For those of us of a certain age the DC3 was often the first plane we flew on. I was 22 before I first went on a plane. Below is a marvellous article about how the DC3 has been banned from flying in the UK because of “health and safety” danger. The sort of people who write health and safety plans often defy gravity but this one is pretty pathetic. This plane first flew in 1935. It has had an amazing history as a successful and safe plane. I’m delighted that some are still flying in New Zealand.
I had a mate of mine who was years ago sky diving over USA from a DC3. The sky divers decided to play a trick on the pilot. So, they all ran up one end of the plane. The pilot finally stabilised the plane and then they ran up the other. Then they all jumped out.
When the plane landed they all hopped in the DC3 and it took off again. They were at jumping out level and the Captain and the co-pilot ran into the cabin and grabbed their parachutes and said that the plane was on fire and that they all had to get out. There was a mad scramble for the exit. Shoes and gloves and various protective gear was left to burn in the plane.
The two additional pilots at the front of the plane carried on flying and landed the plane at the airport. The sky divers collected their gear from the plane and never messed with the pilots again….
My uncle, Hugh Laracy, was Chief engineer for Fieldair, an aeroplane company based in Gisborne. Their main plane was the DC3 and here is a picture of a DC3 in New Zealand. In fact, I think it is on the aero field where my grandfather, Paddy Moore, was killed working on an unemployment scheme in the 1930’s.