Diving photos: © Mark Knaus
|Niels Helmø Larsen drew my attention to some interesting photos on Flickr.com, photos made by Mark Knaus.
Niels knew my appetite for mystery planes and by posting these photos we hope someone may reveal the identity (identities?) of these aircraft.
Photos published with permission by Mark Knaus; they had been published on Flickr.com, but anno Jan.2011 these were no longer available there.
|Mark wrote me:
"Glad you enjoyed the pix. The DC-3 and Shark pictures were taken in Nassau, The Bahamas about two weeks ago (August 2007). The Dive Operator was Stewart's Cove - www.stuartcove.com.
The DC-3 was actually intentionally sunk to film a James Bond movie (I forget which one). A recent hurricane broke apart the plane and scattered it about. You can probably find more info about the wreck on the Stewart's Cove website.
The highlight of the trip was definitely the shark feedings... The "feeders" actually wore chain mail and metal helmets, but the rest of us just had wet suits. The sharks were Caribbean Reef Sharks, and in general they don't bother you if you don't bother them. It was very intense though."
|Niels Helmø Larsen provided the following additional information:
Film ”Into The Blue”"A 145-foot barge was used for the delicate task of sinking two of the DC3 airplanes used in the film down to the ocean floor. Production designer Maia Javan (House of Sand and Fog) and art director David Klassen (Waterworld) decided not only what the planes would look like underwater, but chose the most photogenic sites for underwater director of photography Peter Zuccarini (Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl).
The production utilized three identical cargo planes for their needs. The "Sunshine" came from California, the "Jose" was found in Puerto Rico, and the "Kalik" was discovered right in Nassau standing at the entrance to the island's airport. One plane was lowered into a deep-water site at the edge of a reef for use in longer establishing shots. Another was placed at a shallow water site for closer work. The third was dropped into a huge converted molasses tank and used extensively for close-ups and interior shots."
The "Sunshine"-named DC-3: would that be a former Air Sunshine DC-3? See Jim Reed's photos here.
I noticed Bob Garrard had a photo of Air Sunshine DC-3 (N75KW) on Airliners.net, where he offered the following information: "Written off Sep 12, 1980 when it plunged into the sea while on approach to Freeport, Grand Bahamas." A logical candidate I would assume, except that above text seems to indicate aircraft were deliberately placed, not making use of aircraft available on location. I would also assume an aircraft submerged for some 25 years would look less clean, show all kind of underwater growth.
The "Kalik"-named aircraft: could this be N200TA (c/n 19998?); this identity has been reported (but never 100% fully confirmed afaik) for the DC-3 used as a welcoming Gate Guard (see) at the Nassau airport. I have read a report insisting N200TA and this DC-3 were 2 different aircraft. See N200TA in 1975.
The "Jose"-named aircraft I have been unable to trace as yet; Martin Pole writes in his update further below: "... this should be N68363 c/n 20238 (registered as N786T //FAA Register entry 28 June 2009 but was never carried, derelict as N68363).
One has to consider the fact that quite a number of DC-3s/C-47s have been last seen here but their fate remain obscure:
Martin Pole offered the following information & links (a DC-3 tailsection being carted off in 2004 for use of the film):
Stuart Cove's site once showed an image of a DC-3 about to be lowered into the water (I could only see this image in the Japanese language section, via google), the image was too small to read the registration (although it may have already been blanked).
Martin's update (30Jun11):
In a follow up Martin wrote me the following:
"I did save the image that was previously on the Stuart Cove website:
The 'Welcome gate guard' DC-3/C-47 had a few features that added together would ease I.D. if compared with the image of a suitable candidate ((although I realize some bits could be have been swapped around):
type of nose cone
type/position of RDF antenna
doors - has a C-47 side door with a mall square airliner type luggage door to the rear of it
cockpit glazing type
tail mounted beacon is of the broader type...
I have so far ruled out every image I have seen so far..!"
"Also this was another lead:
Bahamas news - Bahamian news portal:
www.bahamasb2b.com/news - Headline News -Shock As Movie Makers Sink Plane By Coral Reef - January 27, 2004 - 09:54
Movie makers are apparently causing potentially irreplaceable damage to a coral reef off New Providence, environmentalists claimed yesterday.
Government advisers, environmental campaigners and scuba diving companies are "shocked" by the situation.
An old aircraft which was once parked outside the Nassau International Airport has been sunk by the film makers and one wing is resting on the reef.
The Douglas DC-3, which used to welcome travellers to the airport, has been acquired by the makers of the movie "Into The Blue", currently being filmed in New Povidence.
Earlier this month it was sunk off the south west coast of the island to form part of the movies underwater set.
It's not unknown in the Bahamas for planes and boats to be sunk for filming, or as attractions for divers but in this case, one of the plane's 36-foot wings is resting on top of a coral reef.
Source: Robert Bain, The Tribune
I hope that helps, as more on line images will now be available..?"
In Sep.2007 following message from the diving club was sent to me:
Jacques Boulogne of http://aviation-antilles.blogspot.com/ sent me the following link, with images of the submerging taking place:
Martin Pole posted in Jan.2011 an update of his research:
Obviously my main objective was to Identify the Nassau 'Gate Guard', however I just happened upon the I.D. for "Jose" during the vast elimination process. This brings me on to "Sunshine" I believe this to be the airframe in the attached image (I saved the set of images - just as well as your link is now dead).
|In april / may 2017 I did some more 'online mining' for images...
I was checking up on thee Bahamas submerged DC-3's as a result of seeing bits of the film 'Into the Blue' on telly again recently.
One thing led to another, including a 2012 update for the C-46 wreck that ditched in 1979 off the coast of San Andros... You'll find those pics on Photos by Friends & Guests (49).
No doubt these planes will get visitors, but I doubt if it will ever lead to facts about their identities.
|Any further info on the identity or information which could lead us further up the trail to identify these aircraft... would be much appreciated !|
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