Crossing the Southwest in a DC-3 Pics


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A couple of years ago a buddy of mine asked me to fly right seat with him in another friend of our's DC-3. We were taking it to the National Agricultural Aviation Association convention in Vegas. I couldn't miss the chance to fly one of these so the wife and I climbed on board.

Me (left), my buddy Pete (center), and one of Pete's huge cotton farmers, Wayne (right). Pete is a DC-3 rated pilot and was a DC-3 Check Airman for a large Part 135 company flying the DC-3 and the Beech 18's. We have a mutual friend who owns this DC-3 and Pete had traded him some instruction for his Type in exchange for letting us use the aircraft. Beautiful airplane, it is a 1942 model with a new 1940's vintage Art Noveau interior. The whole aircraft was totally rebuilt in Oshkosh. This same guy has two Beavers, a King Air, Lear, Bell Jetranger, Hughes 500 and a Navajo. Hehe, some guys got all the luck.
Re: Crossing the Southwest in a DC-3 Pic



It gave me a whole new respect for DC-3 Captains of days gone by. The aircraft had no autopilot and requires two pilots. People walking back and forth in the aircraft can really shift the CG and the aircraft takes continous input. It's actually pretty basic but the hydraulics are weird for the gear and the flaps and requires two people to operate successfully. But it's big and it's docile. Controls are heavy but easily trimmed, and it's necessary to just "fly the trim" when you can't get the people in the back to SIT DOWN.

You heavy iron guys ever have that problem?

Anyway, on the way to Vegas, stop at Liberal, KS for fuel. Just entering the pattern when the left engine started popping like mad. We went autorich and started troubleshooting. Power reduction stopped the pop, but any setting above about 25" induced the failure (MP redline on the engine is 65" MP if memory serves). We landed without incident and shut down. After deplaning I got out at the engine on a ladder while Pete cranked it. The failed cylinder was instantly obvious as the push rod on the exhaust valve was pushing the whole head of the cylinder up along a crack. Ah, the joys of radial engines.

So, instead of Vegas we get two days of Liberal, KS. Yee Haw! In December too. The wife and I rented a car and drove to Dodge City, KS just so she could say she's gettin' the hell out of Dodge! (I'd been before and said it.)
But all the touristy crap was shut down for the season. It would appear Dodge City is not a big Christmas draw. It smelled like cattle and we got an excellent steak in the motel restraunt for like twenty cents, but Vegas it ain't.

Re: Crossing the Southwest in a DC-3 Pic

Nice pics! I've wanted to fly one of those ever since I read Fate is the Hunter.

It gave me a whole new respect for DC-3 Captains of days gone by.

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I bet they'd be drooling over those spiffy avionics!
Re: Crossing the Southwest in a DC-3 Pic

Great pics!

My father started in the airlines on the 3. It's one of the two aircraft he's typed in.

I had the chance to take a ride in a 3, about two months ago, for $25 and I didn't do it. I'm still kicking myself over that one.