ST. LOUIS — Trans World Airlines is long gone from St. Louis. But there was a time when the airline had Lambert bustling with passengers. One of the last artifacts from TWA's glory days is about to get a new home.
In north St. Louis County, there are volunteers spending hours making sure the airlines legacy is not forgotten.
Inside the old TWA headquarters, a passion project is underway.
"I'm trying to remember how I got recruited into this,” said retired TWA mechanic Greg Tyler.
Tyler spent 20 years as a mechanic working on TWA planes.
"We loved what we did, loved working with each other. had a good time,” said Tyler.
He's traveled from Indianapolis here to St. Louis to make sure history is not lost.
"I'm really glad we have it,” said Tyler.
Several TWA retirees are volunteering their time to disassemble this old training simulator.
"It's a labor of love, the pay, we get a free lunch,” said former TWA worker, Gerasim Mayden.
"This is actually is the top of a 727,” said Tyler.
For decades it was used by TWA to help pilots and flight attendants prepare for emergencies.
"Fire, turbulence, everything an actual aircraft goes through,” said Tyler.
The old simulator hasn't been used since TWA the company was acquired by American Airlines in 2001. The airport is donating the relic to The TWA Museum in Kansas City.
"It's just nice to do this, it brings back a lot of memories,” said Tyler.
Memories of a once dominant airline and memories of the fun times the crew had together.
"It's been wonderful seeing people we haven't seen in 25 years, we pick up right where we left off,” said Tyler. “It's been a blast."
The volunteers hope to have it all taken apart by the end of July. Then have it back together in Kansas City and ready to be on display sometime next month.
Tyler and Mayden could use some help. They’re hoping with the rich history of aviation in St. Louis that some retired mechanics might see this and want to help. If you’re interested contact Greg Tyler at 317-682-7489.