In the 1970s, residents near the airport frequently saw planes from Pacific Southwest Airlines (PSA). Known for its low-cost fares and friendly service, PSA was considered the world’s friendliest airline.

“PSA was San Diego’s Airline,” said Greg Acuna, whose father was a PSA pilot.

“We all grew up here in San Diego. We all went to the same school. We are all the same age and we all intertwined,” said Acuna.

Acuna said within that community lie incredible stories of the PSA Pilots.

To capture these tales, he and Pat McCollam, who is also a retired pilot, are writing a book about their experiences.

“These people have a lot to give to us and relate to the history, of not just PSA but the airline industry back in the ’60s and ’70s,” said McCollam.

cuna and McCollam started their project by interviewing retired PSA pilots at a gathering in Santee.

“There was a war going on called the Korean War. Because I was an Eagle Scout I slipped in there,” said Tony Claessens, recalling his time in the Air Force.

Claessens then became a PSA pilot for more than 20 years.

“PSA was a very unique airline. It believed in people more than anything,” he said.

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