Logbook Stories

from my "Standard Pilot Master Log"


My Most Memorable Airplane

August 25, 1978

I've had a lot of memorable flights, and flown many memorable airplanes, but for this story I had to pick one flight on one airplane, and it was an airplane I flew only once, and I flew it from the right seat only.

Our community college owned a Douglas DC-3 and used it in their A&P aviation maintenance technology program. Larry L., the college flight school's Chief Flight Instructor, was type-rated in the DC-3, and so the airplane could also occasionally be flown. The engine on one of the flight school's Bonanzas had run out its TBO, and so the runout engine needed to be replaced with an overhauled engine from the Continental factory in Mobile, Alabama. The runout engine was crated up and loaded on the DC-3 for transport to Mobile, where an overhauled exchange engine would be picked up and flown back.

Larry checked me out on operating the DC-3's gear, flaps and other right-seat stuff, and asked me to fly as his copilot on the trip to Mobile. Some of the flight school students and mechanics also came along. Larry did the takeoffs and landings, and then let me and some of the flight students fly the airplane from the right seat. Pretty much just the straight and level parts. Since a DC-3 doesn't require a Second-in-Command, I couldn't log that, but since Larry was also a multi-engine instructor, he signed my logbook for 4.0 hours of dual in the DC-3. Pretty damn cool to have that in my logbook!! Sitting in one of the pilot's seats in a DC-3 and looking out the side window at those long wings and that huge prop disc right outside the window is quite a memorable sight.

The DC-3 is a pretty slow airplane, it was a long and exhausting day, but I'm glad I got to go on this trip. It was a once-in-a-lifetime airplane memory.



References for Non-Pilots: