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North Atlantic crossing in a DC3

Maybe some of you watched these, but a youtuber crossed the Atlantic in a DC3 to be part of the June 6 formation flight. This content is incredible and I am grateful somone had the idea to invite him to share this trip with the world.

3 videos have been posted yet but there is so much to see and learn already :

  • the teamwork needed to make such an aircraft make such a trip (2 mechanics and 6 pilots aboard, the pilot’s rotation during the flight etc…)
  • the professionnalism and proficiency of the two PICs : they seem to know it so well
  • the organization involved in moving this machine across an ocean
  • the landscapes of course
  • some airliners are still true aviation lovers

What amazes me most is the boldness/bravery/risk management of the owner. Deciding to fly his DC3 to Europe and back, for a commemoration. Flying IFR, across icing conditions, Wow.
I guess most are owned by organizations and only fly locally or to airshows that pay them to come (that’s how it works in France, most vintage groups are run like businesses).

BTW, the plane is for sale


(very much off topic but if you’d like a DC-3, this one: is also available – I’d love to find a business use for it, pm me if you’d like to share ideas).

Jujupilote wrote:

BTW, the plane is for sale

The actual cost of running a DC3 and keeping it nice would be interesting. Currently I’d consider it to be an unimaginably deep money pit. That transatlantic journey probably isn’t cheap either.

EASA IFR Training

Until a few years ago, the DC3 was used in the UK for oil spill spraying. Three were based at Inverness, by Air Atlantique subsidiary, Air Alba, changing name to Highland Airways and also flying other aircraft on other contracts, until they went bankrupt.
As oil spill spraying was UK gov work, the cost information might be in a public document.

EGPE, United Kingdom

There is a french group operating a DC3. In 2018 their hourly cost, all-in, was 1600e/hour (but I don’t know how many hours they flew).

That plane is owned by Robert Randazzo who is also the PIC on this flight. I am surprised that it is for sale again, it had been previously but he then said he could never part with it… but times change probably. Bob is the CEO of the PMDG group, which may be known to some of you active in flight simulation. He also holds ratings on the 737 and 747. I’ve known him for many years while I was active as a flight simulation writer, a very nice guy.

LSZH, Switzerland

Thank you MD for the context. Great to see such a passionate CEO.

I thought such an airplane was much more expensive on the market. But the running costs are huge.

For the total cost, do you think a rule of thumb like fuel cost x3 works ? They say 100USG of fuel per hour, which makes about 500$ in the US and 1000€ in EU. 1600 seems cheap

The teamwork in-flight looks like a ship’s crew, rotating at the helm on a long cruise. Cool


Mooney_Driver wrote:

Bob is the CEO of the PMDG group

Good to know the proceeds of my flight sim spending went into something worthwhile :)

EASA IFR Training
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