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Adios, Papa Alpha!

June 29th, 2006 · 2 Comments

On Thursday, June 29, the Los Angeles area aviation community bid a fond farewell to Phil Aune as he retired from service in the Van Nuys Airport air-traffic control tower. Phil is known by all Valley aviators as “The Voice of the Van Nuys Airport,” having served at the field for 47 years.

Phil was the tower controller who helped me around the pattern on my first solo flight back in the early 1990s. He was kind enough to congratulate me over the tower frequency that day, making the event all-the-more memorable for me. He always exuded an extreme calm that came through in his transmissions from that tower cab. After leaving to go to college in AZ, it was always nice to hear his familiar voice as I flew back into VNY on various visits I made. I had a chance to meet him on several occasions, and he was always a very gracious and helpful individual who was willing to go out of his way to assist aviators of all experience levels.

Phil’s moving on to other more leisurely things like cruises, riding his Harley, and country-dancing. Of course he’ll be greatly missed by the folks who frequent VNY on a regular basis.

Thanks, Phil! Good health and best of luck!!

‘Papa Alpha’ finally signs off – BY DANA BARTHOLOMEW, Staff Writer

Photos are screen-captures from the fantastic movie and DVD One Six Right. Copyright 2006 VNY Documentary LLC and Terwilliger Productions

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2 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Gina // Jul 3, 2006 at 2:55 am

    What a nice write-up, GC. I hope Phil enjoys retired life…sounds like he’s earned it.

  • 2 Sam // Jul 3, 2006 at 4:40 pm

    Wow, I didn’t know Phil was that old. I knew he’d been there a while. Sad to see another SoCal aviation Institution go away.

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