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Pictures of my old DC-3.

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Pictures of my old DC-3.

Old 3rd Aug 2014, 03:29
  #41 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Aug 2014
Location: Bakersfield,CA
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Smile

Hey all Kbfl79 here
Well the Old girl IS FLYING!!!!
tonight i shot some pics and video.
She sounded very good.

just wanted to update everyone.
I do believe she's been sold
over the last few mounths she's had her engines rebuilt or serviced. they were off the aircraft for a month or more.
sorry my camera's a little old. the pics are only soso quality.

enjoy. and it was a SIGHT!!!N64784 FLYING after all this time!!!

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Old 3rd Aug 2014, 16:51
  #42 (permalink)  

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That is really great news!

Thank you so much. Just for the hell of it, here is the story about how I got "my" DC-3, from the book I'm writing.


Me and me DC-3.

Course it was not technically my DC-3, as the boss paid for it, but it ended up being my baby.
Admittedly a 30,000 pound, oil leaking noisy and sometimes cantankerous baby, but still my baby.

Now how we attained this DC-3 that we had absolutely no use for, is I will admit mostly all my fault. At the time we were operating a Westwind II*, a Bell 222 helicopter** and a Jet Commander. The Jet Commander was the first aircraft the boss bought, along with myself and my partner in crime Roy*** at the time. When we bought the new Westwind II we kept the Jet Commander as a backup for the Westwind II. So really we had a nice, happy, smooth running flight department. My buddy Roy, a couple other pilots, one being a somewhat famous helicopter pilot, a full time mechanic and myself. All the boss’s needs were completely taken care of as far as his travels in North America, Latin America, Caribbean and some of South America were concerned. As for Europe, he took the airlines, not wanting to spend the money to buy a G-II or III.

So what the hell did we need a DC-3 for? Well we didn’t. But then one day I drove by one of the other airports in the area. Sitting on the ramp of an aircraft sales company, whose salesmen I knew, was one of the best looking DC-3s I had ever seen, so I drove out on the ramp to look at it. As the C-47 was one of the aircraft my father flew in the Air Force, I’d always wanted to fly one. But me flying a DC-3 was somewhat problematic, due to my height and bad leg. For me to fly a DC-3 the cockpit, the left seat area, would have to be modified. The bulkhead behind the pilot’s seat would have to be removed and the de-icing alcohol tank relocated, then new longer seat tracks would have to be manufactured and installed, allowing the seat to be able to be moved back to accommodate my long legs. So for all that to be done, I’d have to be in charge of a DC-3 and be allowed to do the modification, or own one. Not a chance in hell I figured.

As I’m walking around this good looking DC-3, one of the salesmen I knew came out and told me that I needed to tell my boss that he should buy it. I laughed and told him that we needed an additional aircraft, especially something like a DC-3, like I needed another hole in my head, I had enough holes in it already.

But then he told me the history of this particular DC-3. For one, it was the lowest time DC-3, still flying, in the world, less than 3,000 hours total time. Well that got my attention, then he told me who owned it for most of its life since it stopped being a C-47; the Wrigley family. In fact, the original interior was still installed, except for the carpet which had been replaced a few times. Both engines were fresh overhauled engines and the cockpit had Flight Directors. Collins FD-102 Flight Directors, but hey they were Flight Directors. Little did I know then just how much grief those bloody FD-102 Flight Directors would cause me later. The only two negative things I could find was no auto-pilot, which was not that big of a deal and the transponder was just a two digit antique one with blind altitude reporting, whatever in the hell that was and ATC just loved it, not.

So after that conversation I happened to be in the boss’s office a few days later talking about his upcoming schedule. After we finished he inquired if I had anything else I wished to discuss with him and like a damn fool, I opened my mouth and told him about this rare DC-3. I did so thinking that a friend of his, that bought things he didn’t need either, might be interested in this DC-3. The boss said that he didn’t know about his friend, but he was interested, wanted to go look at it and to set a time with his secretary. Oops.

Well that oops turned into an ‘Aw shit’. I made an appointment for him to go out and look at the DC-3, the salesman had a crew set up to take him on a demo flight. The boss showed up on time, then I knew I was in trouble, he had never been on time for the seven years I had flown him, this was not foreboding well for me. So we taxi out and takeoff, after we level off, he is like a kid in a toy factory. He sits in every seat in the cabin, the salesman and I are playing musical chairs trying to keep out of his way. He uses the lav, ducks into the baggage compartment, then he heads up to the cockpit. The guy flying in the right seat comes back and tells the salesman that he thinks that the DC-3 is sold, unless they crash it heading home.

‘Sold!’, hold on a minute, we don’t need a friggin’ DC-3, I had my hands full as it was. So I head to the cockpit as fast as I can. I have got to nip this in the bud. You ever try to stop the sun from raising, then you may know what I was up against. The boss is in the right seat, flying the friggin’ DC-3, with a Cheshire cat’s grin on his face. So I ask him what he thinks, a mistake.

“We really need this airplane!” ‘No we don’t’ I think, but say, “Really, like it that much?”

“Hell yes!” Which at that point he cranks it over into a 40 degree bank and his smile gets bigger. The guy in the left seat, a good friend**** who would later freelance for us on the DC-3, discretely added some back pressure on the column to keep us spiraling out of control to our deaths, then gives me this ‘you’re screwed’ grin.

I try one more gambit, “Well I can’t fly a DC-3 because the cockpit is too short for my legs.” The smile on his face goes away, he looks at me and says, “Fix it so you can.”, I sincerely hope that he means the cockpit and not my legs, then he goes back to flying the DC-3, smile firmly back in place. Okay, forearmed is forewarned is what they always say, someday I’d really like to know just who the hell ‘they’ are. I pat the boss on the shoulder and say, “Well, have fun.” and he just grins more.

I head back into the cabin to talk to the salesman. If the boss is so dead set to buy this thing, the least I can do is get the price down. I asked what they would really take for the DC-3, not what they were asking, as it was a ridiculously high price, over $100,000.00, which was about double for other DC-3 were going for, I had done my homework, just in case. Before he could reply, the boss comes bounding down the aisle, sits next to the salesman and asks how much did they want. Before I could interject, the salesman, smelling blood, said 125,000.00 dollars. I open my mouth to yell “Jesus Christ, that's too bloody much!”. But before I can, the boss says “Okay.” Then he turns to me, pausing in an attempt to figure out why my mouth is open and I’m turning pale, he tells me to call the CFO and coordinate the transfer of the money. Then he hops up and goes back to the cockpit to fly the DC-3 some more.

After I have a few choice words with the salesman, some of which I questioned the marital status of his parents when he was born, I force him into throwing in the two spare overhauled engines and some other spare parts that he was going to sell us for more money. I found out later through the grape line, that even with the two spare engines and the other parts they cleared over 50K on the deal. Then we fly around for about another hour with the boss flying, including buzzing one of the ranches he owned, before we landed, with him still in the co-pilot’s seat, with the co-pilot standing behind them.

When we get off the aircraft after we land, the boss takes one last look at the DC-3, then tells me to have it moved to our hangar at the other airport as soon as I can and to learn how to fly it. A few days later after the money is transferred I am standing on the ramp in front of our hangar when “our” new DC-3 lands, with Roy flying it. After about the third bounce, he gets it under control, turns off the runway and taxies to the hangar and I remember thinking, ‘Damn, it is a good looking aircraft’. I was starting to fall in love with my new baby that I couldn’t fly.

Right then, learning to fly the blasted thing. First step, modify the cockpit so I can fit into the left seat. Can’t be all that difficult can it? Well yes it can, when you don’t have clue what you are doing. But wait, my partner Roy was an Aeronautical Engineer and I had a full time mechanic. So they can handle this modification, right? You’d think, but nobody seemed all that interested in making the modification except me, the chief pilot. I started dropping little hints to my mechanic, like "Fix that damn thing so I can fly it.” or "If you have not started modifying the cockpit by the end of this week, where will you be working next monday so I can forward your mail?", you know, subtle little things like that. Which of course were ignored. Roy was no help, he kept saying he needed to draw up diagrams, do a bunch of research and other nonsense, but was too busy watching his new grass grow in his back yard.

Okay fine, I’ll just do it myself, I know how to use a hacksaw and a hammer, even really big hammers. I had somehow inherited a toolbox that had a hacksaw, some screwdrivers and a couple of hammers, one really big hammer, also some other tools that I had no clue what they were for, one was called a ratchet, whatever the hell that was. I grabbed the two hammers, the hacksaw and a couple of screwdrivers. Thusly armed I headed out toward the DC-3. While walking out to the DC-3 I accidentally walked by Roy and my mechanic, Terry, on my way out the open hangar doors heading to the DC-3. I figured it would be about 45 seconds before they would follow me to see what I was up to, as they knew that tools and I were not a very good a very mix. I made it almost to the cockpit before I heard the pitter patter of large feet running up the aisle of the cabin.

“Hey guys, what’s up?’ I inquired. Roy replied, “Huh, what are you doing?” “Not much” I replied back, told him I was just going to use the hacksaw to cut off the straps holding the alcohol tank mounted on the bulkhead behind the left seat and use the really big hammer to beat the bits I couldn’t cut off into submission, so I could remove those as well. As for the screwdrivers, well I really didn’t have a real use for them right then, but I figured that I’d run across something that I could use them on.

They told me to remain calm, not to make any sudden movements and for some inexplicable reason took my tools from me. Then they told me to go back to my office and do some of that chief pilot stuff, as they would start the modification right away. I agreed, telling them that I would check the cockpit the next morning and if I didn’t see a lot of progress, I’d get one of them blow torch thingies and start over.

One week later the modification was completed and I had all the leg room I needed, then some.


Next installment will be learning how to fly the DC-3. Or how the scare the crap out of an American Airline's 727 crew in one easy lesson.


* The trip to Israel to pick up our new Westwind II is a story in itself.

** The Bell 222 had a rotor hub failure, crashed killing everyone on board, obviously including the pilot, Barry Meeker, look him up on the internet. The TT on it was 117.1 hours since new from the Bell factory. Telling his wife was a tough one. Bell paid big time, as it was a part failure that caused the rotor system failure. Our new 222 was built with a part that Bell was already replacing on delivered 222s; swash plate link.

*** My old partner Roy, quit and became a Baptist missionary in Borneo. Was married and had two very young children. He quit that before a year was up because of his two young children, just like I told him he would. But he had grown tired of the corporate world and decided to go to work for an east coast commuter airline, Bar Harbor Airlines, flying Beech 99s. He was killed on August 25, 1985 while he was shooting an approach to the Lewiston-Auburn Regional Airport. Look up Samantha Reed Smith on the internet. He was a damn good pilot and how that happened to him has always remained a mystery to me. It also highly annoyed me that the NTSB never contacted me or the company after the accident, after all we had flown together for over ten years.

**** His name was Tommy Brogdon and he was killed in a mid-air collision with another good friend, Lt. Col. Tony Stricker.


At times back in those day, life got tough in this business of flying aircraft for a living.
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Old 3rd Aug 2014, 20:02
  #43 (permalink)  
 
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brilliant Con . . . keep up the good work. .. . shades of the dear departed
Les, 'Duke Elegant'

you need to do a good proof read before you publish

you say -

as they knew that tools and I were not a very good a very mix

Okay, forearmed is forewarned is what they always say

the second is arse about and the first contains an obvious typo


if you want someone to check your final draft meticulously
let me know



p.s. I once owned a former Qantas DC-3. VH-EAP
Now in the Qantas Founders' Museum in Longreach, Queensland.

google VH-EAP Qantas Founders for a description


There is another ex-Qantas one for sale over here. $120 G AUS will
pull her up. Fly her away after an oil change and a good ground run.
She is in good nick and has a beautiful 28 seat cabin.
The owner, a friend, has asked me to try to find a buyer.

Here is her history and a bunch of photos -
http://www.aussieairliners.org/dc-3/vh-eam/vheam.html

. . . and whats more she has the cleanest neatest cabin you have ever been in

unlike any of the Wrigley kind . . . where under every seat there will inevitably be . .
you know what

Last edited by FAR CU; 3rd Aug 2014 at 22:50.
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Old 4th Aug 2014, 16:52
  #44 (permalink)  

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you need to do a good proof read before you publish
Of that there is no question. This is still in the rough draft form, the final editing will be done later by a professional after I complete the book.

Before I started writing my book I had the great fortune to receive some advice from a well know author, action and adventure, who told me that when I start writing, to just write and not worry about spelling or anything in regards to grammar. Editing can always be done later.

So it is quite obvious that I have taken his advice.

Most of the book is about my years of flying for the US Marshal Service, which in all reality, has enough material to be a book by itself.


And thank you for your post and the photos.
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Old 8th Aug 2014, 14:49
  #45 (permalink)  
 
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DC-3 in Catalina

Here you go Con, enjoy!!
f

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U5F4krrh3Nw
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Old 1st Jan 2015, 06:09
  #46 (permalink)  
 
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I have been going through my Dad's WWII love letters to my Mom - scanning them. In a letter dated April 15, 1946, he states that he just finished working on Mr. Wrighley's son's C-47 that they just bought for $57,000. And that Mr. Wrighley's son was going to take the guys who worked on the plane out for a beer party when the test flight comes up. My Dad was working at Love Field after he was discharged from the Army Air Forces where he worked on B-17s and B-29s. Later in 1946, he moved to Ft Worth to work on the B-36. I have some photos of plane with my Dad and some other guys standing by the port side engine. I would like to see some photos of the plane as it is today. Unfortunately, my Dad passed away in 1975 at the young age of 52. Thanks, Gorman W. Prince, Jr.
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Old 1st Jan 2015, 14:45
  #47 (permalink)  
 
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I have scanned two of the photos I mentioned of my Dad standing by the Wrigley C-47 in June 1946. There are two or three more photos of other guys with the plane without my Dad in them - he might have taken the photos. I will have to go back and see if they show more of the plane but I don't think so. Since my Dad mentioned working on the Wrigley plane at the same time he took the photos of him working on a C-47 - I assume that this is the plane in question. I don't know if there were other C-47s at Love field that he would have been working on at the same time, but it is reasonable to say that the plane in the photos is the plane.

WELL, THIS FORM WILL NOT LET ME DOWNLOAD MY PHOTO - IT HAS NO URL!
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Old 1st Jan 2015, 17:06
  #48 (permalink)  
 
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WELL, THIS FORM WILL NOT LET ME DOWNLOAD MY PHOTO - IT HAS NO URL!

Try this.
http://www.pprune.org/spectators-bal...une-guide.html
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Old 1st Jan 2015, 17:41
  #49 (permalink)  
 
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I posted the photos to Facebook so that I might be able to upload them here. Again, these were taken in June 1946 at Love Field in Dallas. My Dad is the second from the left in one photo, and by himself on the other.

I believe this is the Wrigley C-47. The photos were taken at the same time that my Dad said that he was working on the airplane. Hard to say if there were other C-47s that he was working on at the same time at Love Field, but I doubt it.



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Old 1st Jan 2015, 18:23
  #50 (permalink)  
 
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In continuation of the other tips and links to con-pilot and his wonderfull story, this is indeed a wonderfull example of coincidenting on the web!
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Old 2nd Jan 2015, 17:46
  #51 (permalink)  
 
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Another flying lady:
Danish Dakota Friends
And the pic's:
DC-3 Photos
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Old 2nd Jan 2015, 18:16
  #52 (permalink)  
 
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[qoute:] (con-pilot) One more note of interest, from reading the log books, they changed engines every 500 hours, replacing them with overhauled engines. I was always curious about that. [quote!]

Probably a question of faster maintance keeping her ready for use :-/
Even for car-maintenance, repairing or replacing is a regular dilemma and as for car-owners: the poor guy with the knowledge have to do the heavy repairs by himself, there must be a differece of repair perception among aircraft-owners - this decision is ofcourse influed by the skills of own mechanics :-/
In the end, the workshop wich sells overhaul's in change with the old, are the one that surely got the skills to the job!
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Old 2nd Jan 2015, 18:44
  #53 (permalink)  

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Probably a question of faster maintance keeping her ready for use :-/
I forgot to add that we kept the same schedule when we owned her and at 500 hours we'd replace the engines with overhauled engines and we kept one spare overhauled engine in the hangar just in case.

I was fortunate in the fact that I had a mechanic (engineer) that loved working on the DC-3 and he nearly stopped all of the typical oil leaks. There would be periods when it would not be scheduled to fly for over a month or so and when that happened I would fly it for about an hour. We also ran the engines once a week when it had not flown for a week and no trips were scheduled.

We kept very good care of her and I still miss flying her. There was just something special about flying a DC-3.
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Old 3rd Jan 2015, 08:16
  #54 (permalink)  
 
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gormanwpjr, Facebook links don't work properly, so I've uploaded your photographs elsewhere. Should work now:



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Old 3rd Jan 2015, 09:18
  #55 (permalink)  
 
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[qoute:] (con-pilot) One more note of interest, from reading the log books, they changed engines every 500 hours, replacing them with overhauled engines. I was always curious about that. [quote!]
I have just realised that there actual is a term for such job: QEC - as in: Quick Engine Change ;-)
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Old 4th Jan 2015, 10:04
  #56 (permalink)  
 
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This old Gal must be a candidate for Buffalo Airways soon..! it would enjoy another full life adventure up there.
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Old 3rd Feb 2015, 01:12
  #57 (permalink)  
 
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Hi con-pilot,

Read your story and love the DC3/C-47 aircraft. Your aircraft is being well taken care of at Aerometal International.

A quote from them...

"This summer has marked the start of what will be her nearly two year long transformation. She’ll receive a new interior, livery, control surfaces, avionics, etc. What an incredible honor this is for us–the feeling of bringing back another one of these beauties is hard to adequately describe."

Posted September 2014.

I'm a flight simmer myself and it's tops!
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Old 3rd Feb 2015, 19:07
  #58 (permalink)  

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Again thank you for that link TuFun.

We took very good care of the DC-3, but it looks like all those years sitting out in the open in California took its toll.

I'm very pleased that someone that cares owns it now.
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Old 4th Feb 2015, 04:51
  #59 (permalink)  
 
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Glad I could dig up that info! There some pic of her with fresh engines and nice shiny props dated July 2014. From what I've read she was sitting for 22 years.
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Old 23rd Oct 2018, 22:24
  #60 (permalink)  
 
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Hi con-pilot

Searching for some info re an RV-3, I remember seeing that DC-3 of yours, too many moons ago... not sure if, as most Americans, you confuse Switzerland with Sweden (which would be geographically speaking like mixing Texas with Oregon...), but this very craft was based in Lausanne, Switzerland for a couple of years. Searching the net I even found a trip report, in German language, recounting the flight form the US to ol' Europe, see https://spirit-of-flying.ch/atlantik-crossing-dc-3/

I'll try and have a look, gotta have a picture of that lady somewhere, but where
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