Cathy Wurzer talks 'Non-Stop' with Jack El-Hai
ST. PAUL, Minn. — On July 5, 1927 the first Northwest Airlines flight to carry ticketed passengers took off from Minneapolis headed for Chicago. But over Hastings the engine suddenly "went deader than a smelt," recalled one of the passengers, and the plane was forced to land in an open field.
It was a fitting start for an airline that grew out of a mail carrier service the year before, and that would have its ups and downs over the next 80 years. The story is told in a new book, "Non-Stop: A Turbulent History of Northwest Airlines," by Jack El-Hai.