Catalina Airlines, Inc began operations in 1973, taking over the Golden West operation and most of their fleet of Grumman Gooses. Although Catalina Airlines, Inc. shared the same name of Dick Probert's earlier airline, there was no relationship between the two. Sporting an eye catching green and copper on beige paint scheme, Catalina Airlines flew the Catalina Channel for about eight years. In 1977, Paul Briles took over the operation. The Gooses were grounded by the FAA in 1977 due to salt water corrosion. Air service to the island was augmented with a Sikorsky S-58 helicopter, and two Sikorsky S-62 helicopters. Catalina Airlines, Inc. ceased operations in 1981.
Catalina Airlines Fleet:
Grumman Goose: N324, N322, N11CS, N93G, N22932
Sikorsky S-62A Helicopter: N54516, N324Y
Sikorsky S-58 Helicopter: N33602
Catalina Airlines, Inc. N324, serial #B-66. This is Catalina Airlines early paint scheme. Photo by John P. Stewart
N93G serial #1130 ready for boarding at Long Beach Airport. Photo by Ellis Chernoff
N322, serial #B-73 with the later Catalina Airlines paint scheme at Pebbly Beach. Photo by Chris Bell
Catalina Airlines N22932, serial B-139. This Goose crashed when the elevator cable separated from the control yoke during a take off from Pebbly Beach on September 17, 1979. She was salvaged and is today still flying in Alaska with PenAir.
Photo by Chris Bell
N11CS, serial 1166. This Gooses was modified with a Widgeon style windscreen and retractable floats. N11CS suffered a fatal crash on April 14, 1979. Photo is dated July 1978. Photo by Chris Bell
Catalina Flying Boats
Catalina Flying Boats was started by Frank Strobel in 1984., He continued the Catalina's seaplane tradition throughout the 1980s, flying cargo and passengers between Long Beach and Pebbly Beach. Although the airline only broke even, Frank Strobel fulfilled his mission in keeping seaplanes flying to Catalina. The airline was sold in the late 1980s and the new owners sold Catalina Flying Boats two Grumman Gooses, opting to fly Beech 18s and Douglas DC-3s instead, thus ending over 40 years of almost continuous Grumman Goose service to Catalina.
Catalina Flying Boats Fleet:
Grumman Goose: N69263, N1257A, N143DF
Catalina Flying Boats N1257A serial #1184 climbing the Pebbly Beach ramp.