Renfrew in May 1946 when owned by Railway Air Services -
One of the passengers had heard about the fog at Elmdon ( Birmingham ) and had asked the Pilot if they would crash. Naturally he answered most emphatically 'no' but had to eat his words.
Always on the lookout for cheap planes, Channel’s Managing Director saw a bargain and bought the wreck, taking it to Southend aviation engineers BKS Ltd for a rebuild using parts from another DC3 that had crashed and had an engine fire on take off from Birmingham airport.
Rebuilding took over a year, although this may have been done as a 'hospital job' when there was a gap in work schedules.
The type was ideally suited to Channel's operations which involved basic airstrips, many with grass runways, where the power and rugged design were a great advantage. Other contemporary airliners like the Dove and Heron were good performers but didn't have the grass strip performance and robust dependability of the DC3.
There is a saying in the industry -
Limited edition Print by Dave Williams G-
1943 Built by DOUGLAS AIRCRAFT COMPANY INC SANTA MONICA USA
Serial number: 92385 (c/n 12180)
Engines : TWO -
FZ624 Dakota Mk III
29 December 1943 -
24 January 1944 arrived in UK
19 February 1944 assigned to 48 Squadron RAF
26 February 1945 assigned to 10 Squadron RAF 1336 TSCU (Transport Conversion Unit) RAF Welford, Berks.
OPERATION MARKET with 48 Squadron RAF -
18th September 1944 Down Ampney to Arnhem for resupply drop.
21st September 1944 Down Ampney to Arnhem for resupply drop. Heavy opposition from flak & fighters.
23rd September 1944 Down Ampney to Arnhem for medical supplies drop.
16th August 1945 Transferred as G-
3rd March 1946 Transferred to the new British European Airways
18th March 1947 Upgraded to BEA ‘Pionair’ specification and named "Robert Smith-
31st October 1960 Crashed in fog at Elmdon Airport Birmingham after making the
last BEA domestic Dakota flight. Overshot runway -
13th December 1960 Purchased in damaged condition by East Anglian Flying Services Ltd ( trading as Channel Airways ). Shipped by road to Southend Airport.
Repaired with parts from Don Everard Aviation G-
1962 Commenced operations with Channel Airways
6th May 1962 crashed and written off -
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