It tried to go on tour two years ago, went to Dallas flew one load, then grounded due to radio problems. Was to go to SF the folowwing month but I put it on hold due to rain.
Then it went to WFFC, think it did 10 loads and none of the jumpers made it back to the DZ. From what I was told it was a new owner and new pilot learning.
If I am not mistaken that is the first DC-3 flying jumpers and that would make it the oldest "still flying jumpers", if it does again.
Rick Moti from Sun Path has some great stories, he was the mechanic for years. I told him it went back on tour two years ago and he said dammit, I just tossed the mechanical records away after the Hurricanes in Florida. He got hit pretty hard from them.
Hope they get it on tour again.
Hmm maybe I will go see if its there, Phat Annie is in Sherman as well. I am only about 45 minutes from both now.
(This post was edited by upndownshop on Oct 31, 2007, 2:23 PM)
Bob Metz was flying it in Utah in 2002-2003. We had it for two very fun seasons. I heard Metz sold it, and would love to know what happened to it after that. I have some GREAT memories of that airplane. Check your gear before you jump.....
Billy-I just talked with the owner of the Southern Cross, Patrick Terry-817-240-4314. I was mistaken, it wasn't hail damage, it tornato damage! A few holes here and there from flying objects. Patrick said that she is under going repairs this winter and has plans for being back on the boogie circut next spring or early summer.--Doc Stewart D-2785
It was flying for awhile at Skydive Utah! Bob had installed a huge foot rest and hand rail on the outside that allowed a lot of front and rear floaters. Even though its not as fast as Otters and Caravans, this plane is huge and comfortable when hauling a lot of skydivers. Very fun jump ship!
God I miss the days when DC3s were the jump ship of choice. Just don't stand behind the props when the pilot fires up the engines. You and your new, shiny gear will be spattered with oil!
I spotted the one load that everyone made it on the DZ. They did a great job of flying up the wrong runway . I gave many corrections, the co-pilot came back to ask why? He said they only give 5 degree corrections. I asked what the signal for 90 right was. He didnt have an answer. When I told him I was jumping DC-3s before his dad was born,he went back up front. They gave us a long go around 10 miles minimum and extra altitude. Not at all like Mark and Mr Douglas, when he smiled it was time to get out and never worry.
Of all the Gooney birds I have flown none could compare with the Southern Cross in power and climb. It was the only light skinned 3 that was approved for 1820-76D's equipped with 2- speed super chargers for a combined 2,900 horse power. In high blower it could effortlessly climb to 27,200 feet. My logbook shows 262 loads at 100% reliability. I operated the airplane very conservatively, flying the engines at 55 to 65% for a 1,000 foot per minute climb. At a 17,000 foot exit, the power reductions started at about 14,000 slowing the rate of climb to about 600 fpm and 85 knots. The cut airspeed was about 70 knots and a bunch of left rudder. There is quite a bit of finesse to really get a 3 to perform and remain reliable, you fly the engines. The airframe is just along for the ride. I wish the latest owner good luck with her. Bob Metz
and the P&W R-1830 engine on the DC3 (no experience with the Wrights) had a capacity of 29 gallons (not quarts) of oil but you only put in 25 gallons to allow for foaming...that is EACH engine! That's a lot of oil to spit!
The "Southern Cross" is alive and well, and flying with a new camo paint job.
I was in Belize getting ready for the boogies and saw a DC-3 sitting on the ramp at Goldson International Airport. As I went through the terminal to catch my flight out to the island I met the guys that now own it. They are from Texas, and they were flying a medical supply mission to Belize with it. He saw my skydive t-shirt and right away filled me in on it. They rescued it from a scrap heap grave in Texas.
I tried to get him to let us jump from it, but they were leaving the day before all of the jumpers started to arrive.