While USAir's intention in 1988 was to have employees remember PSA and be assimilated into the USAir culture, the employees of PSA have let their roots show in many ways. One of the most prominent ones was the Smile - every so often, the black line would mysteriously appear on the front of an aircraft.
One of those mischevous mechanics took out his paint bucket and painted a smile on a USAir 737-300. No big deal, right? Unless the Captain has no idea what the smile is! The Captain of this particular flight started out at Allegheny, and refused to fly the airplane. This is not a joke, as far as we know) (via Jim Newark)
The flight was cancelled, stranding the passengers, and the plane ferried to Los Angeles to have the 'marking' removed. In the maintenence logs, the smile was noted as "plane defaced." Some have said this was taken at Pittsburgh's old terminal.
What a sad ending, back then.
San Diego was a hotbed of this "defacing", as seen in the following three photos submitted by Bob Cramsie.
USAir then decided that for marketing, one of their Express carriers (States West) would earn the rights to wear the smile. (Southwest's attempt to usurp the smile had absolutely NOTHING to do with that.) This is the result of the marketing department's attempt.
The former TPA maintenance base had a number of former PSA staff who transferred there when the West Coast bases shut down. Bob Cramsie sent in all of these photos that were taken at the time.
The last photo is of the inside of a CFM-56 engine hub. It was realized that it would be a great canvas to replicate the 1960s PSA smile button.
After the US Airways/America West merger, one A319 was painted with a smile. Now we have a plane that is supposed to have a smile!