While I talked to Captain Andrew Dixon at Bournemouth-Hurn Airport, during an impromptu visit while on family vacation (aug.2000) in the UK, I thought "here we have a DC-3 operation that is going to last!'' Things were in good order, G-DAKK looked immaculate, plenty of flights on the agenda and I considered this against the difficulties the Dutch Dakota Association in my home country "enjoyed".... Well, it was not to be: during 2002 DDA's DC-3s were grounded (sponsor flights were being carried out by Fokker 50s of KLM Cityhopper) and South Coast Airways threw in the towel !
What a dismal year for DC-3s in Europe !
This C-47A Skytrain was delivered to the USAAF in 1943 as 42-23936 (cn9798) and did service in Oran, N.Africa with the 8th AF. In 1946 it found itself in Czechoslovakia and flew with CSA as OK-WDU (1947). It joined forces with the French Aeronavale in 1958 as 23936. Bought by Stellair (F-GEOM) in 1983 it started its commercial career as a freighter. It was registered to South Coast Airlines in 1994 and has since been used to fly passengers on scenic flights as G-DAKK.
South Coast Airways
Building 198 Northside
Bournemouth International Airport
While the summer of 2002 seemed to progress normally for South Coast Airways (after un irregular spell of cancelled flights in May) with flights to Caen to commemorate D-day in June and sight-seeing flights from Biggin Hill that same month, it came as a shock when at noon on Thursday July 11th 2002 the airline suddenly ceased trading.
On Saturday July 13rd G-DAKK made an unexpected flight of only 20 minutes to nearby Popham Airfield, near Basingstoke. The DC-3 was parked on a quiet part of the airfield and has been offered for sale together with N47FK (cn 9700), which had been making the trips to air shows together with G-DAKK.
In 2000 South Coast Aws had been bought by Tony Holden of the Dakota Trust (owner of N47FK). On Jan.29th 2002 the ownership of G-DAKK changed to General Technics Ltd, but an email of mine for details was dealt with a non-committing:"...the operator will remain South Coast Airways". Clearly, it was not enough to solve whatever problems existed.
The following was published on http://www.southcoastairways.com/ during Oct.2002
''It has come to our attention that Andrew & Geraldine Dixon, the Directors of South Coast Airways, have taken the company to the point of liquidation so that they can rid themselves of the lawful shareholders who have funded the company and dump, without compunction, the many passengers, who have paid in good faith, for flights on G-DAKK this summer. They intend to set up another airline later in the year in association with the Dutch Dakota Association using a Dutch Dakota which they have asked the Civil Aviation to re-register as British.''
''Directors of the company: Mr Andrew Dixon and Mrs Geraldine Dixon, in happier timesThe directors and the affairs of the company are under investigation by the liquidator and the Civil Aviation Authority.''
I hope for better times, for both crew and aircraft.
Source: The internet, my own database and No.91 (2002) issue of Propliner magazine.
Tony Holden brought me great joy when he emailed me 26Sep06 and showed G-DAKK airborne again!
He included the following photo and information: "G-DAKK airborne at last out of Lee-on-Solent -Sunday 24Sep06- heading for North Weald for a week or 10 days, awaiting Dutch ferry permit." So it's heading my way, great!
Nigel Kemp sent me these photos of Douglas C-47A G-DAKK c/n 9798, still in the livery of South Coast Airways and taken at North Weald,UK. G-DAKK stopped here for a few days after leaving Lee-on-Solent for Lelystad, Netherlands.
Nigel wrote: " I was working at North Weald when G-DAKK arrived,(last Sunday 24Sep2006) and was able to take some photo's of her as she landed, taxing in and once shut down took some photo`s inside."
"My work at North Weald is refuelling all visiting and based aircraft on event days. I also help out at other fly-in's, airshows and exhibition's with marshalling duties."
"During what spare time I have left, I am co-ordinating editor of the Stansted Branch of Air-Britain monthly magazine."
Photos: copyright Nigel Kemp (Stansted Air-Britain) -published with permission-.
More on South Coast Aws can be read on: South Coast Airways Surrenders
The permit to proceed to Lelystad, the Netherlands:
G-DAKK arrived at Lelystad 05Oct06, but a prop had been borrowed for the ferry flight and it had to be returned: rendering G-DAKK as yet grounded...
Tony Holden forwarded me these photos:
I witnessed its first display at the Aviodrome (click the photo for the link to a full report):
See how G-DAKK looked, still at the Aviodrome, on 30Aug09.
During 2013 Rob de Man, of ClassicWings.nl, acquired G-DAKK. In november he had its paint stripped at Lelystad, and subsequently the fuselage and engines were transported to Weeze Airport (Germany) while the wings and parts of the tail assembly were taken to Teuge airport (Netherlands), home of Classic Wings.
G-DAKK, partly disassembled at Lelystad for transport & restoration.
Photo by Rob de Man, shared on his Facebook page.
UPDATE 07Dec2017: 'New arrivals: flight C47 from Weeze Airport has landed... Welcome in Overloon!'
Restoration will continue here, on site at the Overloon's War Museum: www.oorlogsmuseum.nl
When visiting the museum one can see the progress made.
Notice the South Coast-titles reappearing!
In Dec.2017 I visited the Overloon War Museum and have the following photos to share:
Rob de Man gave up on this immense restoration project and handed it to 'Oorlogmuseum Overloon'.
Created: 18-10-02 Updated: