Monday, July 20, 2009

DC-3 seen in Serengeti National Park in Tanzania

We heard from Martin Ireland:

Last week I returned from the Serengeti National Park in Tanzania and took off from a tiny dirt airstrip by Ngaruroro crater in a DHC-6 Twin Otter to Kilimanjaro Airport. When I arrived, I saw a DC-3 taxiing onto the apron in front.

When I asked our pilot she informed me that there were a couple Dakotas still knocking around, used by Safari rangers to transport big cats to vets and sometimes for the Flying Doctor Services to airstrips servicing Masai villages.

I think it was originally donated by the Australian Flying Doctor Service and, due to the dry climate and simplicity of the DC-3, is still operational on a regular basis.

'Regional Air Service' (RAS), a civil derivative of the military 'Regional Air Transport' (RAT), operating out of Kilimanjaro Airport inherited all sorts of elderly planes, including DC-3's from Uganda when Idi Amin's regime collapsed. Many of these are still flying. There's also a Lockheed Electra parked on the apron at Nairobi's regional airport too.

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