dash-8 turboprop operated by Piedmont Airlines, took off from Lehigh Valley International Airport at 8:20am heading to Philadelphia International Airport, had to make an emergency landing. The flight crew was indicated that the front nose gear hadn't come down and had to make a flyover the runway for confirmation. Of 35 passengers and 3 crew, there were no injuries. The aircraft (N326EN) incurred only minor damage and was returned to service shortly thereafter. On Saturday, January 1, 2011,
US Airways Express Flight 4352, a Piedmont Airlines-operated de Havilland Dash-8 turboprop forced an evacuation of the U.S. Capitol and fighter jets were scrambled from Andrews Air Force Base after Flight 4352 suffered radio problems on approach to Washington, DC's Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport and strayed into restricted airspace. [12 ] The Capitol was evacuated for approximately 20 minutes until the Dash-8 aircraft landed at Reagan National Airport. [13 ] On Saturday, May 18th, 2013,
US Airways Express Flight 4560 made a belly landing at Newark Liberty International Airport after landing gear would not extend. All passengers and crew members were evacuated safely. [14 ]
See also [ edit ]
References [ edit ]
^ " Career Opportunities." Piedmont Airlines. Retrieved on May 20, 2009. "5443 Airport Terminal Rd Salisbury, MD 21804 "
^ " About Piedmont." Piedmont Airlines. Retrieved on May 20, 2009.
^ a b c d e "Piedmont History" . Retrieved . 2007-06-28
^ Flight International 12–18 April 2005
^ a b "US Airways Wholly Owned Subsidiaries" (PDF). US Airways. 1 October 2013 . Retrieved . 9 December 2014
^ "Piedmont Airlines". ch-aviation.ch . Retrieved . 2015-04-10
^ "About Piedmont". Piedmont Airlines.
^ a b "Piedmont Airlines Fleet Details and History". planespotters.net. 2012-04-10 . Retrieved . 2012-10-06
^ ERJ-145s coming in December
^ "Fleet Age for Piedmont Airlines". airfleets.net . Retrieved . 2015-04-10
^ The first female commercial U.S. pilot fatality involving a propeller aircraft was that of First Officer Zilda A. Spadaro-Wolan, in the Henson Airlines flight 1517 turboprop crash of September 23, 1985 near Grottoes, Virginia. "Aircraft Accident Report: Henson Airlines Flight 1517" (PDF).
^ Sarah Brumfield (January 1, 2011). "Pilot error prompts evacuation of U.S. Capitol building". thestar.com . Retrieved . 2011-02-10
^ Mary Compton (January 1, 2011). "Jets Scrambled Over Capitol Hill Airspace Scare". ABC News . Retrieved . 2011-02-10
^ NBC News (May 18, 2013). "Plane makes belly landing at Newark Airport, no injuries reported" . Retrieved . May 20, 2013
External links [ edit ]