Skip to comments.11 killed in South African Air Force C-47 Dakota crash
Posted on 12/17/2012 8:48:35 PM PST by JerseyanExile
A South African Air Force (SAAF) Douglas C-47 Dakota transport aircraft crashed in the Giants Castle area of the Drakensberg mountain range on 5 December, according to the South African government.
The World War Two era aircraft was flying from Waterkloof air force base near the South African capital of Pretoria to Mthatha airport in the Eastern Cape Province when it went missing at about 09:45 local.
"After the expected time of arrival and no communication from the aircraft, the SAAF activated a search and rescue mission. Severe weather conditions in the area hindered the continuation of the search and rescue effort," the SAAF says. "It is with regret and a great sense of loss that we confirm the loss of SAAF members in an aircraft accident, which occurred on 5 December 2012 in the area of Giants Castle within Drakensberg mountain range. On board the aircraft was a crew of six and five passengers and it was confirmed that there are no survivors."
The SAAF says, "A board of inquiry has been convened to investigate the circumstances surrounding the cause of the accident."
The SAAF is one of the few remaining air forces in the world to operate the venerable Dakota. In South African service, the seven-decade old aircraft have been upgraded with new Pratt & Whitney PT-6 turboprop engines. Nonetheless, at some point the SAAF must start looking for a replacement for the long-serving machine.
How old are B-52’s again?
Young pilots have to start somewhere. And, I'll bet these old trainers are in much better shape then all the old aircraft used by any other nation.
They began service in the early ‘50’s, well after the DC-3/C-47 began its service. The Buff has since been extensively rebuilt whereas the C-47 is still mostly the plane it was when it started.
If I remember my history correctly, Dwight Eisenhower credited this aircraft with winning Wor;d War II.
Wor;d = World. Darn typos.
“the seven-decade old aircraft have been upgraded with new Pratt & Whitney PT-6 turboprop engines.”
In ther 80s there was a company at Burbank airport that was putting a 30 inch streatch and turboprops on old DC3s (C47 military) and increasing the full fuel payload from 12,500 to 18,000 pounds.
I was looking into one for transporting fresh scallops and shrimp from Mexico.
C47’s are one of the most brilliant airframes ever designed.
I grew up in the 1950’s when all the military surplus planes spawned air lines all over the west coast.
At about age 9, my first plane ride was a DC3 (converted C47) and went from my 8000 person town to a 10,000 person one. Hubs? What are those??
I recall walking “up hill” from the tail end door to my wicker backed seat.
And oh that sound. People in our town would comment “Uh oh. West Coast (Airlines) is late today...” because they’d listen for the approach into the field
There’s an airline in the Canadian Arctic that flies DC3s, DC4s and C46s in revenue service.
There is a difference between the Dakota (C-46) and the DC -3 (C-47). We were using both plus the C-82 when I was in the 82nd in the 50’s
The old C-47 (goony bird) was the most reliable aircraft ever made.
It’s predecessor, the C-46 was made in the early 1930’s while the C-47 was made in the late 1930’s.
They are slow but extremely versatile and can land on grass and dirt landing strips with no problem.
It’s good to see REAL American technology still flying. The B-52 and the C-47.