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Quick Ride On The DC-3! The PH-PBA At LEY  
User currently onlineCrimsonNL From Netherlands, joined Dec 2007, 1894 posts, RR: 42
Posted (4 years 4 months 3 weeks 4 days 21 hours ago) and read 8561 times:
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Hi guys. Here's a short report about a lucky chance to get 2 rides on a '42 built DC-3. The PH-PBA. The pictures and video's are taken with a point-and-shoot camera so the quality isn't that great. Hope you'll like it anyway.

On the 4th of July, I was taking it easy at home, watching the idiot box. My dad called me from his work. He's a volunteer at a large Dutch aviation museum. He told me that one of the Dutch registered DC-3s would be doing a training flight, and that he was able to get me on for 25 euro's. The flight would leave in 90 minutes so I had to hurry. I had flown the other Dutch registered DC-3, the PH-DDZ, 4 times before, but had never flown on her sister, the PH-PBA!

Naturally I wasn't turning down the offer, and quickly gathered my stuff. I had left my own (semi-decent) camera at my dorm room, and so I quickly grabbed an old point-and-shoot camera to take the necessary pictures! I got in the car and headed towards the museum, located at Lelystad Airport. LEY is about a 30-40 minute drive, but luckily there was little traffic on the road and I got there well in time. Dad waited for me and we headed to the replica of the original Schiphol airport terminal, where several scenic flights on a variety of aircraft are offered. The PBA was just doing a scenic flight and would be landing shortly. I got in line with other volunteers of the museum who managed to get a seat on the flight.

After paying for the ticket, I got seat 6A. The PBA holds 18 pax in a full-first class config, with 2-1 seating. My dad got seat 6C, the one next to me. After a short wait outside the PH-PBA pulled up to offload the passengers of the scenic flight.

http://img340.imageshack.us/img340/8894/dsc09453i.jpg

http://img707.imageshack.us/img707/6864/dsc09454k.jpg

http://img707.imageshack.us/img707/4977/dsc09457a.jpg

She's a beauty!
http://img713.imageshack.us/img713/7800/dsc09458.jpg

http://img707.imageshack.us/img707/523/dsc09459m.jpg

Parked in front of the "old" terminal
http://img707.imageshack.us/img707/4421/dsc09460rf.jpg

A little history on the PH-PBA. The PBA was built in 1942. She served as a C-47A during the war. She participated at the D-Day drop over St Mere-Eglise, and in Operation Market Garden. One of her most famous passengers, was Private John Steele. Pvt Steele is known because of his unfortunate parachute landing at St. Mere-Eglise. He was the paratrooper who's parachute got stuck at the village's church tower. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Steele_%28paratrooper%29) To think I was on the same plane as this brave soldier who jumped over France, 66 years ago!

She also participated with 200 other C-47's in an airbridge, to medevac wounded soldiers. After the war, Prince Bernard acquired her from the American's, and she was used as a Dutch governmental aircraft. After retirement she spent years in the old Aviodome museum at AMS, only to be restored to airworthiness by the Prince Bernard Alpha foundation. Hence the registration, PBA. She is operated by the Dutch Dakota Association, and is a regular guest at airshows. She's currently painted in a hybrid livery as you might have noticed in the pictures. One half is in Air France colors, the other one in KLM colors! The same could be said for the F-ATZE, but she has been painted back in full AF colors. I think I heard a rumour that the PBA will be restored in classic KLM colors soon.

Anyhow, back to the report!

Just parked in front of the terminal
http://img594.imageshack.us/img594/2556/dsc09462.jpg

Love the desert filters on the R-1830 Twin Wasp!


Dad connecting the stairs
http://img340.imageshack.us/img340/1996/dsc09464p.jpg

Dutch flag in the tail


After all the pax got off, she was turned 180 degrees, in order for her to taxi out on her own power.


Love this sight!
http://img696.imageshack.us/img696/8834/dsc09468l.jpg

A nice classic AF paint on the starboard side!
http://img696.imageshack.us/img696/3588/dsc09469w.jpg

http://img820.imageshack.us/img820/2440/dsc09471a.jpg

Look how high up the cockpit is!
http://img696.imageshack.us/img696/1201/dsc09473s.jpg

A quick glimpse at some of the other planes in the museum, a neptune, C-47 and the tail of the KLM 742SUD can be seen.
http://img696.imageshack.us/img696/7949/dsc09474g.jpg

The PH-OFA, recently donated to the museum by KLM! Waiting for a pair of written off engines
http://img534.imageshack.us/img534/1076/dsc09475.jpg

Time for boarding! The "French" tail section
http://img822.imageshack.us/img822/257/dsc09476.jpg

http://img291.imageshack.us/img291/8923/dsc09477l.jpg

As seen from behind
http://img266.imageshack.us/img266/7021/dsc09478.jpg

Man she looks good!


The Dutch tail


I was happy to see we'd be using the original DC-3 airstairs, for that added DC-3 feeling!


We were welcomed on board by the flight attendant, and took our seat in the last row. Walking up this plane's aisle feels like climbing a mountain! We took our seats in the very large and comfortable first class seats. The interior is in mint condition, and had a lovely "old plane" smell. Although it was very hot inside due to the lack of air conditioning. The interior is more luxurious then sistership the PHDDZ, who flies with 24 economy seats in 2-2 seating. Before departure, traditional Dutch candy "Hopjes" were distributed.


View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Luis Rosa


2 LEY roundtrips
PH-PBA
C-47A (DC-3A-456)
5th/6th time on type, 1st/2nd time on this plane.
Seat 6A

Excellent legroom!
http://img412.imageshack.us/img412/5859/dsc09483v.jpg

The cabin
http://img697.imageshack.us/img697/741/dsc09486.jpg

Quick peek from the window, with the PHBUK in the background
http://img697.imageshack.us/img697/2694/dsc09487i.jpg

Number 1


After everyone got settled, I heard the distinct sound of the fuel pumps being activated. Engine 2 was started and number 1 followed without hesitation. I think she was quieter then the DDZ on the inside. We taxied out and made the first couple of turns with differential breaking. Once we cleared the museum area, all turns were done with differential power. (The DC-3 does not have tailwheel steering) After a short taxi we reached RWY 23 and since the engines were still warm, the extensive runup checks were not necessary. Takeoff power was set, and with a beautiful powerful roar, the PW R1830 twin wasp's came to life! We lifted off in no time even though it was pretty hot.

Take-off video, I will never get enough of that sound!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-2kTF2MWTZQ

We rotated in no time, and we got lifted from the ground as the tail came loose. After a very short climb we leveled off at 750ft
http://img155.imageshack.us/img155/2662/dsc09490a.jpg

The engine, and the airport can be seen, while turning left on downwind. Count the rivets!


Spot the KLM jet!
http://img689.imageshack.us/img689/1607/dsc09492n.jpg

Turning for base-leg!
http://img709.imageshack.us/img709/4117/dsc09493r.jpg

On final
http://img687.imageshack.us/img687/9316/dsc09494u.jpg

As seen from the other side
http://img441.imageshack.us/img441/8484/dsc09495r.jpg

During the flight we got kicked around a little due to the turbulence. A lot of yaw movement as well. A slight crosswind, and hot weather, caused us to float down. We bounced 3 times before coming to a full stop. I love the squeeking of the tires! RWY23
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l4lvIjHq9Qo

While on the ground we taxied back to the threshold of RWY23. My foldable tray table and the safety card
http://img709.imageshack.us/img709/7617/dsc09497s.jpg

After positioning on the runway, engines were run to take-off power before releasing the brakes. A very powerful takeoff
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3RFgJdiKKjY

Leveling off at 750FT
http://img683.imageshack.us/img683/7761/dsc09501q.jpg

On downwind
http://img294.imageshack.us/img294/1974/dsc09502.jpg

Airport visible while turning for finals RW23
http://img266.imageshack.us/img266/422/dsc09503.jpg

Final landing video
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2i1h-EyzxQw

Taxiing back to the museum
http://img706.imageshack.us/img706/7978/dsc09505v.jpg

At the hangar
http://img84.imageshack.us/img84/8/dsc09507d.jpg

After parking I had a chance to visit the cockpit. I walked up the sloped aisle to the navigator area


Cockpit, great condition
http://img717.imageshack.us/img717/8048/dsc09509g.jpg

You can see a Fokker S11 and world's only flying DC-2 in the hangar
http://img717.imageshack.us/img717/9104/dsc09511sh.jpg

The cabin
http://img808.imageshack.us/img808/3336/dsc09513.jpg

Yours truly, though I think I have my eyes closed
http://img821.imageshack.us/img821/1104/dsc09515.jpg

One more look at the KLM side!
http://img685.imageshack.us/img685/1369/dsc09516y.jpg

And the Air France side!
http://img713.imageshack.us/img713/5669/dsc09519.jpg

See you next time PBA   Grumman Tracker and F100 visible as well.
http://img713.imageshack.us/img713/1566/dsc09522.jpg

Though only about 5 minutes per flight, these 2 flights were well worth driving to LEY! She's now the oldest plane I flew, seconded by the PH-DDZ and G-AKIF. The DC-3 is a blast to fly on and I hope to have them around for many years to come. The smell, the sound, and the feeling of the plane, is just amazing. Combined with the significant history of this plane, makes for a great experience!

The PBA and the DDZ

View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Mathias Henig
View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Mathias Henig



I hope you liked this (short) report. I want to say thanks to the people at the DDA and the Aviodrome, and to my dad, for getting me on the PBA!

Thanks for reading and any comments are always welcome!

Martijn


Nothing's worse then flying the same registration twice, except flying it 4 times..
12 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineContact Air From Germany, joined Apr 2001, 1154 posts, RR: 13
Reply 1, posted (4 years 4 months 3 weeks 4 days 20 hours ago) and read 8448 times:

Hi Martijn,

Great report and pictures of two short but very special flights. You were really lucky to get that opportunity. The DC-3 is really something special that is still missing in my log. I can count a flight on the Ju-52 on the other side.

Quoting CrimsonNL (Thread starter):
My dad called me from his work. He's a volunteer at a large Dutch aviation museum. He told me that one of the Dutch registered DC-3s would be doing a training flight, and that he was able to get me on for 25 euro's.

Sounds great!

Quoting CrimsonNL (Thread starter):
The PH-OFA, recently donated to the museum by KLM!

Interesting to see an aircraft in a museum whos sister ships are still actively flying.

Regards
Christoph


User currently offlineakhmad From Netherlands, joined Sep 2005, 2487 posts, RR: 53
Reply 2, posted (4 years 4 months 3 weeks 4 days 20 hours ago) and read 8443 times:

Hi Martijn,

Wow! What an unique opportunity to fly the DC-3! That was very sweet of your father to arrange this lovely flying experience for you.

I enjoyed your report very much! Especially the beautiful pictures and the historical background you have portrayed of the aircraft.

Thanks for sharing.

Cheers,
Suryo

[Edited 2010-07-05 11:08:43]


Friends forever
User currently offlinePlaneHunter From Germany, joined Mar 2006, 6903 posts, RR: 77
Reply 3, posted (4 years 4 months 3 weeks 4 days 20 hours ago) and read 8415 times:

Hi Martijn,

great report with many nice pictures! That DC-3 looks really good, what a beauty!

Quoting CrimsonNL (Thread starter):
He told me that one of the Dutch registered DC-3s would be doing a training flight, and that he was able to get me on for 25 euro's.

Great deal!


PH



Nothing's worse than flying the same reg twice!
User currently offlinevandenheuvel From Netherlands, joined Dec 2008, 502 posts, RR: 2
Reply 4, posted (4 years 4 months 3 weeks 4 days 5 hours ago) and read 7976 times:

Hi Martijn,

Great report as expected. I was at work that day and saw the PBA coming by a number of times. Too bad I'm not on your video. Your picture's and videos don't look too bad for being made with a simple camera.

The seats on the PBA appear to be very comfortable. You can see why they tend to use the DDZ a bit more often.

Tim,


User currently offlineairbuseric From Netherlands, joined Jan 2005, 4277 posts, RR: 51
Reply 5, posted (4 years 4 months 3 weeks 3 days 23 hours ago) and read 7731 times:

Hi Martijn,

great report. Never flew these DC3's myself (not sure if I want though), but for sure a nice experience.

Eric



"The whole world steps aside for the man who knows where he is going"
User currently onlineCrimsonNL From Netherlands, joined Dec 2007, 1894 posts, RR: 42
Reply 6, posted (4 years 4 months 3 weeks 3 days 11 hours ago) and read 7434 times:
AIRLINERS.NET CREW
CHAT OPERATOR

Hi guys, thanks for the replies!

Quoting Contact Air (Reply 1):
I can count a flight on the Ju-52 on the other side.

Something I'd love to do myself!

Quoting Contact Air (Reply 1):

Interesting to see an aircraft in a museum whos sister ships are still actively flying.

Indeed! I still see the remaining F100's everyday, kinda weird when you think about it.

Quoting akhmad (Reply 2):
I enjoyed your report very much! Especially the beautiful pictures and the historical background you have portrayed of the aircraft.

Thanks Suryo!

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 3):
great report with many nice pictures!

Thanks!

Quoting vandenheuvel (Reply 4):
I was at work that day and saw the PBA coming by a number of times. Too bad I'm not on your video.

Too bad, would have loved a picture of us taking off!  
Quoting airbuseric (Reply 5):
Never flew these DC3's myself (not sure if I want though), but for sure a nice experience.

I can definitely recommend it!

Regards,

Martijn



Nothing's worse then flying the same registration twice, except flying it 4 times..
User currently offlinelychemsa From United States of America, joined Oct 2009, 1238 posts, RR: 3
Reply 7, posted (4 years 4 months 3 weeks 3 days 11 hours ago) and read 7425 times:

Very nice. I flew on a DC-3, in fact from Amsterdam to Antwerp on an airline I think was called Delta in the early 1970s. A great experience.

User currently offlineBZNPilot From Belgium, joined Feb 2006, 264 posts, RR: 1
Reply 8, posted (4 years 4 months 3 weeks 3 days 11 hours ago) and read 7421 times:

Hi Martijn,

Wow, an incredible and rare report. Thanks for posting this. While I think modern aircraft are beautiful, they simply do not compare to the classics, especially the DC-3. You captured this beautiful plane with some very nice pictures. I envy you that you had the chance to fly on such a bird!

Thanks again,
BZNPilot


User currently offlineFLIEGER67 From UK - England, joined Sep 2003, 5177 posts, RR: 55
Reply 9, posted (4 years 4 months 3 weeks 2 days 19 hours ago) and read 7175 times:

Hoi, Martijn,

that´s for sure a really special story.
Something not to miss in any case, well done.
Nice pictures, also with the not up-to-date camera.

I should go sometimes to LEY, looks like interesting.

Greetings,
Markus(FLIEGER67)



Next: London City connections!.
User currently onlineCrimsonNL From Netherlands, joined Dec 2007, 1894 posts, RR: 42
Reply 10, posted (4 years 4 months 3 weeks 1 day 18 hours ago) and read 6996 times:
AIRLINERS.NET CREW
CHAT OPERATOR

Hi guys, thanks for the nice replies!

Quoting lychemsa (Reply 7):
A great experience.

Couldn't agree more!

Quoting BZNPilot (Reply 8):
While I think modern aircraft are beautiful, they simply do not compare to the classics, especially the DC-3

I agree once more, the smell, noise, vibrations, lovely! I'd take a classic over any modern jet/prop!

Quoting FLIEGER67 (Reply 9):
I should go sometimes to LEY, looks like interesting.

You really should! It's a great museum and a nice small-scale airport.

Martijn



Nothing's worse then flying the same registration twice, except flying it 4 times..
User currently offlineChrisCruise From Netherlands, joined May 2010, 109 posts, RR: 0
Reply 11, posted (4 years 4 months 3 weeks 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 6918 times:

Hey Martijn,

Lucky you! How many people have the chance to fly a DC3 these days!

Looks amazing!

Adios,

Christian



Flown:319, 320, 321, 343, 388, 733, 738, 742, 744, 752, 763, 764, 772, 77W, CR7, CR9, DC9-31, E70, E90, F70, F100, MD11
User currently offlineThirtyEcho From United States of America, joined Dec 2001, 1656 posts, RR: 1
Reply 12, posted (4 years 4 months 3 weeks 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 6893 times:

I flew many DC-3 trips as a passenger when I was a child and a teenager, probably 100 or more times. Every flight was a special event but it has been nearly 50 years since that time. Your videos brought it all back like it was yesterday, especially the sound. There was a powerful sensation of acceleration on takeoff and a lot of vibration. My favorite seat was 1-A, right beside the #1 engine.

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