A DC-3 fan and pilot shares memories | PostIndependent.com

A DC-3 fan and pilot shares memories

Bob Anderson

Dear Editor,

I read with great interest your story about the “Lady Lou” DC-3 which now lives at the Garfield County Airport. I might have to challenge Mr. Pearce and Mr. Cottier about when the last DC-3 was flying passengers in North America though, depending on exactly when the airplane was retired.

I flew DC-3’s in scheduled passenger service for North Central Airlines out of Minneapolis/St. Paul airport in 1967 and 1968. North Central Airline’s last scheduled passenger flight with the DC-3 was on Feb. 7, 1969, from the Twin Cities to Mankato, Minn. We did operate it for a few more years, but only in all-cargo configurations.

An additional note of interest. In 1965, North Central retired No. 728, which was as of that date, the highest-time commercial airplane in history. It had logged 84,000 hours and flown almost 12 million miles. That is equivalent to 25 round trips to the moon.

North Central operated the airplane as a corporate aircraft and for promotional work for many more years. I had the pleasure of flying it also at one point. The airplane was eventually donated to the Greenfield Aviation Museum near Detroit. I believe it is still there.

The DC-3 was and is a wonderful airplane. It is a shame people today cannot experience what it was like to ride in one. I will forever remember the “3.”

Bob Anderson

Glenwood Springs

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