Flying the DC-3 once again

Posted by on Aug 4, 2013 in Blog | Leave a comment

It’s been quite a few years, almost 9 in fact, that I last flew on a DC-3. Back then it was a local flight originating at Amsterdam Schiphol, but with the same company. At the time, I flew on the PH-DDZ, which was named “Doornroosje” and flying in Martinair colors. Sistership PH-PBA (manufactured in 1942, flying in vintage KLM colors) was scheduled for today, which means I’ve now flown both Dutch Dakota’s.

PH-PBA_GRQ_04-08-13kj---600px

A lot of things have changed for the company (and me!) since then, but I cross paths with their aircraft once a year on average. They regularly do scenic flights from various Dutch airports and Eelde is of course one of them. It’s a great aircraft to see and the crews that go with them are always very nice and friendly. Always in for a talk and of course the plane gets loads of attention aswell. A lot of people want a glimpse of this not-so-ordinary aircraft, especially in this day and age. Usually people will be in awe upon seeing and will have a big smile on the faces after flying it, which was confirmed once again after we disembarked.

Today, the weather couldn’t be better and the aircraft was scheduled for 4 scenic flights across the province. Early in the morning (during my shift), the question was raised if they wouldn’t have any spare room on of the flights by any chance. The answer? “On the third flight, we have room for 1 more, on the observer’s seat”. Easiest decision ever!

So after my shift, I joined the crew and other passengers at the aircraft and after a few quick photos, I took my seat. There was a headset there, so I could follow them while they did their checklists etc. as I had my head poking out to see what they were doing. Very interesting to hear and see!

After that, we were off! Our flight would take us over the nice Dutch landscapes, the cities/villages of Roden, Norg, Assen and the also the TT circuit at Assen (race track). Views were amazing, and I happily snapped away on my camera. (After we had landed, I learned that there had been a fatal accident at the track that afternoon. R.I.P. to the person involved and all the best to the family/loved ones).

DakotaGoProscreenshots

Since my GoPro was at work aswell, I decided to put it in the cockpit to make another movie, albeit this time from a slightly different perspective. Last year, I took 2 movies from the cockpit aswell, but this time I was informed about a metal tube in the cockpit, to which I could mount the GoPro. As you can see in the compilation (click to enlarge) on the right, it worked out quite well! On the top left is the take-off from runway 23, then the city of Assen, TT circuit and on final again for runway 23.

Can’t wait to get the movie edited and online. Work in progress for the next few days :) Unfortunately, my laptop is at the repair shop, so the photos will have to wait another week. I will upload them to my Flickr account as soon as I can! Also, I’d like to thank today’s crew once again for a brilliant flight experience, hope to see you again soon!

For more information on how to fly on these DC-3’s and about heir operator, please visit their website.

Update 06/08/2013: The short version.

Update 11/08/2013: The long version.

Update 13/08/2013: Photos!
I finally got around to editing some photos from this flight, you can find them on Flickr!

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