View Full Version : Grounding of DC3's


40KTSOFFOG
15th Feb 2008, 19:38
Another possible nail in the coffin of historic aviation in the U.K unless something gets done!

http://news.bbc.co.uk/player/nol/newsid_7240000/newsid_7241800/7241858.stm?bw=bb&mp=wm&news=1&bbcws=1

Any suggestions?



Chuck Ellsworth
15th Feb 2008, 19:55
Any suggestions?

Give all these morons who come up with these ideas double their salry with the understanding they never ever again show up for work.

To ground the DC3 because it does not meet the airworthiness standards is bizzare beyond beliefe.

THE DC3 IS ONE OF THE MOST SUCESSFUL DESIGNS EVER PRODUCED.

flatfour
15th Feb 2008, 20:01
A stereotypical idiotic and ill considered decision from the corrupt EU. This aircraft was in no small way responsible for the liberation of most EU countries in many forms, as transports, as ambulances, as glider tows. What an asinine decision from a group of pathetic european trough feeders.

Flame
15th Feb 2008, 20:15
Yet another reason that shows that the people running the EU are out of step with the public

Remember, these are the same people who decided that citizens of the EU should not be allowed purchase duty free goods while travelling within the EU....yet have allowed themselves the privledge of having a "Duty free" shop at their own headquarters :=

Perhaps something will be done to stop the DC-3 being grounded....but only after highlighting the issue

Why is it, that everything sensible has to be achieved after a struggle..???

niknak
15th Feb 2008, 20:17
Chuck and Flat four,

What is not needed here is emotional twaddle and blather about what the DC3 was designed for and what it did - nostalga has no part to play in this argument.

As much as I enjoyed growing up in aviation with the DC3, (and travelling far and wide in it), all good things come to an end and I've often wondered how much longer Air Atlantique would continue to run the aircraft, faced with huge running costs and ever diminishing returns for an operation which rarely runs longer than March to October each year.

Just maybe, with constructive opinion and evidence, and the backing of the CAA, the aircraft may continue to fly for a bit longer.

flatfour
15th Feb 2008, 20:28
Niknak - Of course you are right about the issue but if you knew, as I do, some of the people who represent us in Brussels/Strasbourg you would probably agree that they are hardly up to the task. If the aircraft can be flown safely in its current setup then applying 21st century commercial safety rules is not only unneccessary but reflects the lack of serious consideration given to the issue by the EU. Nostalgia it is not. I trust you don't think that the Shuttleworth collection is just nostalgia.

Nugget90
15th Feb 2008, 21:21
Just to get the story straight, EU-OPS is virtually JAR-OPS 1 but with the force of an EU Regulation - ie no EU Member State can permit those operators over which it exercises safety oversight any derogation (easement) without EASA's agreement after mid July 2008.

You will recall that JAR-OPS 1 was a code of standards that JAA Member States undertook, voluntarily, to apply through their national legislation. This allowed the CAA to grant exemptions (subject to constraints, of course,) to those operators whose niche operations didn't fit exactly with the mainstream public transport/commercial air transport operations for which JARs had been developed.

With the coming of EU-OPS, such flexibility as the CAA has enjoyed hitherto for the application of JARs is removed: the only hope is to persuade EASA (acting on behalf of the EU) that certain niche operations currently approved within the UK and elsewhere should be allowed to continue. (It may be, for example, that the insertion of certain discriminants such as 'excepting multi piston-engine aeroplanes of MTOW not exceeding xxxx kgs' could constitute permanent alleviations: I don't know, but it's worth a thought.)

I'm pretty sure that other States operate or operated vintage aeroplanes. Didn't the Dutch also fly DC3s for sight seeing? I flew as a passenger in a JU52 operating out of Zurich's old aerodrome: although Switzerland is not a member of the EU, it has signed up to comply with EU-OPS, so they may also be interested in preserving the ability to operate these old aeroplanes for a few more years. The UK may well not be alone in seeking suitable derogations for this class of aeroplane operated for this type of flight.

Chuck Ellsworth
15th Feb 2008, 21:25
Chuck and Flat four,

What is not needed here is emotional twaddle and blather about what the DC3 was designed for and what it did - nostalga has no part to play in this argument.

Pardon me niknak for expressing my thoughts on the DC3, you of course are correct emotional twaddle has no part to play in this argument.

By the way my opinion on the reliability of the DC3 is formed from having flown over 5000 hours on DC3's mostly off airport in the high Arctic and off strip Bush flying.

How much time do you have flying them niknak?

By the way niknak in all those hours I never dented one and never wore a Hi Vis Vest either...we were afraid it would be to easy for the Polar bears to spot us. :E

S76Heavy
15th Feb 2008, 21:34
I suppose making a safety case is a realistic option.

Taking into consideration that the EASA rules are written with the intent to increase and guarantee public safety, and should be followed in spirit more than to the letter, the fact that the passengers of these historical aircraft are well aware that it does not meet modern safety standards much like the classic cars that are driven and sometimes raced by enthusiasts, the very limited exposure time per passenger and the usually very benign weather they operate in, one would think that somehow an exemption for this type of operation should be possible.

I know I am assuming some common sense in organisations that are not famous for displaying it, but still..

Eagle402
15th Feb 2008, 21:36
Chuck,

Outstanding post Sir. I've only been a member of this forum for 5 minutes but this niknak citizen strikes me as the type of person who would pour oil on troubled waters and then set fire to it.

S'land
15th Feb 2008, 21:59
There is already a thread about this on the Aviation History and Nostalgia forum.

http://www.pprune.org/forums/showthread.php?t=312445

The new regulations will not GROUND the DC3. They will however mean that a DC3 cannot act as a passenger aircraft.

CargoOne
15th Feb 2008, 22:04
I honestly believe that there should be a certain line drawn. DC-3 flights are not really public transport, ie you just catching a flight from A to B paying normal fare etc. Those are historic flights which are designed for aircraft/aviation enthusiasts, most of them are perfectly aware that they flying something special by all means. There people going to Iran just to have a domestic flight on one-of-last-in-scheduled-service pax 707, there a people flying from Damascus to Caracas just for a sake of ride on 747SP, there are people paying for MIG or SU jetfighter experience etc. None of them are EU-OPS comliant and will never be.

As a part of solution (although not in line with EU-OPS, but something as a ground for dispensation by UK CAA) passengers on such a flights could be briefed about what kind of disperances this aircraft have against EU-OPS and then asked to sign "release of liability" and still 90+% of them will sign because they know exactly what they want.

p.s. S76Heavy - very good point about classic cars. Or even about just a bit older cars, ie no ABS, no ESP, no airbags etc - very dangerous to drive! But still not banned....

treadigraph
15th Feb 2008, 22:24
Chuck Ellsworth says it for me - a mere SLF... I'm tired of being told that I can't do something - if I wish to do it that is my decision, and if have to sign away me rights to do it then that is entirely down to me.

I, as an EU (reluctantly) citizen, demand the right to determine my own fate. :ok:

CaptainFillosan
15th Feb 2008, 22:35
Don't worry Chuck. ninak waddles and twaddles from forum to forum trying to convince us that he knows what he is talking about. None of us are taken in though. If he is as pedantic and rude while he is supposedly being an ATCO well..............what else if there to say.

What you say Chuck has a great bearing on this issue and Brussels needs to know that not only is this magnificent aircraft a mega part of aviation history, and has saved and served war personnel and civilians alike for over 60 years. Its nostalgia value is second to none and it has to be preserved, as well as allowing the young of many countries to savour a flight in the gentle beast.

I have only 12 hours in DC3's but I remember every single one of them.

niknak, please keep out of this. You are not worthy.

Chuck Ellsworth
15th Feb 2008, 22:42
Both the DC3 and the PBY are used in Holland as historic aircraft for the public to buy sight seeing flights on.

If anyone in aviation were to be used as a benchmark for determining the safety of these aircraft and the safety factor involved in determining who flies them I would suggest it would be the insurance underwriters.

If there should be a loss of one of these historic aircraft and injury or death of paying passengers I would suggest that the insurance underwriters have a lot more at stake than some drone wanking in a cubicle in some government office.

With regard to the Dutch PBY operation I spent three years working with their group to train their crews to a high level of safety...the insurance underwriters saw fit to insure their operation and they are doing a fine job safety wise.

It would be a sad day for aviation and the public to see these operations closed down because some moron decides that would be best.

Thankfully I lived my career in a more sane and interesting era, where personal responsibility was the norm and we were not puppets of the nanny state mentality.

P.S.:

I get a kick out of those who trot out that saying about " anti authority " meaning someone is by default a dangerous pilot.

It is self evident that I could be seen as mildly " anti authority " , so how come I have been flying for almost 55 years ( I'm not quite sure of my total time anymore but over a decade ago I had close to 26,000 hours ) in almost every device known to man and haven't ever filled out an accident report?

ZeBedie
15th Feb 2008, 23:38
Revolution worked for the French, so maybe one day the people of Europe will revolt against the EU. And let's face it, 95% of us want no part of it.

fernytickles
16th Feb 2008, 00:38
So, the EU regs are closing down an aircraft type which is used regularily for passenger & freight flights in North & South America 'cos its not considered safe enough in the EU...:hmm:

Did I hear someone say "nanny state"?

Shark Slayer
16th Feb 2008, 00:51
Serious question then.

Does this mean that PT in aircraft below 5700 kg, C402 421 404 etc will soon be illegal as well ?

DC2 slf
16th Feb 2008, 01:16
TwoOneFour says
"Lufthansa has a Ju52 but it's kitted out with 16 seats. Guess that puts it under the 19 seat EU-OPS limit."

then can't they take one row of seats out of the DC3?

My first flight, in a DC2, was ok.

LeadSled
16th Feb 2008, 01:19
Folks,

For an answer (if EASA/CAA would accept it) have a look at the Australia CASR 21.189, Limited Cat. C.of A, and associated ACs.

The starting point is:http://www.casa.gov.au/rules/1998casr/021/021casr.pdf

It all works very well, and is now community administered, rather than by CASA, as most of Sports and Recreational is already administered.

Note that NO AOC is required for "Adventure Flights".

Tootle pip!!

411A
16th Feb 2008, 01:58
Ok, the DC-3 does have its ah...difficulties, the hydraulic system is such that a loss of all hydraulic pressure results in the landing gear extending (thunk!), the generators need the field flashed from time to time, the (many) wing bolts (and the attach angles) are subject to AD's, but hey, IF looked after properly, is certainly a safe aircraft.
And yes, I have a fair amount of time in command in the DC-3, so I am an authority, you can be sure....it is the only aeroplane that I have flown that is older than me....:uhoh:

airsupport
16th Feb 2008, 02:40
Excuse my ignorance of the rules, especially in the EU, but isn't there still such a thing as Grandfather Rights?

Many other Aircraft like for example DC9s and B727s would not meet some of the current regs, but I understood that as long as someone paid to keep them airworthy they could continue to operate under these Grandfather Rights?

Personally I would feel MUCH safer on a properly maintained DC3 than on many a modern Aircraft that complied with all the rules and regs.

Expressflight
16th Feb 2008, 08:14
411A

Ah..... "the wing bolts".

All 365 of them if my memory serves.

Fly380
16th Feb 2008, 08:39
Well It's seen many airliners come and go including CONCORDE.:D:ok:

First_Principal
16th Feb 2008, 09:40
Oh yes those wing bolts, I've just in the last few weeks had the privilege to remove quite a number of them :bored: in the process of assisting in a major inspection on a Dak.

I say a privilege because it really is such to be able to work on, and fly, such a piece of history. A machine that has been almost everywhere it's possible for a 'plane to go and has proven itself in so many spheres of aviation, be it war, agriculture, freight and of course - most importantly - passenger services.

I've no idea just how many people the DC3 has safely carried but it's obviously in the millions. Given the lifespan of the Dak I'm sure it's possible to come to some sort of conclusion, from accident reports, just how much difference that extra 4" of height from the emergency exit makes. Perhaps with reports on other aspects of DC3 flying over the years it will be possible to demonstrate a reasonable “safety level equivalency” of the DC3 to other aircraft types. In addition to this anyone flying in them would be aware that they're unlikely to have the same sort of features as a plane 70 years its junior and so, just as in any aspect of life, there's an element of risk involved in stepping inside one. Pragmatically there ought to be some way of satisfying the EU safety requirements for such low annual hour historical machines, even if it's necessary to placard each seat with its comparable 'deficiencies'.

In any event I was pleased to read that the UK CAA are supportive of the DC3's. I trust they are able to find a way to allow the DC3 to continue flying in their present role and provide people with a real taste of early aviation history, rather than just get to read about it. If a picture paints a thousand words then the actual experience must surely be worth a great deal more and to those interested in such things it would be a very sad day if they were prevented from participating in that experience.

Metro man
16th Feb 2008, 09:56
I can understand the regulations being applied to a type in regular passenger use, a GPWS would have prevented a Metro 3 from flying into mountains near Lockard River in Australia and killing all its occupants.

Surely a DC3 wouldn't be used in scheduled pax service again anywhere in the world, even darkest Africa has relatively modern turboprops.

A bunch of aviation enthusiasts having a weekend jolly to experience a bit of history could be warned at the time of booking that the aircraft doesn't meet modern safety standards and they fly at their own risk.

Next we'll have E Type Jaguars being pulled off the road to have airbags fitted.

I still have DC3 on my licence, but I don't expect to get a job flying one again.

blue monday
16th Feb 2008, 10:12
Revolution worked for the French, so maybe one day the people of Europe will revolt against the EU. And let's face it, 95% of us want no part of it.

Uttter tripe, im sure if you did a genuine survey the consensus wold not be anyway near 95% being against it. The EU has done some good aswell butwith everyhing in our sad society the only things people remember are the bad things and yes there is an aweful lot of nonsense red tape generated by europe, but on the upside if it wasn't for the open market in Europe we in the uk would stll be paying far more tahn our neighbours for many products such as new cars, of you not remember when we were paying £5000 or so more for cars a few years ago then came parralell imports from the EU, the UK importers tried to protest and lost and now we pay far less for a new car than we would have 5,6 or 7 years ago.

chuks
16th Feb 2008, 13:23
The old girl has a certain charm, all right, but it sure isn't as safe as more modern aircraft. Lose one engine at the wrong time on take-off and if you are a pilot of average skill then you are probably going to have an accident, where the same thing in most modern aircraft is just a non-event. You "sky-gods" will find this just doesn't apply, of course, since you all have mega-thousands of accident-free hours and could probably fly the box the DC-3 was delivered in but I am speaking here of some guy who would be adequately safe in something built to keep him that way, not this antique with all of its ways to catch one out. As you guys hang up your headsets, what are we to do with this airplane if it calls for exceptional skills? (By that I mean simply, "exceptional by modern training standards.")

Someone here mentioned that the Dutch fly a DC-3. Well, I believe the Dutch Dakota Association lost one in an accident with some loss of life, when that is just the sort of thing to get the legislators excited.

If you cannot answer the stupid question, "Does this airplane meet the most modern safety standards?" with a "Yes," then the first instinct of the burocrats is to ground it. Even the partisans of the type know that the DC-3 was certified to standards that have been long superceded. That many more modern aircraft also have this problem, well, there are over-riding commercial reasons not to ground them that are absent in the case of the DC-3!

It used to be conventional wisdom that the -3 was unbustable, built in a time when everything was made twice as thick as necessary. Then one lost a wing in flight operating in an area of CBs. Oops!

I think we shall see the type go the way of the Curtiss Condor, sad to say. Get John Travolta to trade in that creaky old 707 for a Dak. That might be one way forward. Anyone else remember the Bagwash's private airline that served Rajneeshpuram (formerly Antelope), Oregon?

There were enough built that it shall never pass entirely from the scene, even if most end up as museum pieces or roadside taco stands.

I enjoyed my time in the type, window slid back, engines rumbling gently as this or that small island slid past on the way to Georgetown with a fresh load of rich German suckers on a freebie to look at a dream real-estate development. "Dream" in the sense that some scratches made with a D-8 out in the bush translated into a tropical paradise one should pay good money for. The free trip in the DC-3 was probably the best part of the whole deal.

Roy Bouchier
16th Feb 2008, 13:35
Last flew one mosquito spraying in Florida in the 80's.
Wonder how the present breed of F/O's would handle getting the gear up and down? Or an engine out during gear transition?
I think it might be about time to pull the old girl out of regular pax service, sad though it might seem.

niknak
16th Feb 2008, 15:14
Many of the posts have proved my point.

Flatfour + Chuck - no offence was intended, sometimes I am a bit blunt with the facts and that obviously rubs with people who have extensive experience and I have no more wish than you to see the red tape of Britain and Europe destroy our heritage.
35 years in aviation and ATC doesn't qualify me for anything in particular, but it has given me experience in working at every level and with the majority of the plethera of the trade, including 10 years with DC3s.

It appears that Air Alantique (AAG) have made this decision on commercial grounds, given their increasing costs and declining profit from the operation.
AAG have never operated on sentiment, it's why they've been around for so long.

If any heritage group wants to raise the cash privately to own and operate the aircraft, I have no doubt that AAG will be more than happy to do a deal on favourable terms and they'll have 100% support from all of us and the CAA.

I'm more than happy to help if I can.

MaxReheat
16th Feb 2008, 15:34
Solution (which I believe would be supported in any referendum)....leave the EU and every self-indulgent, incestuous QUANGO that goes with it (viz EASA) to restore self-determination to this country's Parliament (and the CAA). A polite way of saying ...ss off Europe and mind your own business.:D

Chuck Ellsworth
16th Feb 2008, 15:51
I probably should stay out of these emotional discussions because my insight into the issue is blurred by time....

.....I get all mixed up trying to decide which is best....or even which is safer....flying an airplane like the DC3 or dealing with Normal law...Alternate law ....or Direct law.

Marhubeng
16th Feb 2008, 16:16
MaxReheat,
As far as I know the U.K. was and still is a sovereign country. For some reason it's democratically elected government decided to join the E.U. If the majority of the British don't like it, they should elect another government, stop complaining and get out.

radeng
16th Feb 2008, 16:53
There is no doubt that some of the rules coming out of Brussels are made by people who are not only technically incompetent, but arrogant with it. Professionally, I'm in the middle of a major battle in the radio field about a new rule which the whole of the industry says is disastrous, and the dirty tricks the Commission are trying to use to effectively blackmail sovereign states to accept it is almost beyond belief.

Keep the DC3 - Freedom's aeroplane!

2R
16th Feb 2008, 17:12
Good job these jobsworths were not around in ww2 or we would be spraken ze non-english , :eek: or perhaps they were, and now they finally have got there revenge :E

merlinxx
16th Feb 2008, 17:26
They are not GROUNDING, they are apply pax carrying safety rules. Get it right! We must be able to carry on carrying fare paying pax on preserved acft such as the C47/DC3. Please get your fact right before you bleat, otherwise you don't help our situation. Thanks for your sentiments and support.

PaperTiger
16th Feb 2008, 17:37
They are not GROUNDING, they are apply pax carrying safety rules. Get it right! We must be able to carry on carrying fare paying pax on preserved acft such as the C47/DC3.Or simply switch to the Scandinavian model - start up a Society whose membership dues include the opportunity to ride in the aircraft. aka Not for Hire.

BTW, Buffalo Airways still operates DC3s in scheduled passenger service out of Yellowknife, Canada.

His dudeness
16th Feb 2008, 17:50
QUOTE: "A polite way of saying ...ss off Europe and mind your own business."

I was told time and again, that the most rigid rules and some of the most stupid ones were brought into JAROPS 1 and EASA by the CAA. Certainly they are the most active and keen to regulate agency in Europe.

So: Keep ´em and leave the rest of us alone and get happy.

MaxReheat
16th Feb 2008, 18:06
Marhubeng

Regrettably, no major UK political party has the courage of its conviction to actually put the option of 'getting out' to the UK population because the 'politcal chattering class' knows full well what the outcome would be - adios, adieu etc to Europe. Much of the fear of going full bore to resolve the issue is the fear of being branded, by our very influential and powerful media, as Eurosceptic/phobic as may well be the case and it is this force that the political parties fear more than its electorate' opinion. Such branding by the media wouldn't matter one iota to 'the man in the street' - all he/she would like is the opportunity to resolve the matter once and for all.

merlinxx
16th Feb 2008, 18:34
Yup in Canukistan and other locations, they still op very well.

I did earlier suggest, just have the members fly, everyone can join a supporters club. Lets just keep them flying with people on board, that's why the heck were they built! How are you going to get modern slides etc on to a DC3, everybody up front and enjoy the escape rope!

A question, how many pax have been totaled in a preserved DC3/DH86/L749/DC4-6 over the last 20 years as against in production CL600 deritives?

ABUKABOY
16th Feb 2008, 19:48
Regarding Chuks post#32, it is exactly for the reasons you elucidate that no "modern-trained" low-houred pilot will ever be let any where near a DC-3 command, because it DOES require training quite discrete in nature and a good handful of hours subsequent to that, during which hopefully the beast will bare its teeth, but not bite too hard, and it's an endangered species anyway.
I was a very busy UK TRE in the mid-seventies on the Dak, and yes, EFATO's taught properly do require a deal of old-fashioned flying skills and physical strength, but teach we did, and we never had an accident.
Highlight of all this was briefing what exactly happens when the tail comes up on takeoff to some furloughed Hamble cadets. They took it all in, but had already been told they were the best, so when the dear old lady swung hard left on each and every one of them, and I took over and deftly (luckily) managed to leave all the runway edge-lights intact, she had already done half my job for me. They all went on to become really good handlers, but never forgot that first lesson.
I have never worked for Air Atlantique, but rather alongside them in the early days. In my last job I had the pleasure of flying with some of the products of their training system, and our company has always held that AA's training and their pilot product is second to none--quite an accolade from such a large organisation. This bodes well, I would have thought, for their safety case.
So, if your AA DC-3 Captain does not have grey hair and a worldly wizened look, rest assured that he/she has still well and truly earned their wings in the best and most appropriate way possible.

We used to carry 36 pax, all their holiday bags, (no notional limit), and had carpets and overhead racks and a galley. AA have dispensed with a lot of that, so fly them lighter, thus adding to the safety margins. (And yes, I have flown ALL their 3's in a previous life!).

I would like to see them grounded ONLY if there were far more compelling arguments presented than those already mentioned. I would like to see them continue to fly passengers IF AA's management really believe, in their heart of hearts, that this is what they want to happen.

Good Luck to all involved. It is still far and away my favourite aeroplane.

chuks
16th Feb 2008, 20:24
I was privileged to participate in operating a DC-3 as a sort of human auto-pilot. The Captain just engaged me for climb, cruise and descent so that he could burn his way through a pack of 20 while sucking down a half-gallon of Navy-strength coffee.

I would have liked to fly the beast, just not for that particular operator, so that I only filled in now and then from my regular job flying modern light twins. There was no point in doing a conversion, unfortunately.

The high point was the intro, when I was taken for a wuss and told to do a full-breaking stall. I had been bleating about rules, regulations and all that sort of thing so that my boss must have been expecting me to let go at the buffet. Next thing you know we were knife-edge over the Everglades, when I thought to myself, "Is this why they invented stall breaker strips?"

At least you could not complain about the ergonomics of the cockpit, because there was none of that. Those two almost identical handles for gear and flaps back behind you, plus that stupid little gear latch. Get it wrong and you wreck the up-lock. Who would ever approve such a thing nowadays?

I had some doubts about the condition of ours, which we nicknamed the Greasy 3. That was because we used to tip 5 gallons of oil into each engine after about two hours of flight. Surely they weren't all like that?

I used to think of the DC-3 when I was flying a modern 32-seat jet, thinking of all the mechanical palaver we went through in the DC-3 to do the same amount of work.

I am not real big on nostalgia but there was one thing... I went up front to look at the cockpit of an old Caravelle once, just out of curiousity. The smell of old leather, H-5606 hydraulic fluid, sweat and a very light overtone of airsick made me think immediately of the DC-3. You knew people had been hard at work in there! New airplanes don't have anything like that, do they?

Chuck Ellsworth
16th Feb 2008, 20:52
The DC3 is a pilots airplane, it is also a very easy to fly tail wheel machine.

Now if you want a challenge when it comes to airplane handling you should try the PBY. :E

interpreter
16th Feb 2008, 21:58
Make the Company a charity and all flights are free to those who donate a minimum of £x (the price of a ticket) to the charity. The company can then meet its costs out of the charity. Is that possible? There would then be no fare paying passengers. Surely thay cannot stop all such aircraft. What about the pleasure flights in the DH89 Rapide (in which I made my first flight as a schoolboy in 1951 from the North side of Heathrow) Probably too simple an idea.

411A
17th Feb 2008, 00:35
Now if you want a challenge when it comes to airplane handling you should try the PBY.

Or, the Curtis C-46...every which way but straight:{

MDJETFAN
17th Feb 2008, 00:54
An interesting aside. A good friend of mine was accepted into the U-2 program because, aside from jet instructor experience, he had flown ECM missions in C-47s as PIC in Vietnam. Today, he still flies a tail-dragger bi-plane for fun.

Stationair8
17th Feb 2008, 02:43
Funny how the EU can turn a blind eye to those high time B737 carrying passengers, Russian aircraft being used on night freight contracts, but an old aircraft being used for joyrides at an airshow we will have to put an end to this.

Why would you need to install oxygen breathing equipment in a non- pressurised aircraft, when a fire-axe through the cockpit window and open the cargo door will dispense of any smoke, why the need to have slides installed?

How many people have been killed in DC-3/C-47 joyflights in the last 50 years?

Whats next the BBMF Lancaster banned from flying to and particpating in airshows?

Perhaps the next step for the EU would be to ban Beagles,Tiger Moths, Chipmunks and Britten-Norman Islanders from flying unless they comply with the latest EU aviation Regulations. You may need to install a 10g compliant seat in your DH-82, a glass cockpit in your DHC-1, and the list goes on.


Why have Communism when the EU can be so much more fun.

chuks
17th Feb 2008, 08:13
what is the solution? Regulators probably without a clue about what they are regulating can create a big mess for sure. Even if they are not pig-ignorant they certainly do not have any nostalgia for this or that aircraft; they are in the business of ensuring some unrealistic level of safety for Joe Public.

There was a famous story about an FAA ramp inspector writing up a Navajo light twin for having "bent propeller tips." Some jokers had pointed him to the aircraft, which happened to be fitted with a new design of prop that was built that way on purpose, when he just whipped out his biro and blazed away with his brain in neutral. It confirmed our opinion of the then-FAA!

We are just peeing into a steady breeze here, given that people in general now expect to be protected from themselves in all regards.

You seriously expect that someone of average intelligence is able to look at an aircraft that is probably more than 60 years old, given that most DC-3s were produced between 1942 and 1945 for use in the Second World War, and fully understand that he is not going to enjoy anything like a modern level of safety? Sad to say, he's been carefully raised, like a battery hen, to go through life not using his native intelligence in that way.

I have been amused by various questions from people I meet when they learn that I am a pilot. The best was a German who asked me why I didn't want to become "a professional pilot." When I asked him what he meant by that he told me perhaps I should think about trying to find a job with Lufthansa.

I just shrugged and told him that meant that I would have to get a licence and all... too much trouble. He shrugged and agreed with that.

How far do you think I could get with someone like that trying to explain the certification standards of 1932 compared to those now in force? About 1.5 sentences into it the poor guy's eyes would roll back to show white.

The DC-3 looks like everyone's favourite uncle, somehow. Slightly shabby but friendly in appearance, who would guess that Uncle has a real mean streak? You could even call him homicidal when treated badly. Lose one engine on takeoff and find, perhaps, that your 65 year-old prop feathering system has pooped out, well, your nostalgia passengers are going to get a lot more than they paid for and never mind whatever you think you can do about that!

I don't much like tourists anyway. To find myself in the front of a -3 with a load of rich ones sat there behind me... I need this in my life? Full marks to someone brave enough to want to do that sort of thing in the face of regulatory opposition; it is an ugly job but someone has to do it. Just not me!

hawkeye
17th Feb 2008, 08:54
Marhubeng we would get out of the EU if any political party would give us a choice. We want a referendum on the constitution, or the Reform Treaty, as it is now known. 85 per cent say they want a referendum but Scotch Brown will not give us one. However, do not despair, Marhubeng, Britain will leave the EU at some stage. The sooner the better for most of us, although you would never beliweve it if you only watch the BBC.

Roy Bouchier
17th Feb 2008, 09:16
Just don't forget to lock the tailwheel for takeoff - and unlock it before taxying. There ain't no warning lights!
It was a pilot's airplane - not a computer.

acbus1
17th Feb 2008, 09:37
Give all these morons who come up with these ideas double their salry with the understanding they never ever again show up for work.
Erm.......that's what they already are doing.

I can see them now, waving their expense account applications in triumph and sharing jokes about how easy it is to con the gullible public in a "democratic" society.

The gullible public who are footing the bill, through taxation, for all this incompetence, waste and daylight robbery.

G Brown must envy their ability to waste and steal more public money than even he can.

Biggles225
17th Feb 2008, 14:06
It strikes me that we have just lost another historic marque to the whim of :mad: Yurp! Do you really need all sorts of flash kit for what Air Atlantique do? And havent BBMF got a Dak for running around in?

Carl Rawson
17th Feb 2008, 14:18
When I was learning to fly I went round Air Antiques operation at CVT. Fascinating! Got a flight on a D.Rapide and a flight from CVT on a DC-3 to EMA with a low approach and go-around. Just brilliant. Real shame they have to go.
However, what's the betting that somewhere within the EU these birds carry on flying? Isn't this just another example of G.Brown et al taking EU legislation and gold plating it at the expense both financially and culturally of the British public?! :D

Chuck Ellsworth
17th Feb 2008, 15:57
Lose one engine on takeoff and find, perhaps, that your 65 year-old prop feathering system has pooped out,

Propellers have maximum times that require them to be overhauled and re-certified.

I have flown these engines and propellers on the DC3 and PBY for around 10,000 hours and never had one fail mechanically....had a few prop governors and feathering motors fail but the airplanes were still controllable and flyable.

By the way an engine failure on take off is not an automatic crash, I have had it happen twice on these types of airplanes and managed to control the things to a safe landing.

talent
17th Feb 2008, 16:18
It's nice to keep old aircraft flying but I would not like to suffer the sad fate of the firefighters whose ageing Hercules came asunder in midair in 1994, and another in 2002. Or the crew of the Consolidated Vultee Privateer bomber which was built in 1944 and again, was converted to a firefighter. It was 58 years old when its left wing separated killing both pilots. What about the ancient Mallard amphibian whose wings collapsed shortly after take-off in Flordia a year or so back? All the fare paying passengers aboard were killed along with the crew.

Under the latest FAA proposals, an operator is obliged to start treating his aircraft as ageing when it may be as little as 11 years old. So it's a bit silly to say that the EU is ruining flying.

Chris Scott
17th Feb 2008, 16:56
Quote from chuks:
The DC-3 looks like everyone's favourite uncle, somehow. Slightly shabby but friendly in appearance, who would guess that Uncle has a real mean streak? You could even call him homicidal when treated badly. Lose one engine on takeoff and find, perhaps, that your 65 year-old prop feathering system has pooped out, well, your nostalgia passengers are going to get a lot more than they paid for and never mind whatever you think you can do about that!
[Unquote]

You seem to be a bit ambivolent about flying pax in Dax, while loving the beast? I've only 450 hrs P2 on them, and that was 40 years ago, but have enjoyed many of the contributions - yours included.

Guess this is thread-creep, but presume you still exercise the CSUs and check the feathering pumps before take-off ? Remember once having to shut an engine down because the feathering-pump relay stuck closed (ON) during the check. The prop continued to feather and unfeather until we shut the other engine down AND turned the battery master off... But the check did pick up the fault before we got airborne.

Can you imagine doing such a complex procedure on a current jet? The Dak - perhaps the most benign of its era - certainly can bite in various areas, and should always have at least one experienced vintage operator in the cockpit. As a rookie, my own learning curve was fairly steep. For example, I discovered that, if you pick the wrong time to use the deicing boots, it's possible to pick up so much ice that she will not maintain even 3000 ft (empty) at climb power.

But even the latest kit can spring surprises...

Daysleeper
17th Feb 2008, 18:59
It's nice to keep old aircraft flying but I would not like to suffer the sad fate of the firefighters whose ageing ....what about the ancient Mallard amphibian whose wings collapsed shortly after take-off in Flordia a year or so back? All the fare paying passengers aboard were killed along with the crew.

Talent.

This is not about ensuring the ongoing airworthiness of the aircraft in terms of structure or engines, this is about adding highly expensive and impractical items to the airframe, which are pretty much irrelevant when operating 25 minute pleasure flights on nice days at airshows.

moggiee
17th Feb 2008, 21:16
I suspect that what we have here is the usual half-researched, EU scare story nonsense written by semi-comatose journos who can't be bothered to leave the bar long enough to check the facts.

These are the same breed of cretin that told us the EU was going to ban bananas if they were too straight, ban British chocolate because it was not chocolatey enough and ban British sausages (some newspapers actually picked that one up from Yes Minister).

Let's wait and see what ACTUALLY happens - I suspect that the legislation (like that applied to car emissions) can't/won't be applied retrospectively to aeroplanes like the DC3.

Air Antique are trying to flog their classic flight (or were) - maybe this is a convenient excuse for grounding increasingly expensive DC3s.

moggiee
17th Feb 2008, 21:19
Can you imagine doing such a complex procedure on a current jet? .
I can't imagine doing a prop feather drill on ANY jet, of any age! :)

Atreyu
17th Feb 2008, 21:40
hahahahaha quality line! Maybe you could feather those un-ducted fans that were shoe horned onto an MD-8x a few years back?

Atreyu:ok:

MarkerInbound
17th Feb 2008, 22:16
I never heard but I guessed that a stuck prop feathering relay is what caused the Dutch Dakota crash a few years ago. Can anyone confirm that?

The feather check isn't that complicated, push the button, the RPM goes down, look at the load meters, pull the button back, the RPM comes back up, look at the load meters. You do want to give the button a twist before you start because I have seen the little button come off the threaded rod behind it when it was pulled back out.

chuks
17th Feb 2008, 23:02
I haven't been near a DC-3 since 1981 and I wasn't an expert then. From what I remember, though, the prop feathering system used this ginormous electric motor that must have been designed for some sort of light truck driving an oil pump, all of this improvisation living in the dim and greasy recesses of the gear well, times two. It sure did look agricultural, designed when full-feathering propellers were state-of-the-art along with metal main spars. Too there is that idea of MTBF that makes me prefer new bits to old bits.

I have been lucky to work, for the most part, flying people who had no alternative to that. Air travel in Africa is often non-discretionary shall we say? The idea of flying people who are there just to take a flight seems strange to me, sort of like standing there on the platform with group of train-spotters when I just want to get someplace on the damned thing, not see that it is Engine Number 3486.

That said, I hope this latest fight goes well for those who want to operate the DC-3. If they need someone who still remembers which handle is which back behind my back, I am up for a trip in the right seat, I guess... Nice to think of a machine older than I am!

Chuck Ellsworth
18th Feb 2008, 00:35
I never heard but I guessed that a stuck prop feathering relay is what caused the Dutch Dakota crash a few years ago. Can anyone confirm that?

Yes it seems the feathering relay was stuck and the feathering motor kept cycling in and out of feather.

The most simple cure if you are having difficulty holding the button in the out position is turn off the master switch which stops the feathering motor.

The reason the R1830 with the Hamilton Standard props has a feathering motor is the propeller feathering mechanism needs around 1400 PSI pressure to feather the prop..the engine oil pressure is approximately 85 PSI.

With proper maintenance and doing the proper run up checks it is a very reliable system.

Sure these airplanes are old, but I can not think of a more successful design than the DC3.

As far as flying one goes they are a million times more satisfying to fly than flying a modern jet that generally speaking was designed to be smarter than some pilots.

411A
18th Feb 2008, 04:27
Sure these airplanes are old, but I can not think of a more successful design than the DC3.


A couple of others come to mind.

Piston: Douglas DC-6B
Turbine: Fokker F.27 (and Fairchild FH227)

Having flown all four types, they certainly do the job for which they were designed...very economically.

clicker
18th Feb 2008, 05:14
While I'm am SLF when I worked at LGW I managed to get a few flights, one of which was dead heading back from EMA on a Eastern Airlines DC-3.

It's flights like that I will always remember while trips like the northbound in a very cramped jump seat on a Short's Shed that I will forget.

While reading this thread it did cross my mind that if you approached these EU twit's and asked them to explain what a DC-3 and C-47 was they would not have a clue and would also think, even in basic terms, that they were two completely different types of aircraft.

Stig Holm
18th Feb 2008, 08:10
Just remember what a Douglas mechanic said about the brand new DC-3 on the tarmac back in the old days:
"Well, they won't be building anything bigger than this one!"

chuks
18th Feb 2008, 08:15
In another life I was trying rather hard to find a niche in Greater Germany. This led me to a vast edifice from the Wilhelmine period in Oldenburg, Prussian eagle on the stone-built facade and all. Within was the local office in charge of light commercial aviation, where I wanted a DHC-6 type-rating on my German CPL.

I had just been to Toronto to do the Flight Safety factory course so that I had this diploma with a big gold seal and all... I figured the boxheads should go for this big-time. Boy, was I ever wrong!

I found my Case Officer tucked away in a small office with a wall full of dusty files. I explained that I had just been to Toronto, blah-blah-blah... when he rotated 180° on his throne, grabbed a big set of print-outs and whirled back to start leafing through it. "Day-Hah Sex und Acktzick?" he asked? (DH-86, some elderly biplane airliner, I believe)

This triggered some back and forth dialogue. I told him DHC and he told me it didn't exist and I told him to look again under DHC instead of DH and then he found it after all. Wonderful! NOT!

His Airship the airhead then looked at my lovely diploma and said it was no good at all because it read, "Twin Otter" when all he had in his book was "DHC-6."

I was sat there gaping, saying, "But-but-but... the Twin Otter IS a DHC-6"

He gave me a very self-satisfied, typically German glance and murmured, "How shall I know that?!"

Then we found, under the signature of the FSI Head of Training, the line, "DHC-6" so that was okay. I still had to do a check-ride, though, to get a type-rating that was only good for 12 months.

Then the local Twin Otter contact wiped himself out flying a King Air so that the whole thing was a complete waste of time and money except for an up close and personal look at aviation burocracy in Europe in action. I ended up just staying in Nigeria in preference to working in Germany. Nigerians are easier to deal with as long as you know how to push the right buttons.

I felt very guilty for ever having said anything bad about the U.S. FAA. Compared to the Germans they are the soul of sweet reason and co-operation and Yanks should count themselves lucky. I think I see some of the problem here getting Eurocrats to understand this mysterious DC-3 no one has ever heard of. DHC-3? Well, sort of; they both have round engines and a tailwheel.

Whenwe
18th Feb 2008, 08:44
Reading about the DC3 feathering system brings to mind an incident when as a P2 we did a test flight (drift up) on a new engine. Yes it failed, resulting in some frantic activity in the cockpit to unfeather and restart the old engine. The captain did not hold the button in long enough. Realising his mistake he pressed it again and the prop feathered again. You have got to hold it in. I will always remember the quiet.... We got it going and all went well. Good lesson learned.

There are some highlights in my almost 2000 hrs on a DC3. Central African Airways / Air Rhodesia gave all its F/Os P1 training, if you performed well you were given a P1 rating and allowed to fly from the left seat. Heaven on earth!
The technical was a sketch and describe....... It would take a minimum of 4 hours to do that exam...... some took as long as 6 hours.
P1 training included a one-engine-out (feathered in those days) limited panel, NDB approach and go-around. Hard work!
Command check included both seats, day and night, and a final landing at night with a simulated failure of the instruments. You have to fly it by the seat of your pants and you would be surprised to find how easy it is. We knew our aircraft well.
I am truly proud of those hours in my log book
Concorde has come and gone: Long live the DAK!!

spekesoftly
18th Feb 2008, 10:14
Air Antique are trying to flog their classic flight (or were) - maybe this is a convenient excuse for grounding increasingly expensive DC3s.Air Atlantique have said that after July 16 (when the latest EU-OPS regs take affect) their DC3s will continue to fly on other aerial work such as survey flights and air displays. That doesn't sound like they are looking for an excuse to ground the aircraft.

Their problem is the cost and impracticality of installing certain items of equipment required to permit affected aircraft to continue carrying fare paying passengers on pleasure flights.

Chris Scott
18th Feb 2008, 11:59
Quote from Chuck Ellsworth:
The most simple cure if you are having difficulty holding the button in the out position is turn off the master switch which stops the feathering motor.
[Unquote]

Do you have also to trip the genny on the other engine? Can't remember whether we tried that.

Quote from Marker Inbound:
The feather check isn't that complicated, push the button, the RPM goes down, look at the load meters, pull the button back, the RPM comes back up, look at the load meters. You do want to give the button a twist before you start because I have seen the little button come off the threaded rod behind it when it was pulled back out.
[Unquote]

Your second sentence sounds like the sort of advice that, in aviation, MUST be handed down the generations of crews on any type of aircraft, lest the experience of the early experts is lost until the next accident... Remember the Viscount flap failures?

Re your first sentence, it was the exercising of the CSUs that I was thinking of, and the mag-drop tests at medium power. Meanwhile, the turboprops and jets were all sailing by... unless we were stuck in their way!

Graybeard
18th Feb 2008, 14:13
Some six months ago, TAM wanted a DC-3 for its museum in Sao Paulo. A friend, and retar'd Douglas engineer who headed up restoration of their DC-2, was tasked with finding a suitable DC-3. He found one within 50 miles of home. The buyers were ready spend many thousands of dollars to crate it and barge it from SoCalif to Brasil. My friend quashed that folly, and convinced the seller to deliver the plane for a fee. The flight went well, and everybody is living happily ever after, except my friend who never got paid for his efforts, in spite of promises..

GB

MarkerInbound
18th Feb 2008, 15:49
Chris,

Yes, you do have to kill the other generator since there's really just one main bus and a radio bus. I have had 727 engineers who probably would find the feather check confusing!

Our company school was one day of indoc and one day of systems. When I taught the class I had thirty minutes of history in the syllabus to bring the day up to 8 hours. For one of my last upgrade students 20+ years ago we had to get a FAA examiner from out of the area. Weather was horrible, T-storms and rain, but he comes up flying in Cessna 210 and they start straight into the oral. The oral went almost 4 hours, I couldn't figure what they'd be talking about. (The FAA Inspector's Handbook actually says an oral should last about 2 hours, if it goes much longer it means the student isn't ready or the inspector doesn't know how to structure an oral!) And then they went and flew. I thought they were going to run out of gas, they were gone for 4 hours. That "kid" definitely earned his rating that day. He's a Captain at SW now.

Sorry for drifting the thread but ah the good old days.

trafficcontrol
18th Feb 2008, 16:08
Our DC3s will still be operating in Arial work after July 15th. RVL which is a recon company has one of our DC3s on Lease for arial work as we speak. The DC3 shall continue to fly and thre are loop holes which might enable passengers to fly......but for now we are focussing on offering the DC3 to as many people as possible before we have to suspend passenger operations after July 15th.
The DC3s will still be appearing and participating within airshows around the country also.

Like has been stated previous. There are ways in which we can still keep Passengers flying, but the costing of the mods and paperwork to the CAA are just not cost effective in terms of business.

An few examples of the Mods required are emergency escape slides, lockable cockpit doors, weather radar and many more.

All possible - but not relevent or as I say, cost effective for an aircraft that purely flys VFR very rarely above 3000ft and airborne usually a mear 20 minutes at a time.

Who knows what the future holds anyway! :-)

TC

ABUKABOY
18th Feb 2008, 18:35
YES, markerInbound (#66), that really is a most important gem not found in any book! As a Capt one morning, reaching over at the holding point to do the No2 feathering check with a button which you almost broke your fingers on to wrest it from the magnetic hold-in relay, (on this a/c anyway), I gave it its mandatory little twirl, but as I almost stood up in my seat to do the pull, it still pinged off with considerable force, over my right shoulder, hit the door-frame, and rolled down the sloping cabin floor to disappear at around row 6, followed by the rolling eyes of 36 bemused passengers, (no closed doors in those days). The prop duly feathered, and almost dragged the idling engine to zero, so we shut it down, and asked the stewardess if she would mind awfully going to find my little round red thing and bring it back as quick as she can. This she duly did, and she announced "Here's your little round red thing Captain, and please be more careful with it in future!" in a voice loud enough for all to hear, which nicely defused the situation for those passengers of a nervous disposition who had seen bits flying off their aeroplane before it had even reached the runway. The button was re-attached to the shaft, (which had pinged back out when the prop was fully feathered), and the button held in against its spring only until the prop looked unfeathered, the engine duly started, and we proceeed on our way.

Thats how it was in our 3rd-level airline back in the 70's. We had a bundle of fun. It was a truly precious time, and a truly precious aeroplane.

Visual Calls
18th Feb 2008, 18:46
The solution is simple, just register them in Ireland and hint that ryanair are involved. Then the IAA will let you ignore whatever regulations you wish.

ABUKABOY
18th Feb 2008, 20:17
PSSSST!!-----want some exhaustive tech and Pilots Notes? They're right here on PPRuNe!

Click on "Any DC-3's for hire?" in "Similair Threads" box at the bottom of this page, scroll down to post #9, click on "South Coast Airways", click on "Pilots Notes" and "Dak Instructions" in column at left of page. It's all there!

Read, and be reminded or amazed!

Bargepole
18th Feb 2008, 20:23
I suspect that what we have here is the usual half-researched, EU scare story nonsense written by semi-comatose journos who can't be bothered to leave the bar long enough to check the facts.

Trouble is, they aren't at the bar in the first place, but chained to a desk in an office miles away from anywhere, with only Google and Wikipedia for company. Who needs to check the facts when there's the Global Interweb? At least there was a collective wisdom at the bar, and someone about to stuff up would be told "You're barking up the wrong tree, pal; you should talk to Charlie".

On the regs -- Sometimes (and this is one of them) I think maybe regulators regulate not because they care about safety or want the world to be lovely, but because they just like regulating. They're the unpopular kids at school, getting their own back. And they're puritans; and as someone once said, the great terror of the puritan is that someone, somewhere, may be having a good time...

ChristiaanJ
19th Feb 2008, 15:43
I had a few trips on the BAe DC-3 Fairford-Filton shuttle (for Concorde staff) in the 70s. Still remember it now, so I wish Air Atlantique all the luck in being able to continue offering that now unique experience.

Bargepole
20th Feb 2008, 16:14
Just remembered -- I spent a summer about 20 years back commuting from Nantucket Island to our base at BOS. Went out onto the apron to board the commuter & there were two or three DC-3s parked there in PBA (Provincetown & Boston Airline), one with the door open & airstair down. "How nice," I thought, "a vintage a/c open day." Made a mental note to have a look myself if I got the chance.

Then the ground crew shepherded us onto said DC-3. It was the standard equipment for the BOS - HYA - ACK - MVY run. Lovely old things (PBA had four, I think, which meant the required two were airworthy at any given time), great to ride, even as SLF, in the old gal not tarted up as some kind of "heritage" trip with CC in retro uniforms etc, but just as an ordinary, shabby, well-maintained working aeroplane. Some nice pix of the PBA '3s: here (http://www.airliners.net/search/photo.search?&airlinesearch=PBA%20-%20Provincetown-Boston%20Airline&nr_of_rows=59&first_this_page=30&page_limit=15&sort_order=photo_id+DESC&nr_pages=4)

I don't know what happened to them in the end. Went down to Florida, I heard. But nice to see them doing the job for which they were designed, working the line.

ChristiaanJ
20th Feb 2008, 23:19
PSSSST!!-----want some exhaustive tech and Pilots Notes? They're right here on PPRuNe!Thanks... I'm a sucker for those..... and njet, I'm not a spotter.
Downloaded them straight away.

weloveseaplanes
8th Dec 2012, 21:14
I think maybe regulators regulate not because they care about safety or want the world to be lovely, but because they just like regulating. They're the unpopular kids at school, getting their own back. And they're puritans; and as someone once said, the great terror of the puritan is that someone, somewhere, may be having a good time...

This is insightful and touches on the differences in the brain structure between those who are naturally inclined to regulate and those who natural want to aviate . . . The eternal struggle between forces of control and freedom, those who wish to dominate and those who wish to explore.

barit1
8th Dec 2012, 21:27
Well said, Bargepole & weloveseaplanes.

BTW - in my years in the KBOS area, I often spent a hour or two at the GA terminal, and somewhere have accumulated a dozen or so photos of P-B DC-3's, Lockheed 10s, and one modified Cessna T-50 (updated w/ 300hp Lycomings and 3-blade feathering props).

Bearcat
8th Dec 2012, 22:57
I used to empty the sh!t cans on the dc3s for PBA as a student many many moons ago. Great memories of those dc3s and am very proud to have worked with them even as the blue room man!

Temp Spike
8th Dec 2012, 23:25
Love the old sweetheart. Saw one land on a gravel strip and weathervane a full 90 degrees, for at least two seconds, then SNAP right back down the centerline. Then it was my turn.:uhoh: