Photos of Indy 500 "Race Day" charters at IND in the early 80's


Well-known member
One thing I used to enjoy in my early 20's was to check out the airport every year on the Sunday of Memorial Day weekend...the day of the Indy 500. I went mainly to see the variety of charters that came in for the well as seeing the inactive runway and taxiways literally full of parked general aviation aircraft. (this was overflow, as virtually every available parking spot was full). I do have a few photos to help document some of this. I want to apologize for the poor quality of some of the photos as they didn't all scan very well from the prints. I've noticed that I also need to go through my photos again, as I'm sure I've forgotten to scan some of them. Anyway, here's what I have available as of now:
From May 30, 1982.
Ozark DC-9-31 N979Z it's on a regular service, but note the parked aircraft in the background
Ozark DC-9-31 1968 N979Z IND_19820530_01.jpg
Republic DC-9-51 N781NC actually parked pretty much by itself. Republic didn't start regular service here until June 1, 1984
Republic DC-9-51 1979 N781NC IND_19820530_01.jpg
from May 29,1983
Tenneco Corp BAC 1-11-211AH N504T
Tenneco Corp BAC-111 N504T IND_19830529_01.jpg
from May 27, 1984
Worldways Canada 707-365C C-GFLG at Gate 20.
Worldways Canada 707-365C C-GFLG IND_19840527_01.jpg

All of the the remaining ones are from May 26, 1985.
A beautiful 737-2A6 N3333M owned by JM Mecom Co...also behind it are 2 RC DC-9's, one in the hybrid North Central scheme. That's Runway 14-32 in the background full of parked aircraft.
JM Mecom Co 737-2A6 N3333M IND_19850527_01.jpg
Northwest Orient 727-251 N287US. Northwest didn't fly scheduled in here until the Republic merger October 1, 1986.
Northwest 727-251 N287US IND_19850526_N287US_01.jpg
Southwest 737-2H4 N56SW. Southwest didn't start regular service here until April 3, 1989.
Southwest 737-2H4 N56SW IND_19850526_01.jpg
USAir 737-3B7 N355AU on a regular flight to PIT with other parked aircraft in the background.
USAir 737-3B7 N355AU IND_19850526_01.jpg
Ozark DC-9-31 N924L again on a regular service but note parked aircraft in the background.
Ozark DC-9-31 1979 N924L IND_19850527_01.jpg
Last edited:
Absolutely fascinating to look at. Did you spot at IND in 1994 when NASCAR first came to the Brickyard? Or did they send the aircraft to another airport by then?
Absolutely fascinating to look at. Did you spot at IND in 1994 when NASCAR first came to the Brickyard? Or did they send the aircraft to another airport by then?
I did, but unfortunately I no longer had a camera then (sadly, it was stolen). There are some nearby "reliever" airports that handle strictly general aviation, the nearest to IND is Eagle Creek (EYE), and it was packed both for the Brickyard and the Indy 500 every year.
Last edited:
Thanks, it was rough. Had a few rolls of film in the camera bag waiting to be developed also. That really hurt.
I was able to find some more photos and get them scanned....didn't photo shop them or anything, so they may not look the best.
Going back to May 30, 1982, We find Republic DC-9-51 N763NC in North Central paint with Republic titles: The other RC DC-9-51 behind it in full RC paint is N781NC
RC DC-9-51 N763NC IND 05-28-82 raceday.jpg
Once again, 737-2A6 N3333M JC Mecom made the trip to IND, with 727-51 N727TA of Thunderbird Air behind it:
N727TA 1982.jpg
Last one from 1982 is a pair of Corporate owned BAC 1-11s: BAC 1-11-401AK N5022 of Dresser Industries, and BAC 1-11-211AH N504T of Tenneco Corp. Republic DC-9-51 N763NC is poking it's nose in behind them.
N5022 N504T 1982.jpg

May 29, 1983 finds Republic DC-9-51 N763NC here again, along with 737-2A6 N3333M belonging to JC Mecom corp. Behind them is 727-35 N727HC belonging to Hardesty Corp. 727-35 N727HC IND 5-29-83.jpg
727-51 N727TA of Thunderbird Air makes another appearance as well:
N727TA 5-29-83.jpg
May 27, 1984 again finds Republic DC-9-51 N763NC still in the hybrid scheme, along with N3333M of JC Mecom, and another RC DC-9-51 in full RC paint. This was 5 days before Republic officially began service to IND, with 3 daily flights each to DTW, MEM, and MSP:
RC DC-9-51 N763NC IND 5-27-84.jpg
Last photo I have is again of 727-35 N727HC of the Hardesty Corp
N727HC 5-27-84.jpg
Last edited:
The T-BIRD AIR N727TA was previously operated by the San Diego Padres Baseball Team as N105RK and I have pictures of that plane too!
Awesome pictures. Gulf II, 1-11s and plenty of JT8Ds is what would give me a great day spotting. I so wish I could travel back in time.
Thanks for sharing!