Sky Talk

Throwback Thursday: Working the ramp at DFW

American Airlines ground crew member Patrick Kau on the tarmac with Star-Telegram aviation reporter Andrea Ahles at DFW International Airport, Thursday, April 28, 2016.
American Airlines ground crew member Patrick Kau on the tarmac with Star-Telegram aviation reporter Andrea Ahles at DFW International Airport, Thursday, April 28, 2016. mfaulkner@star-telegram.com

Sometimes you meet really cool people when you’re on the aviation beat.

Patrick Kau works on the ramp at Dallas/Fort Worth Airport for American Airlines. And a few Thursdays ago, Star-Telegram photographer Max Faulkner and I met up with Kau as he was working his shift, loading bags on to a flight that was leaving Terminal D.

For several years, Kau has worked as part of the ground crew at American, starting at the company’s operations in Honolulu. But when American outsourced its Hawaii ground operations in 2012, Kau decided to move his family here to the Metroplex so he could keep his job with the Fort Worth-based carrier.

Kau and I have one thing in common, and it’s not the yellow vests we’re wearing in this photo. We both grew up in Hawaii. And whenever two locals meet, it’s a chance to “talk story.”

While Max shot more photos of planes and ground crew workers, Kau and I spent 20 minutes talking about what high schools we went to, who we might know, when was the last time we visited the islands and what we miss the most (local food.) And then we, of course, made “shaka” signs for Max as he snapped this photo.

This is not a traditional Throwback Thursday photo, but with all the rain we’re getting at DFW today, it was nice to look back at a photo of a sunny spring day on the ramp with Kau.

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