Smiles On US Airways

While USAir's intention in 1988 was to have employees remember PSA and be assimilated into the USAir culture, the employees of PSA have let their roots show in many ways. One of the most prominent ones was the Smile - every so often, the black line would mysteriously appear on the front of an aircraft.

Boeing 737-300 with Smile, at the gate, late 1980s.

One of those mischevous mechanics took out his paint bucket and painted a smile on a USAir 737-300. No big deal, right? Unless the Captain has no idea what the smile is! The Captain of this particular flight started out at Allegheny, and refused to fly the airplane. This is not a joke, as far as we know) (via Jim Newark) The flight was cancelled, stranding the passengers, and the plane ferried to Los Angeles to have the 'marking' removed. In the maintenance logs, the smile was noted as "plane defaced." Some have said this was taken at Pittsburgh's old terminal. What a sad ending, back then.

San Diego was a hotbed of this "defacing", as seen in the following three photos submitted by Bob Cramsie.

Boeing 737-300 with Smile, in SAN, circa 1989.
BAe-146 with Smile, in SAN, circa 1989.
Piedmont 737-300 with Smile

USAir then decided that for marketing, one of their Express carriers (States West) would earn the rights to wear the smile. (Southwest's attempt to usurp the smile had absolutely NOTHING to do with that.) This is the result of the marketing department's attempt.

States West/USAir Express Beech 1300 (Super King Air) with Smile

The former TPA maintenance base had a number of former PSA staff who transferred there when the West Coast bases shut down. Bob Cramsie sent in all of these photos that were taken at the time.

Metrojet 737-200 with Smile. (Bob Cramsie)
Metrojet 737-200 with Smile. (Bob Cramsie)
Airbus 319 with Smile. (Bob Cramsie)
Airbus 319 with Smile. (Bob Cramsie)
Airbus 319 with Smile. (Bob Cramsie)
CFM engine hub with a smile. (Bob Cramsie)

The last photo is of the inside of a CFM-56 engine hub. It was realized that it would be a great canvas to replicate the 1960s PSA smile button.

Boeing 767 with a smile. (Just Plane News)
Boeing 757 on approach to SXM with Smile. (James Rowson)

After the US Airways/America West merger, one A319 was painted with a smile. Now we have a plane that is supposed to have a smile!