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Dak Chat

Dakchat No.87

No. 88


Some more news from the auction on 1 June at RAAF Edinburgh of the ex-RAAF Dakota’s. The sale was run by Slattery Auctions of Sydney and Hexham. In addition to the aircraft there was also a huge volume of related spares.

Dakota’s A65-94 (33106) and A65-95 (33096) were available for inspection on the three days prior to the auction. The third aircraft A65-108 (33297 ) due to its poor condition remained at RAAF Point Cook..

Due to its excellent condition there was some heated bidding for A65-94, which eventually was sold to the Historic Aircraft Restoration Society (HARS) for A$90,000. A65-95 went for A$35,000 to Dick Lang while A65-108 fetched only A$5,000 from an unknown buyer as scrap value as a bare airframe.

HARS also acquired a large number of spares to support A65-94. A group of 30 HARS members arrived at Edinburgh on 15 June aboard their Constellation VH-EAG. Some quick work checking hydraulics, electric’s and various other items resulted in engine runs the following day. On 18 June a test flight was carried out using callsign "Dakota 94" making two circuits and a low-level pass down the runway.

Following an inspection by the CASA the aircraft departed for Sydney-Bankstown on 2 July flown by Capt Jack Curtis and Warbirds of Australia president Bruce Simpson. It will operate under the registration VH-EAF; the first civilian marking it will have carried in its career. This registration having been allocated on 14 June.

Since the auction Dick Lang has sold A65-95 to HARS. Once again HARS members flew to Edinburgh aboard the Connie. Within six days the aircraft was almost ready to fly but required a propeller unfeathering problem to be fixed. However, the aircraft will be based at Temora with David Lowy’s aviation collection.


On 20 July N54AA (12475) of Allied Air Freight crashed after take-off from Nassau International Airport. The aircraft was destroyed in the post-crash fire and the two crew were both fatally injured. The flight originated about six minutes before the accident. According to initial reports, after take-off from runway 14, the pilot advised the tower that he would have to shut down the starboard engine and return for an emergency landing on the same runway. The aircraft was observed to lose height and crash about two miles from the airport, east of the extended centreline of runway 14.


C-117D C-GGKE (43366) was noted stored at Brantford, Ontario in early June minus engines. Also noted operational with Gateway Airlines were C-117s C-GDIK (43369) and C-GDOG (43374).


Further to our report in the last issue of a Chilean Air Force C-47 fuselage being used as a home outside Chaiten, member Tony Dyson points out that the FACH operated a total of 24 C-47s serialled 942 and 950 to 972 these were flown by Grupo de Transporte No 10 at BA de Los Cerrillos Santiago. Prior to 1982 two had been written off and one was 960.


At Bogota HK-124 (4349) of LACOL is dismantled while HK-3348 (11775) and HK-3350 (1969) of SAEP are withdrawn from use.


At the headquarters of Ethiopian Airlines at Bole Airport in Addis Ababa a couple of historic airliners have been put on static display. A DC-6 ET-AGY is displayed with a DC-3 painted as "ET-AAO" representing Ethiopians first aircraft in 1946. Identity of this DC-3 is unknown at present. The real ET-AAO (10053) was in the early fifties fitted with a magnetometer and flown on survey work in the Ogaden region. However, it was lost on 13 January 1962 when it struck a mill building and some bystanders while taking-off from a small airstrip at Tippi near Jimma. The captain and co-pilot were among those killed. The displayed DC-3 has been restored as a tribute to them.


A report from the Naval Air Base TNI-LAUT Juanda earlier this year gave some information on C-47s here which are all withdrawn from use.

U-603 (4500) with TNI ANGKATAN LAUT titles with no engines or rudder. A-507 (c/n ? ) and A-508 (c/n ? ) both with TNI ANGKATAN UDARA titles and no engines. PK-WWI (25427) with faded Nation Air titles and no engines, PK-IBA (12652) with faded Bouraq/Bali Air titles and no engines, PK-WWJ (19032) with faded National Air Charter titles and no engines, PK-WWK (20407) also with faded National Air Charter titles and with no props.


A report from Rome-Guidonia in May lists the following C-47s all withdrawn from use. MM61777/14-43 (9910)

MM61799/14-41 (26707)

MM61815/14-47 (26800)

MM61826/14-44 (4380).


An air race from London to Sydney is planned for March 2001. Already more than 50 entries have been attracted from 11 countries. One of the entrants is NZ DC-3 ZK-AMS (9286). The air race starts from Biggin Hill on 11 March 2001 and ends with a flypast over the Sydney Harbour Bridge on 7 April. The race celebrates the Centenary of Federation.

We were very pleased to hear from Peter Layne of the SPANZ Millennium project. Firstly he queried my mention of ZK-ASN in the last issue. Actually this turned out to be an editorial typo and misplacement of country. The registration should have read ZS-ASN (33581). Apologies all round! Peter was able to supply an update on New Zealand happenings.

ZK-AMY (13506) was undergoing anti corrosion maintenance at Palmerston North.

Regarding the sale of ZK-AWP (33135), a concerted effort is being made to keep the aircraft in New Zealand.

ZK-BYF (20051) has now, following being removed from its pole at Ohakea, been transported to Gisborne. It has been purchased by the Gisborne Aircraft Preservation Society.

At the Museum of Transport , Technology and Social History in Auckland work is in progress on the restoration of their DC-3 Skyliner ZK-BQK (33315).

Peter further advises that he has taken over as co-author of the SPANZ newsletter following the untimely death of David Phillips in September last year. He confirms that a third DC-3 has been arranged for the SPANZ 2000 tour of New Zealand. This aircraft will be ZK-AWP (33135). All three aircraft are now fully booked.


On display outside the Museu do Ar at Sintra is 6157 (19755).


ZS-NTD (26438) was seen at Lanseria on 5 July with People First titles.

Turbo DC-3 5Y-BNK (27047) was also at Lanseria with large Red Cross stickers.

Also present was ZS-OJE (32844) now with Delamere titles.


Our Dutch correspondent Coert Munk supplies some information on Swedish based ES-AKE (33445), which we mentioned in the last issue as being statically displayed at the ILA show at Berlin in June. He reports the German Airline Pilots Association does not now own the aircraft but were a sponsor. The aircraft is still owned by Ake Jansson.


Globetrotting member Garry Le Suer recently visited Taiwan and was able to report on two C-47s he saw there. 15924 (20390) is displayed with the Air Transport Wing at Taipei’s domestic airport, Sung Shan. 48806 (26066) is displayed at the Chinese Air Force Museum at Kangshan, Kaohsiung County. This aircraft was reportedly used as the personal aircraft of Mme Chiang Kai-shek after her husband’s death.


G-AMRA (26735) has appeared from a Check 4 at Coventry looking immaculate in a new paint job featuring the Atlantic Airlines livery and Air Atlantique titles. The aircraft attended on both days of the RIAT at Cottesmore on 22-23 July, carrying passengers as did G-AMPZ (32872) and G-DAKK (9797) of South Coast Airways.

Meanwhile G-AMPO (33185) and G-AMYJ (32716) were seen in the hangar late July minus outer wings and engines and being resealed for weather protection.

Your scribe was very annoyed that he was unable to attend the Fifties Festival of Flying at Coventry over the weekend 12/13 August. Arranged once again by Mike Collett and the Atlantic Airlines group the highlight was undoubtedly a seven DC-3 formation that was assembled. The concerned aircraft were G-AMPZ (32872), which led the formation, G-AMCA (32966), G-AMHJ (13468), G-AMPY (26569), G-AMRA (26735), G-AMSV (32820) and G-ANAF (33436), the latter carrying the bulbous underbelly housing used in trails with Racal. Will there ever be a chance to see such a formation again especially on this side of the Atlantic? The Atlantic Group is planning to retire the Dakotas used for its Maritime and Coast Guard Agency Pollution Control contact.

Also at RIAT Cottesmore was N147DC (19347) of Aces High now painted as FL586 and coded AI. This scheme was carried for the filming of scenes of a new Channel 4 television drama series Sword of Honour. The series will tell the story of Allied missions to Yugoslavia, involving Brigadier Fitzroy McLean and his efforts to assist Tito’s partisans. Also involved was the Dakota Trusts N47FK and the fuselage of ex – Belgian Air Force K-1/OT-CWA (26501), which Aces High had acquired from Belgium. This was also painted and coded AI and used in a crash scene. Aerial footage was shot at Bourne Park, north of Andover and the crash sequence at Black Park near Pinewood studios. Andy Dixon and Roger Mills flew the Dakotas and the series should screen early in the New Year.

N47FK (9700) of The Dakota Trust was present at Farnborough 27-31 July for the air show. The BBMF C-47 ZA947 (10200) featured in the flying display on the Saturday and Sunday.


A report from Opa-Locka in early July revealed the following:

N783T (4219) with faded Tol-Air markings and minus wings.

N54AA (12475) and N57AA (19560) of Allied Air Freight. N54AA in green/yellow colours but this aircraft was destroyed on 20 July (see Bahamas). N57AA was in a

camouflage scheme and wearing the serial "31-5094".

N212D (43386) a C-117D in faded colours and with various parts missing.

N15MA (19286) of Florida Air Cargo.

Over at Sarasota N90079 (7392) was in bare metal and in excellent condition.

N141JR (19366) of Rhoades International was seen at Detroit-Willow Run in full colours and titles and operational.

The unique DC-3 floatplane N130Q (1171) is currently beached and awaiting an engine change at Moosehead Lake, Greenville, Maine. The aircraft is still for sale and has not flown since 1997. Owned by Dick Folsom and his son Max the aircraft was converted to floats by Folsom Air Services.

N136PB (1997) was after the demise of PBA purchased by enthusiasts Bob Irvine and Neil Rose who ferried it to their hometown of Vancouver, Washington where it took up the registration N18121. They have been restoring the aircraft in Eastern Airlines colours and the registration has been applied as NC18121.

M.C. Flyers of Daytona Beach are offering for sale DC-3 N600NA (3291). The aircraft has a 28-seat interior and carries National Air Charter titles.

The fuselage of N81B (7382) was seen at Opa Locka in early September in bare metal and without titles.

N59314 (12363) of Frontier Flying Services was seen stored at Fairbanks in mid-August and being offered for sale.

N79MA (4089) of Missionair was involved in an accident on 21 August when after arrival at Key West, FL on a flight from La Ceiba, Honduras the right brake failed while taxiing. The aircraft hit a parked Beech 18. There were no injuries but considerable damage to both aircraft.

Some ex – Israeli Defence Force C-47s have turned up with Cascade Air at Ephrata, WA. These are:

N60214 (25795)

N60049 (32553)

N60154 (32755)

N791HH (33123)

See the Ferry Flight section for ferry details on two of these aircraft.

During July while on a trip to Dallas-Fort Worth the editor was able to visit many of the surrounding fields. The highlight was a formation flight with the Confederate Air Force at Lancaster Airport in a Stinson Reliant (including stick) time. But that is another story. The CAF R4D N151ZE (26408) Ready 4 Duty was not present being away an Austin for an engine change following an engine failure.

At Sycamore Strip Charley Wilkirson still has N583V (12369) and although not flying the engines are still run every Sunday.

The Heart of America DC-3 N5106X (9058) was present at Arlington Airport. The starboard engine was missing, the tyres flat and apparently the aircraft is for sale.

A visit was made to the American Airlines C.R. Smith Museum where it was good to see Flagship Knoxville NC21798 (2202) now under cover. This arrangement allows visitors to go aboard the aircraft. Although normally a glass sheet protects the cockpit I was allowed to sit in the Captains seat of this veteran. It was interesting to see as part of the period restoration, on the instrument panel, the notation that the aircraft has a right-hand door. This was obviously an aid to the crew when taxiing to the terminal as to which side the door was on. A very nice large metal model of Flagship Knoxville, which I purchased in the gift shop, is spoilt by featuring a left-hand door!

Another globetrotting member is Rob Tracz of Australia. He has a theory on the identity of the DC-3 displayed in a tail up posture at the Fantasy of Flight attraction, Polk City, FL. He suspects this could be N4797H (25623), which he saw at Opa Locka in 1997 in a very similar basic scheme. Any other thoughts?

Super DC-3 N53315 (43159) resides at Frogmore Airport in Beaufort County, South Carolina. This one time Super DC-3 demonstrator (as N30000) now has another mission: eradicate equine encephalitis and other fatal, mosquito-borne diseases. The aircraft had been mothballed at Arlington, TX, for seven years after a DEA confiscation from Mexican drug runners. In 1987, just a few days before it was to be dismantled, the aircraft was released to the General Services Administration, which leased the well-preserved aircraft to South Carolina for its 375,000-acre, coastal Beaufort County. The county installed a custom-made, ultra-low-volume spray system for public and ecological safety and uses the aircraft to protect the county’s 274 islands and inaccessible salt marshes with mosquito-killing insecticide. Using wing-mounted nozzles that are fuelled by two, 200-gallon tanks, it can spray 18,000 acres on each run. Some 303 acres per minute can be covered in 1,000-foot swaths.


Continuing the movement of ex – Israeli Defence Force C-47s to the USA by Global Aircraft Industries. N155JM (4463) landed at Luqa Airport, Malta on 7 August. This is ex – IDF serial 032/4X-FNX. N215CM (26792) finally left Gloucester (Staverton) on 22 August for Reykjavik. On the same day N15SJ (33049) arrived at Luqa. Unlike the previous aircraft which were camouflaged this one featured an all-grey paint job. It is ex – IDF serial 006/4X-FNK. 

N60154 (32755) and N791HH (33123) ferried from Wick to Reykjavik on 5 August. These two were registered to Cascade Air and it is uncertain if they were ferried by them or Global (see also USA).