Where are the ones who have gone before us?

Jet #2 — N776K, Serial Number 3/1043

The second Paris in our saga is a unique one. Manufactured in 1958, she is the oldest of the three that stayed in the United States and has even made me wonder if the owner imported her himself. Owned by one J.W. Keeney (from Santa Barbara), N776K appears in two period photos from the Santa Monica Airport [Geoff Goodall]

 At the Santa Monica Airport (confirmed by the sign over N776K's port wing). From San Diego Air and Space Museum Archives.

At the Santa Monica Airport (confirmed by the sign over N776K's port wing). From San Diego Air and Space Museum Archives.

Mr. Keeney was a pilot for United Airlines, which explains why he was comfortable buzzing an air base 100 feet above the runway at 400 knots upon a request to show off the foreign aircraft [Santa Barbara City Directory].

From the Oxnard Press Courier, February 4, 1961.

Mr. Keeney featured in an ad in the Oakland Tribune, July 16, 1957.

After Mr. Keeney, she was reregistered as N760C to a Sherwood Johnston of Scottsdale, Arizona. I can find very little on her starting at this time, except perhaps that the Johnston's were quite the socialites.

From the Arizona Republic, June 21, 1967, after N760C had changed hands again.

In 1966, N760C was rechristened N760S. Under this designation she passed through quite a few hands until she landed with her current owner in 1986 or 1993. I say either because I have a sneaking suspicion that J & B Inc of Washington DC and B Air Inc of Alexandria VA are really owned by the same person. In this guise, she's made appearances in Fort Lauderdale, perhaps on simple jaunts or for the owner to winter there. Her last appearances were in 1991 and 1993.

 N760S at Fort Lauderdale Executive, October 8, 1990. By Simon Brook.

N760S at Fort Lauderdale Executive, October 8, 1990. By Simon Brook.

 N760S at Fort Lauderdale Executive Airport, Valentine's Day 1991. By Pete Thorns

N760S at Fort Lauderdale Executive Airport, Valentine's Day 1991. By Pete Thorns

Of the four Paris jets Beechcraft had ties to, N760S is the only one remaining. If she were a human she'd be the closest yet to achieving immortality. Unlike the others whose parts were probably melted down and reused in other planes and products, N760S pushes on, having escaped the random acts of misfortune which can doom warbirds and vintage aircraft.

I especially like the last picture, which feels sedate after her youthful days of buzzing airports and carrying party-goers. Maybe she will achieve something even closer to immortality on this owner's retiring her and be donated to a museum where she can be showcased with the full story of Olive's business jet dream, an end to which I can think of no analogue for a human.

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