An Old Box Filled with Airport Memories

A Florida man sent us a treasure trove of aviation photos taken by his grandfather. Now we’re looking for more.

By Bob Kerlik

Published August 26, 2019

Read Time: 2 mins


Dale Zehnder opened an old box packed up from his grandfather’s house and came across dozens of 1960s pictures of planes at Greater Pittsburgh Airport. He knew he wanted to share them.

His grandfather, Noble Beheler, was a company photographer for American Bridge Co. in Ambridge, Pa., but in his spare time, he took thousands of pictures around Pittsburgh, including the airport. Some of his aviation pictures show planes from airlines like TWA, Eastern, Capital, Allegheny, Mohawk and more.

A TWA maintenance crew works on an aircraft at Greater Pittsburgh Airport. (Photo courtesy: Noble Beheler)

Beheler died in 2005 at age 99 but thanks to his camera, all of us can step back in aviation history.

“My grandfather had a darkroom in his basement and he just had a ton of pictures down there,” said Zehnder, 62, a native of Economy, Pa. who now lives in St. Petersburg, Fla. “I had them sitting in a box for a while and I thought I might as well share them so people could see what it was like years ago.

“Back then you could just come on the ramp and take pictures.”

We’d love to see more photos like these, whether they’re in Pittsburgh or not. If you have old photos of planes or scenes from airports past, send them our way at and we’ll consider publishing them on Blue Sky, photo credits and all.

So dust off those old aviation boxes, scan them, and send them to us. Make Noble Beheler proud.

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