April 2003



            From time to time I have written many adventures for Bluegrass Airlines, been awhile though.  When the idea for this one came along I thought of my good friend Bill Von Sennet and asked him to put this on as an adventure..  This brings back so many memories to me of old planes that I knew as well as great friends.  Although we were competitors, we were friends and never tried to, excuse the term, screw each other.  Mr. Van Arsdale (the father) and I were good friends.  Bill Odell


                                 Rescue of PBA’s, N1 36PB / NC18121

                                    Provincetown Boston Airline/Naples Airline


            Back in the 60's, 70's and 80's, while I was with Florida Airlines and Executive Airlines we had a friendly competitor alongside us, both in New England and Florida.  My association with PBA was primarily in Florida, but flew on PBA from Boston to P’town several times on a pass.  Each time that I flew with PBA it was on old 36.  She started out with Eastern Airlines then went to old Tree Top airline (Trans-Texas Airline).


             Florida and PBA were both Part 135 airlines and were given an exemption for up to 26,200# aircraft. We both purchased DC-3's with Old 36 being one of the 3's that PBA bought.  She had a very active career with PBA and became the senior DC-3 in the world as far as airframe hours of operation.  She has at the last count I have, over 91,385 hours on her airframe.


            This is a story of her rescue from the storage yards and her restoration. This adventure will be the preparation for, and her flight from ARA (New Iberia. La.) To PDX (Portland Intl.) through the eyes of Crew Chief Mike “Buzz” Meyer. I will add a comment or two here and there. So Buzz has it from here.


            NC18121 was built in 1937 for Eastern Airlines, tail number #341, and flown from the factory to EWR (Newark) by the Captain himself Eddie Rickenbacker.  In 1942, when the airlines went to War, she was “drafted” with her military serial number 42-56630.  I do not know the theater she served in, but there are those who say she flew the Hump in the CBI Theater of War.  After her service in the Army she was returned to Eastern.  In 1953 she was sold to Trans-Texas Airways (old Tree Top Airways) and they converted her to a DC-3A with PW 1830 engines instead of the Wright 1820's.


            She was bought by PBA in “74 and re-registered N136PB. In 1986 she passed a North Central DC-3 (87,000 airframe hours).  Eastern Express absorbed in1988 PBA and N136PB retired.  She and N130PB were bought to be preserved by some Continental preservation people.  N130PB was rebuilt into a mid 50's Continental DC-3 living in Houston. (I have been on this DC3 they did a terrific job.  Somewhere I have photo’s, Bill).


            Meanwhile N136PB was in storage at Marco Island, Florida (more than likely, she was flying in Florida and stationed out of Naples, and with no space for storage at Naples, was stored at nearby Marco Island.  I was on Marco Island with Marco Island Airways before this.   I might add here that when airlines like Eastern Express “absorbed” airlines such as PBA, the first thing they did was to dispose of all non turbo or jet aircraft, (my comments) she was awakened from her sleep, brought up to a ferriable condition and with ferry permit in hand, flown to Pride Air at New Iberia, La. (ARA, Arcadian Regional Airfield).  Here the plane was prepared for stripping - lots of tape on the windows, gaps, doors were sealed, engines and props were wrapped in plastic, control surfaces removed.  Stripper was applied to the fuselage from the aft cabin windows to the stabilizer leading edge when they were told to STOP!  Continental didn’t want to pay for this after all. For two years she sat there all wrapped up and masked off (the stripper was washed off when they quit).


            Meanwhile Neil Rose was looking for a C-47 to haul packages, and for air shows.  He couldn’t seem to find a good used C-47 that wasn’t hammered.  In March (1993) N136PB came on the market. Neil and Bob Irvine went to look at it and after convincing the owners they were not buying it for some smuggling or other illicit business they purchased her.


            This airplane (N136PB) now called by her original number, NC18121 is supposed to have the highest flight, airframe of any airplane 91,385 hours when they were at ARA.  It has 17 more hours after arriving at PDX.


            We now pick up the story at ARA as she is put back together and brought to a satisfactory condition to fly to PDX.


            Friday 13 May 1993. With tools and clothes in hand, I, Mike “Buzz” Meyer headed out to help get old 36 in a flyable condition, departing PDX bound for Lafayette, La. with changes in DEN and DFW arriving about 1600.  My next transportation was the van to Holiday Inn where I would meet up with the other guys for the mission. At the Motel I met up with Neil and after some shopping, took off for ARA in a rented van.  Arriving at the airplane I found the others already there and working.  What a sight it was, there had been a “Marvel Mystery Oil Party”. It seems Neil had obtained a sprayer, and Jack was “well tubed” by accident.


            The major effort now was on the RH engine with a complete service on the carb and the RH boost pump. The LH engine was doing real well. The Motel was only a 20-minute drive so with the days work done we headed back for a rest before the big assault on the airplane in the morning.


            Saturday 14 May 1993. We really loaded up on breakfast as we were not sure when or if we would stop for lunch.  After breakfast, we headed for the aircraft arriving about 0930. The first order of business was to start the LH engine.  With that in mind an old fire truck was borrowed from the fire station for safety reasons.


            The left engine lit off without much problem, mainly lots of smoke burning off the residual of the Marvel Mystery Oil.  Bill let it idle for a while then stepped it up to cruise power after a warm-up.  No bad leaks etc., props worked normally.  Meanwhile we were letting the RH engine soak in fuel and Marvel Mystery Oil to try and soften the carb diaphragms. Later the oil in the shock struts was checked and I inflated the struts to normal extension.  In a couple of hours there was the sound of oil dripping on the ground.  The LH O/B strut was spraying oil through a pinhole out of the bottom.  After a minute it stopped.  The next morning the LH struts were flat again.  With Bill, Jack and Robert handling the engine work on the airplane, I started on some of the systems.


            After lunch (brought by Neil) Bob and I checked the pitot probes., they had those drop over covers, to keep bugs out of the end, but were twisted out of shape.  Blowing into them proved they were clogged, so we took the probes out.  They were mounted at the tip of the nose, under the “hood” forward of the cockpit.  Both pitot’s were jammed with mud from wasps, and needed to be drilled out.  Jack was working on the cowling, I was working at putting in new sump drains, and the old drains were mangled.  This DC-3 has 3 fuel tanks like most of the civil models, left main, left aux, right main, about 200 gallons each.. Both left hand sumps were pretty reasonable but the right sump was frozen in place.  It had been mangled but useable if sump checked with pliers. It was decided to give up trying to replace it, using the theory that if we snapped it off and couldn’t make another one fit we’d lose the 150 gallons in the right wing and get barbecued by the slightest little spark.  After that I was fixing small parts, like more sump drains on the fuel strainers, working until sundown again.


            Sunday 15 May 1993.  Work started this time on the RH engine.  The airplane was parked with the tail into the wind, cowling off when we started. I was fireguard again. The engine started with a bit of difficulty, and blew Marvel Oil like before and I was in the right place to become a Dalmatian (the spotted fire truck dog).  No big stack fires or anything, a few backfires, but they had Bill; shut it down, the carb fuel return hose was left unconnected, and pouring fuel at a merry rate.


            After the engine work was done I borrowed a tripod jack, spending time exercising the strut up and down to pump the sealant down to the seal area and cleaned the strut and re-inflated it very carefully.  This time it held the pressure.


            With a borrowed tug, the aircraft was towed over to a water hose.  With a case of Gunk on hand they proceeded to clean both engines. After the cleaning, the aircraft was towed back to the ramp and parked with the nose into the wind for some high power runs.


            The RH engine had no problem making take off power (cowlings were installed to prevent toasted cylinders) but the left would start gagging like the mixture was being pulled back at anything above cruise power.  We eventually found a secondary air filtration device installed.  A bird nest was sitting on the carb screen, some sucked down inside.


            Neil came by to tell us the “ugly” truth.  Someone else, a big airplane, had taken the expected slot in the stripping schedule.  So we would fly home wearing half a faded paint job instead of bright shiny naked metal.

            We spent the rest of Sunday stripping off the aluminum tape, putting the carb back together and re-cowling the left engine. Getting the aluminum tape off involved some creative climbing on top of the airplane, out of the cockpit escape hatch and along the top of the fuselage. The upper fuselage has vents and water drains, and the upper red beacon was wrapped in tape.  A long stretch for me, good thing the rudder had not been hung yet.  The crown of the fuselage had some ugly corrosion, but nothing that would keep him from flying home with it.  About that time Tim showed up and informed us that it was Sunday, the restaurant closed early and that was the main feeding place.


            Monday 16 May 1993.  On Monday Neil and I went to LFT (Lafayette) to get a box of pumps that had been shipped and get some parts at Aviall, the two of us later decided to rename it AviNONE, because we could only get huge quantities of stuff or it would come from Dallas in a few days.  A local FBO was quite willing to sell what was needed.

            By the time we returned Bill, Jack, and Robert had hung the tail feathers but were having a real fun time getting the trim cables strung for the elevator.  There were tangles and the string that was pulled through to guide them was in the wrong place.  We all helped get the ailerons hung they are incredibly long.  After it was all finished Bob went along as inspector while Bill waggled things this way and that.  Everything moved in the proper direction.


            About 17:30 Bob started doing his pre-flight.  Bob and Neil had coordinated what they wanted to do with the tower.  About 17:45 they were warming up the engines.  With Bill as a passenger they went off to the far end of the runway.  Jack, Robert and I didn’t feel brave enough to be test hop passengers. They returned due to no oil pressure in one of the engines.  Tim and Robert had gone off to where they expected the airplane to lift off.  We pulled off the fuel line, didn’t see any crud, ran the boost pump and attached the line.  Re-cowled and sent them off again.  They were airborne making a pass of the field at pattern altitude with the gear down, then sucked it up and left the pattern.  They came back and did a “high speed” pass at cruising speed (140 mph), which sounded good.  Then back to pattern altitude to set up for landing.  No gripes from the first flight!


            There was one minor mess.  Bob thought the oil should be full with it up to the brim, about 25 gallons.  At least that was what was stenciled on the RH oil tank access door.  The left one says 20 gallons.  The extra 5 gallons was blown out through the oil tank scupper overboard line.  I did some interesting skiing down the RH wing walk and spent awhile scrubbing it off, with sump fuel; even the non-skid paint was slippery and hazardous.  I decided that 20 gallons is the most oil we should have in it.


            That night we were starting to make plans as to our route.  Originally Neil was thinking to fly for an hour or so and check for major problems.  Let’s say we go to Shreveport, maybe get some parts (tires) he had bought and look the airplane over.  Then we would head across Oklahoma to Grand Junction, Colorado and spend the night.  The next day would get us to Jerome, Idaho and we could pull the props off at Airpower Unlimited and do the AD note.  Then finally home.


            That was the plan originally, but the weather map had thick red and blue lines across that route and Bob did not want to see how thick those red and blue lines were.  Bob plotted a southern route instead.


            Tuesday 17 May 1993.  We vacated the Ramada Inn, preflighted the airplane while Neil dropped off the rental car.  We were out to the airplane, preflighted and ready to go before 0830.


            (With the first leg of the journey being New Iberia, La. to San Angelo, TX. and based on Buzz’s narration, I selected the following route, which more or less follows the route they took.  I suggest that you use the route as a heading guide but fly the narration, much more interesting.


            My route is a VOR to VOR course.  Depart New Iberia to Lake Charles (LCH 113.4); Sabine Pass (SBI 115.4); Trinity (MHF 115.0); Eagle Lake (ELA 116.4); Industry (IDU 110.2); Temple (TPL 110.4); Llano (LLO 108.2); San Angelo (SJT 115.1.)

            We fired up engines and were airborne about 0945, heading southwest for the gulf coast.  After a few minutes I moved up to the jump seat (in the aisle aft of the cockpit aft bulkhead) because that was where the fun was.  We motored across south Louisiana at about 2500'AGL, keeping watch out for helicopters and seeing if we could make the transponder work. The DME was kind of interesting, the mileage would be about right until you got down to 20 miles or so, and then the mileage would jump by a factor of 10.  So about 18 miles on the DME would turn into 185 or so.  Maybe it’s supposed to do that. 


            As we got into Texas we were following the coast and the hazy clouds became solid.  Bob did a fast 180 and we came down to 800' AGL and we continued to skim across from the Texas border to the Houston area.  We were keeping a watch for radio towers (a good way to pinpoint our position) because they were only eight hundred feet below us. We passed over the Houston/ Galveston area at 1000 feet and angled inland.  We could really feel the muggy air if we got too close to the cloud ceiling.  After awhile we were crossing between Austin and San Antonio, slowly climbing as the ceiling lifted.


            About halfway between San Antonio and San Angelo we got out from under the warm front that had been our ceiling since the Texas border and skies were clear again. About lunchtime we set down at San Angelo, Texas and it was a relief to be out in the warm dry sunshine again, the airplane had been cool and muggy for a while.  But first things first - fuel and oil the airplane, then the bathroom.  Neil and Bob looked the plane over to see if anything had fallen off or leaked badly since liftoff.  After all this was the first leg after the test hop, a bit longer than originally planned (about 4 hours) but we were ok.  The only real difficulty was that the fuel tanks had a longer range than our bladder.


            Fuel burn was about 85 gallons per hour; we were taking it easy on the engines running about 30 inches of manifold pressure and 2200 RPM.  That gave us about 140 MPH indicated.  Takeoff power was 42 - 45 inches and 2500 RPM and we’d bring it back to climb power after we reached pattern altitude.  No sense in flogging a pair of engines any harder than you have to, since we didn’t know their history and they hadn’t run for a couple of years - and 5 years since revenue service.  Oil consumption was about a gallon an hour on the left engine, and a gallon and a quarter on the right. The funny thing about the oil was that the left engine used less oil, but had a leaky prop hub so it would throw oil on the nose cowl making it look ugly.  The right engine used more oil (20% more) but stayed clean - must have gone out the exhaust stack.  Neil had about 10 of those 5-gallon cans when we left ARA and by the time we got home all we had were empties.  I guess that’s not too bad, pretty normal really for fuel burn and oil loss.  Bob would ask at every fuel/oil stop how much oil she’d take, and I would always give him the right number (gallons) used but had a hard time remembering it was NOT in quarts, I should have found it easier to remember the difference between quarts and gallons, after all I’d be hauling a 5 gallon bucket of oil on top of the wing at every fuel stop.


            Leaving San Angelo after fuel, oil, bladder, lunch (in that order) we pressed on to Albuquerque.


            The route for the second leg to Albuquerque that I flew is:

KSJT (SJT 115.1); MAF (114.8); HOB (111.0); CME (116.1); CNX (115.1); KABQ.


            Now back to the narration by Buzz.


            Lots of dry land down there and not much to look at.  Most of us in the cabin were napping.  The farther aft you got in the cabin, the quieter it was.  The noisiest place was the jump seat, closest to the prop tips.  The cabin had seats for 30 people, a small buffet cabinet where we put our ice chest and thermos and a coat rack.  Even with the thirty seats, it was pretty comfortable, and more legroom than 757's and the seats were just as wide as our airline coach section.  The two rows aft of the wing had a good view of the ground, as did the first row of seats. We stored our luggage in the center of the airplane where the view was the poorest.  Aft of the cabin was the cargo hold; you could get there in flight by going trough a good-sized door at the aft stew seat. But we had industrial strength stuff back there, oil buckets, a ladder, toolboxes, and Marvel Mystery oil, messy things that we didn’t want to live with.  Remember, this is an airliner lets keep it clean.


            After a nap I woke up about an hour out of ABQ.  There were some very scattered thunderheads in the distance that the Storm scope was indicating. Still we had to vector around them once in awhile.  By this time the captains horizon had quit its whining noise–it seized and was pretty much level.  The captain’s radio compass card and the needles didn’t rotate, but the tuner was fine.  The copilot had no airspeed indicator.  The transponder was dead (looking at the antenna, it had severely corroded) but we set it on 1200 for a VFR squawk anyway.  The controllers said they had a good skin on their radar.  But we had one of everything that counted and our ferry permit was still good, and we were not planning on pressing our luck.  Home was still there when we got back.


            Passing just south of ABQ we had plenty of fuel, it was a couple of hours to sunset but the thunder heads were beginning to get more numerous.  Bob had a good idea.  If the weather at Gallup, New Mexico went bad and we turned back to ABQ, we’d be doing it in the dark, with tall clouds and tall rocks all around.  If we diverted it just didn’t sound like fun coming back.  So we lined up for a landing at ABQ. 


            I guess Bob flies over ABQ a lot, he’s a US Air right-seater on 737-300's and is domiciled in LAX.  He got a hold of one of his old squadron buddies when we were at dinner and there were the usual stories of embarrassment and aviation that we all have when you work with airplanes long enough.  I guess we put some distance behind us; 8 hours of flying took us from Louisiana to ABQ, from the gulf coast to the desert.


            We planned an early start for the next day; maybe make it all the way home.


            Wednesday, 18 May 1993. Robert and I were up and out to breakfast first.  I had to find the “hard way” that breakfast in New Mexico is not quite as bland as in Lafayette, LA. We were out to the airplane, pre-flighted and ready to go before 0830.  Good thing that Bob always remembered to pull the landing gear pins, they’re not on my usual list of things to check out at work.  Also the flags on them look so dirty and oily that they blend with the rest of the wheel well. We launched southwest of out of ABQ, reduced power a few hundred feet up (I’m not accustomed to that on turbine engines, but it’s a normal thing on pistons) and climbed to about 2500AGL.


            The third leg of our journey has us flying Albuquerque to Tonopah, AZ.  Based on Buzz’s story I chose the route as follows:


Albuquerque (ABQ 113.2); Zuni (ZUN 113.4); Winslow (INW 112.6); Flagstaff (FLG 108.2); Peach Springs (PGS) 112.0); Las Vegas (AS 116.9); Beatty (BTY 114.7; Tonopah (TPH 117.2).


            Take it away Buzz. After a few minutes in the jump seat, I asked Bob (left seat) and Bob (right seat) If I could try my luck flying for a few minutes when things got boring.  Bill decided that life was boring and moved to the cabin.  We were following Interstate I 40 for the time being, and Bob had me make some S turns across the road to feel how heavy the controls are. I could tell when somebody was getting a drink from the ice chest; we would gain several hundred feet.  A quarter turn on the trim wheel and a few minutes wait would take care of things.


                                               It was a great day for VFR flying!


            The flight simulators at DEN for taxi/run class don’t allow you the luxury of opening the side windows or permit you to kill yourself.


            As we motored out to Flagstaff, Bob noticed the meteor crater near Winslow was close to our path.  We took a couple of laps around that. A little past Kingman, Arizona I gave the window seat back to Bill.  We had kept the same altitude, as when we passed over Flagstaff, but the terrain was lower, so crossing into Nevada was fairly cool in the airplane.  We turned right before Death Valley and followed highway 95 north bound to stay out of the Nellis AFB bombing range. 


            We set down at Tonopah airfield, the old AAF base.  I don’t recall seeing any town nearby.  We didn’t have to share the airspace with anybody else, but there was an Evergreen JetRanger getting fuel and going north to Mc Minnville Oregon, not far from home.  He said he cruised at 130 knots, not much slower than us.  There were no fuel trucks at Tonopah Int’l Airfield; we had to carefully tap dance around the JetRanger at the fuel pit.  It had been about 5 hours since we launched from ABQ, so time to bring up a 5-gallon jug of oil for each engine.  We didn’t stay for lunch; Neil wanted to press on before things got too dark at home.


            We did make the obligatory bladder drain after we took care of the airplane.  Good thing we didn’t try and see which lasts longer – the fuel supply or our own personal endurance.


            Leaving Tonopah, we headed northwest to cross Lake Tahoe.


            Reading Buzz’s narration I selected the following route to follow the story:   




            Tonopah; Mini (MVA 115.1); Mustang (FMG 117.9); Lakeview (LKV 112.0); Deschutes (DSD 117.6); Portland


            We climbed to 11,000 feet and a bit more, just enough to cross the lowest gap in the mountain without too much pucker.  After Lake Tahoe we headed north to Lakeview (LKV). Over LKV there was a sigmet on the ATIS that described high winds/moderate to severe turbulence up to 12,000 feet.  Oh Joy, we’re still at 11,000'.  We didn’t want to test how much corrosion and turbulence this old bird would stand but the ride was reasonable, light chop so far.  It did give us about a 30-knot tailwind, which we appreciated.  We did have some dust blown up from the fields up to our altitude (11,000 ft) and for about 15 minutes we had a hard time following the highway to Bend, Oregon. Off to our left, on the other side of the Cascade Range we could see thunderheads popping up and the storm scope was painting some lightning strikes.


                                                     Not a good place to be.


            But on the East side of the Cascade Range the ride was good, clear of clouds, and a tailwind. We motored up to The Dalles, Oregon, slowly descending as we went.  Over The Dalles Bill commented that he’d like to see how the foundry (for Neil’s rock-crusher business) was going. He’d been ram-rodding that project along.  Bob had tuned to the PDX ATIS and they were advertising heavy rain, thunder heads, poor visibility, but was heading north and might be gone by the time we got there.  The Columbia River gorge didn’t look too inviting.  We were about 4500 feet up and just beginning to go down the gorge with “rocks” on either side.  Rain showers made visibility poor and we all strapped down for some bouncing.  Things looked pretty dark ahead, the storm scope was painting the cells over PDX about 60 miles away.  That’s when a couple of lightning strikes nearby, caused Bob to make the hero’s maneuver


                                                          – a fast 180 turn. –


            We figured that home would still be there when we arrived.  Maybe after dinner we’d try again.  The Dalles is in a large bowl on the Columbia River and we made one lap of the whole area to descend and set up for landing.


            Landing at The Dalles we had company, one guy in a Aerostar was trying to get to Seattle and couldn’t get over the thunder heads at 24,000 ft and 220 knots.  We installed gust locks (The Dalles is famous for it’s breeze and we were parked crosswind) and chocked the wheels with concrete blocks and headed for the company truck.  Bill often flies a Piper Apache into The Dalles to take care of the foundry, and he got his wish.  Since he had the keys to the pickup truck, he got to drive to the foundry and dinner.  Neil and friends often stop at the Shiloh Inn for dinner after hunting and while eating dinner the wind picked up, as well as a brown fog. (It was dust from the Portland area.)


            The clouds didn’t look inviting in the Gorge so we planned to try tomorrow.  No need to screw up in the last 60 miles.  So we went back to the airplane to get our overnight gear and called home to say better luck tomorrow.  We all had a couple of rounds to drink that we made it this far and turned in for the night.


            Thursday 19 May 1993.  The final leg of the flight bringing this old bird to its new home.  The flight today is very short, 60 some-odd miles, but actually you have a bit of a challenge getting in-to Pearson.  The route I selected to match Buzz’s narration is as follows:

The Dalles direct to Evergreen (59S) to Portland (PDX) to Pearson (KVUO).  Please pay attention to Buzz’s directions, as they are a great help.  Now take it away Buzz!



            The next day was a good day for flying.  Pre-flight was done early, chocks and locks stowed, we used the last of our oil buckets and didn’t need fuel for the last leg.  We waddled out to the end of the runway, the taxiway wasn’t really wide enough for us and we knew when we got off the paved surface. Dad’s friend Hal told me that UAL used to have an Airmail route into The Dalles, they gave it up when they sold the last of the DC-3's. (If you wonder what Buzz means when he has the plane waddling – remember she is a tail dragger with zero viz forward – you waddle from side to side so you can see the taxi way.)


            Bob was in the left seat as usual and Neil was right seating this last leg.  After lift off Bob kept it in the bowl while Neil got the landing gear and flap handles in sequence there are four of them, one for hand pump, one for hyd. pump selector, one for gear, one for flaps.  Remember this is a 1937 airplane.  After everything was stowed properly we headed down the river.  After getting through the Gorge at 4500 feet (above the height of the “rocks” on each side of the river) we went direct to Evergreen airfield.  Evergreen is the busiest uncontrolled airfield on the west coast.  We fit into the pattern and called so Ollie Olsen (airfield’s owner) could say Hi.


            One pass and we were up and around heading north to keep out of the PDX ARSA.  We passed about a half-mile from our house for a “high speed” pass of Pearson Airfield.  Mary Rose (Neil’s wife) had the newspaper people out there for our arrival.  Neil had made a few calls to other guy’s who help rebuild his aircraft and there were about 20 spectators to watch us come in.  The high-speed pass (140 knots) went by quickly, I’m sure the people who live on the hill above the field found it distracting.  They don’t like the little planes much and want to close the place down.  Anyway this time gear and flaps went down, pre-landing briefing was shouted to each other (the plane needs an interphone system badly).  Final approach over the Interstate I-5 Bridge looked low.  We only have 3200 feet to play with at Pearson, a 200' foot high hill off to the east, a little 300-foot ridge along the north-paralleling runway, and the Interstate Bridge (I-5) half a mile to the west.  Stay on your side of the river, PDX’s runway 10 Left ILS is about 1200' up.  It’s a tight fit, if anything goes wrong (engine, hydraulics, landing gear, etc.) You’d better have one guy to fly the airplane and another to figure out the problem.  Bob set us down on the numbers; we skipped and floated for several seconds.  Neil started to raise the flaps and we finally settled for keeps.  Bob was hard on the brakes and we stopped with a few hundred yards to go.  Bob taxied off the runway and we waddled over to the new hanger.  The Dc-3 is wider than the Harpoon and doesn’t really fit on the paved section of the taxiway.  But it’s got wide, low-pressure tires so we didn’t worry about getting stuck in the grass.  It does fit on the ramp outside the new hanger where it’s out of the way of the hanger doors.


            The Oregonian took photos and took down Neil’s story, friends inspected the airplane, Jack, Robert and I installed chocks and gust locks and wiped down oil leaks.  We all took pictures and unloaded our stuff.  It was a good adventure, but we were glad to be back at home base.  Mike Meyer, 22 June 1993.


Hey guys I sure hope you enjoyed this adventure as much as have.  You might want to even fly it via the originally planned route.  If you want more information on this airplane, photos or the flight drop me a line and I will try my best to satisfy your questions or put you in touch with someone who can.  I flew this flight in my Florida Airlines DC3A – N6102 by my great friend Trevor Morson originally in FS4 and up graded with each FS change (which was named after my wife” Emily”) and my flight time was roughly 15 hours and 40 minutes. I actually think I am off by an hour (low).  My record on the last 2 legs is garbled due to the return to The Dalles.


Bill Odell – BGAS 004