I got an email from my dad who’s a volunteer at the DDA, that the PBA would be doing scenic flights over the Apeldoorn area, starting and ending at EHTE. At the end of the day she’d be flying back to her home base LEY, and on that ferry flight was an open seat which I could fly on! I’d flown the DC-3 before but naturally I wasn’t turning down the chance of getting another ride. I was working the morning of Saturday the 25th of May, and in the afternoon me and my mother drove to EHTE where my dad was dispatching the DC-3 flights. It was a very nice and warm day and it was quite busy at EHTE. A lot of VFR traffic and the terrace of the airport restaurant was full with spectators. The PBA was doing her 5th and last scenic flight of the day when we arrived, and it would be a couple of minutes before she landed. After collecting my boarding card we settled down and waited for her to arrive.
Interesting way to utilize your lawnmower
D-FONL, my favorite Antovov, I flew on her last summer ( Scenic Flight On The Antonov-2! (EHTE-Teuge) (by CrimsonNL Aug 31 2010 in Trip Reports) )
After a while I heard the distinct sound of the PW 1830 Twin Wasp and the PBA appeared on the horizon
I like the new colors!
Shiny props reflecting in the sunlight
I had flown two short flights on the PBA before ( Quick Ride On The DC-3! The PH-PBA At LEY (by CrimsonNL Jul 5 2010 in Trip Reports) ) I copied the history of the PBA from this older trip report. Since then the PBA has been repainted into another classic KLM livery and she was named “Prinses Amalia” after one of the youngest members of our Royal family.
The PBA was built in 1942. She served as a C-47A during the second world 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 )
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 government 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.
After all the pax got off and an outside inspection was completed, we could board the aircraft.
Me in front of the plane
The P-180 seen from behind
And we got to use the original DC-3 airstairs!
After walking the upward sloped cabin floor I got seated in seat 2A. The PBA has a VIP configuration of 18 seats, in a 2-1 config.
PH-PBA (3rd time on reg)
Douglas DC-3 (C-47A) (7th time on type)
Operated by DDA Classic Airlines
Photo © Ruud Brinks
View from my seat
For you safety card enthusiasts
After everyone got seated the cabin crew distributed Dutch “Hopjes” (Candy) and both engines fired up without a problem. A short taxi followed to the active.
We parked in front of the runway and some extensive engine runup checks were perfomed. Take-off was rather powerful and noisy (just as I like it!) You can see a video here;
Immediately after take-off the engine power was reduced and we leveled off at around 2500Ft. The DC-3 is quite sensitive for turbulence and we were shaked around, but the seatbelt sign was switched off.
Time for a cockpit visit! The crew was very busy, constantly adjusting the propeller pitch and throttle. I found it very cool to see they flew with the cockpit windows open! I had to hold on to the door frame because of the turbulence.
Throttle section and engine instruments
Radio’s, kinda blurry because of the turbulence
We flew over Harderwijk and got some good views of the Randmeren. During the flight the flight attendant offered wine or orange juice. After a short cruise we reached LEY and started the approach.
After a very smooth landing and short taxi we made it to the hangar. Inside one of the worlds two airworthy DC-2’s was parked.
After everyone disembarked I got the chance to do a walk around for some more pictures!
She sure is a beauty!
That’s me again
Bye bye! See you next time.
This concludes my latest trip on the DC-3. I’d like to thank my dad and the people at the DDA for making this possible! The DC-3 is still my favorite airliner and I strongly recommend taking a ride if you ever get the chance. Flights on the PBA and the DDZ can be booked at the website of the Dutch Dakota Association.
I hope you liked this report, and as usual any remarks and replies are appreciated!