NATIONAL AIRLINES SYSTEM
FLIGHT 1 * 1937
"Good morning! Welcome aboard Flight One
to Miami, with intermediate stops in Tampa, Sarasota and Ft. Meyers. Today's
flight is very special, as you are flying National's newest airplane,
the Stinson Trimotor along with the personalized service of a stewardess.
I am Charlotte Georgie, after take off it will be my pleasure to serve
you gum, magazines and cigarettes. I will be coming through the cabin
to meet all of you personally, pointing out areas of interest as our flight
progresses. We will be flying today at the speed of 125 miles an hour.
This "Giant of an Airplane," as the St. Petersburg Times calls it, holds
eight passengers and a crew of three. On board we are equipped with two-way
radio communications with ground stations at Jacksonville and St. Petersburg.
You may notice that the pilot has to adjust the stabilizer every time
I walk up and down the aisle, I assure you that is perfectly normal. Our
flight is about to depart from Albert Whited Airport in St. Petersburg,
so please take your seat and fasten your seat belt."
That is all we know of her very first flight. We
don't know what Charlotte (Georgie) Robbins actually said on this historic
flight, but we do know that it was not routine! In the two published interviews
we found about her, from 1972, she gave the amazing details of that flight.
She arrived in Miami, spending the day at the 36th Street Airport, waiting
for her flight back to St. Petersburg. During the return flight, she was
called up to the cockpit and informed they were going to make an emergency
landing because of an engine problem. She didn't know enough about flying
to be scared, she recalled, so she just went back and sat in her little
jump seat and waited. They landed in a farmer's muddy field with little
damage to the airplane. Thankfully there were no injuries to the passengers
Charlotte was upset, as the new uniform
that she and her mother designed and made, a white silk gabardine, became
muddy when she waded out of the swamp. The passengers were sent on to
Tampa by bus while the crew waited for a mechanic from St. Petersburg
to fix the Stinson Trimotor. The crew hired a tractor from the farmer
and towed the airplane out of the mud.
Charlotte Georgie was personally hired
by George T. Baker. He founded the airline in 1934 as a mail carrier between
St. Petersburg and Daytona Beach, Florida. When Mr. Baker met young Charlotte
at a Yacht Club in St. Petersburg in early 1937, he offered her the job
as his first stewardess. Her pay was $75.00 a month with a free room at
the one layover she had in Daytona Beach. Charlotte's "One Glorious Year"
with National ended the day Mr. Baker purchased a Lockheed Lodestar. He
explained to Charlotte that the airline could no longer afford the frills
of a stewardess, as he had to pay for this brand new airplane. It would
be 1940 before National would once again hire stewardesses.
According to the 1972 interviews, Charlotte
(Georgie) Robbins moved to San Diego in 1962 to be near her son. While
we have exhausted all efforts to locate more information regarding Charlotte,
we hope, through this web site, a friend or family member will contact
us with more information.
This web site would not be complete without
including Charlotte, our pioneer stewardess, in our history. She was called
"The Little Sweetheart of the Skies” by an aviation official in 1937.
We salute her professionalism as a National stewardess.