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My Favorite DC-3 / C-47 Story

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My Favorite DC-3 / C-47 Story

Old 5th Mar 2008, 23:26
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Lobo3 check your PM's.
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Old 6th Mar 2008, 01:06
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Done So! Thanks!

Well this is me going down for the count,~~Take Care~~Lobo
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Old 7th Mar 2008, 08:51
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Duke Elegant,COOL!

Nothing else to say!
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Old 8th Mar 2008, 15:11
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I'm Back for a While Anyway!

Just a shot in the general direction of OUT THERE,anybody home?
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Old 9th Mar 2008, 11:53
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YoGibAir

Hairy Fool,

I am afraid that with the time factor and brain fade I have forgotten the registration of Gib Airs DC3,(possibly G-AMSV???) but the YOGIBAIR came from the fact that a couple of the RAF, Station Flight hero's got bored one night, and with a pot of Black paint made a slight change to the company name on the roof of the aircraft. Hence GibAir became YO-GibAir!!

Although I was there at the time, and it wasn't me!!

Speedbird 48..
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Old 11th Mar 2008, 06:04
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Hello all
My first flight was in DC-3/C-47 G-AMPO at Farranfore Airport, County Kerry, in 1982, courtesy of Air Atlantique.Me and my brother got to fly in the beautiful Dak for a 15-min local joyride.It was a sheer delight.So, thanks to AA for being there that day!
regards
TDD
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Old 11th Mar 2008, 16:43
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Fate is the Hunter - Ernest K Gann

If you're after DC2/DC3 stories, I guess you'll know about this book, and others by the same author. I've been meaning to re-read it for something like 30 years, and I finally got round to taking it away on a ski trip last week. As I sat crammed into the back row of a fully stuffed 757, flying over the Alps at 35,000 feet, I wondered how many current AT pilots are familiar with the book. I would suggest that they could still learn a lot about sheer airmanship from it ... maybe it should be a compulsory part of the training syllabus...
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Old 12th Mar 2008, 16:10
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Fate is the Hunter

Learning points for AT pilots, including having burning matches under the nostrils on an already difficult approach. Beats the simulator any day. Seriously though it is in my opinion just about the best aviation book I've read. I need a new one as my copy is falling to bits.
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Old 12th Mar 2008, 17:38
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Fate is the Hunter

Learning points for AT pilots, including having burning matches under the nostrils on an already difficult approach. Beats the simulator any day. Seriously though it is in my opinion just about the best aviation book I've read. I need a new one as my copy is falling to bits.
More learning points:
  • if you have to take off with a load of steel girders in the cabin, make sure they're tied down
  • never fly a C-87, especially in icing conditions.
The book's back in print - I picked my new paperback copy up in Ottawa just before Christmas, but I see Amazon can supply it for less than a tenner... the long string of five-star reviews there speak for themselves
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Old 13th Mar 2008, 06:53
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Fate is the Hunter - was a time when all pilots were reputed to carry a copy in the nav bag.
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Old 13th Mar 2008, 13:32
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My own personal favourite comes from an old book, "Airliners and Airways of Today" by S.E.Veale. It was published not long after the war, and details all of the new designs on the market at the time, plus existing aircraft. On the subject of the Dak, it said that due to the high number of C-47's appearing in demob suits, the type's future as an airliner was likely to be short-lived........oh, the benefit of hindsight!
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Old 13th Mar 2008, 14:48
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One day in about 1980, Dakota ZA947 (aka KG661) lined up for departure from runway 07 at Farnborough. The crew then reported they had a 'problem' and would be shutting down and vacating the aircraft. Before the engines stopped however, the port undercarriage collapsed, allowing the still turning propellor to strike the runway, break off at the reduction gear, then bounce up and strike the forward escape hatch fairly in the centre! As the wingtip touched the ground, the upper surface of the wing wrinkled to the extent we all thought that was it, not worth repairing. But repaired it was, and is now happy in its new home with BBMF!
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Old 15th Mar 2008, 11:43
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Re: Fate is the Hunter,

EyesFront,

I think you'd be pleasantly surprised by the number of young pilots in the front of those 757s that you get stuffed into the back of, who have read this book.

I still have my original copy, that I first read at the age of 16. There is a lot that still resonates well with today's airline world. For example, if you watch crews in the crewroom and you'll see the Captains talking to the other Captains, co's to the other co's etc. Just like Gann recounts.

I've often said to new guys, during their line training, until you've read it voluntarily suspend and surrender your licence to the authority. They think I'm joking.

Many of the pilots with whom I share a flight deck these days do not have English as a first language, and I wonder just how well it translates.

For a similarly enthralling read, about the early days, and for an insight into airmanship of old. " Wind, sand and stars" by St. Exupery is stunning. To quote W, S, & S, the story about what we would now call CFIT, which he concludes with a chilling line, " below the sea of cloud lies eternity" will stop you dead in your tracks! Vol de nuit, and Courier Sud ( also by St. Ex. ) are also classics. Those last two, are fairly short, and I had to struggle through French versions. I'm certain I missed a lot as a result of my poor command of French. Hence, my concern for Gann's magnum opus, in the hands of my continental pals.

Back to the thread, this month's Flying has a good article about flying a DC-3.
Rambles through several veins, but is essentially about a Dak, and will bring a smile to your face at the ed!

BSD.
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Old 15th Mar 2008, 13:41
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Chevvron:
Would that be 1990? When I worked for Air Atlantique, we carried out a major service on ZA947, including replacing the left nacelle upper skin, which had been damaged by a collapsed landing gear. We never did find out why the gear folded; the safety latches themselves are spring-loaded down and manual retraction involves disengaging the cockpit latch lever from a clip, pulling it firmly aft to raise the latches from the retraction jack hook ends and then moving the undercarriage selector clear of its gate before selecting 'Up'.
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Old 15th Mar 2008, 18:52
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The early DC 3 had a "wobble Pump" that was pumped for fuel pressure during startup to get the engines running.
Once the engine was running the engine pumps kept it going.
The original DC 3 operated by Autair in 1960 ( G-AJIC) had such a system,
During the summer the aircraft flew on Charter at Southend ( After Skyways were an aircraft short when one of theirs overran the runway and tried to catch the train)
During that winter it was decided to use the aircraft on photo survey for Huntings in West Africa.
The aircraft went to Fields in Wymeswold to have electric fuel pumps fitted and equipped with camera gear in the belly.
The project required flight at 20,000 feet above ground which gave us something like 22-23,000 feet.The engines were of course running on the electric pumps.
One day at altitide one of the pumps stopped - so did the engine there were some intereting cloud pictures taken by the camera in the belly

Last edited by GotTheTshirt; 16th Mar 2008 at 09:26. Reason: Typo
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Old 20th Mar 2008, 19:28
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BUIA

Opssys
You recalled the old BUIA DC3 Captains, as you said they were all characters and did treat us F/Os are pupils. They were probably wise to do so, as for most of us it was our first taste of airline flying.
I remember one night in Amsterdam, it was incredibly windy and the Captain and I were standing in the fuselage ready to lock the cargo door when the goundman lost control of the door and it slammed into the Captain's head. The Captain was dazed but insisted that he would be ok, so we started up and taxied out. During the take off run he collapsed and I rejected take off. As he was unconcious over the controls and I was not used to taxying the DC3 it took me 45 minutes to get him to an ambulance.
Fortunately he did recovered.
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Old 20th Mar 2008, 20:10
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I have only a few hours in the C-47 and no landings. I did get a few landings in the C-46 but that is another story.

However, a good friend of mine flew AC-47s in Vietnam. He interviewed in the mid-70s with an airline that had a noted shrink as part of the hiring process. My friend (well call him Bob) was sitting in the shrink's office when the shrink said, "I see you flew AC-47s, Bob. What exactly is an AC-47??"
Bob, "It is a gunship, sir."
Shrink, "What is a gunship? And what does it do?"
Bob, "It is an airplane with a number of mini-guns and we shot people."
Shrink, "And how did you feel about shooting people, Bob?"
Bob, "Well, it is a lot like when you are at the bar and they shove that bowl of roasted peanuts in front of you."

The shrink sat back in his chair and pondered the answer for a few moments and then said, "I fail to see the analogy between some roasted peanuts in a bar and shooting people, Bob."

Bob explained, "Well.. they are just there and you don't really want to start but once you do, it is real hard to stop."

Rest of the story... shrink smiled.... and Bob got hired. Now retired.

True story.
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Old 21st Mar 2008, 18:22
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BUIA

1 to Go.
An interesting incident so early in your aviation career.
You didn't have any 'wrong destination' arrivals when flying with a certain Captain S, after all HAM and FRA are both in Germany and he did spend his earlier career visiting them on alternate nights, but never landed, just dropped his payoad and went home.
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Old 22nd Mar 2008, 00:05
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Wannabe trainee pilots on the RAAF's No 1 post WW2 training course all went solo with another trainee in the R seat before being granted wings. Must have ben a bit risky as we didn't know much about Vmca and other finer points. MUCH later managed to get one off the ground on one engine, but required 35 kts of wind to enable and a large semi-circle ground run.

Then how many Gooney drivers know that all of these old ladies will ignore your control inputs if both pilots wind in full opposite aileron at the same time.
Wasn't game to try the same in pitch but I think the designed stretchiness in the control cables would be similar in pitch.
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Old 22nd Mar 2008, 04:14
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TRIBUTE TO THE DC-3
In fifty-one they tried to ground the noble DC-3
And some lawyers brought the case before the C.A.B.
The board examined all the facts behind their great oak portal
And pronounced these simple words “The Gooney Bird’s Immortal.
The Army toast their Sky Train in lousy scotch and soda
The Tommies raise their glasses high to cheer their old Dakota.
Some claim the C-47’s best, or the gallant R4D
Forget that claim, their all the same, they’re the noble DC-3.
Douglas built the ship to last, but nobody expected
This crazy heap would fly and fly, no matter how they wrecked it.
While nations fall and men retire, and jets go obsolete
The Gooney Bird flies on and on at eleven thousand feet.
No matter what they do to her the Gooney Bird still flies
One crippled plane was fitted out with one wing half the size.
She hunched her shoulders then took off (I know this makes you laugh)
Only wing askew, and yet she flew, the DC-3 and a half.
She had her faults, but after all, who’s perfect in every sphere
Her heating system was a gem we loved her for the gear.
Of course the windows leaked a bit when the rain came pouring down
She’d keep you warm, but in a storm, it’s possible you’d drown.
Well now she flies the feeder lines and carries all the freight
She just an airborne office, a flying twelve ton crate.
They patched her up with masking tape, with paper clips and strings
And still she flies, she never dies, Methuselah with wings.
ANON
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