DC-3 getting ready to fly to Oshkosh at Whiteside County Airport Rock Falls,IL
4 of the 26 DC-3 C-47 starting engines to fly to Oshkosh
We started 52 engines at 12:22 pm on Monday. What a sight! The flight crews had been prebriefed with a formation PDF. They received their formal formation flight briefing from 8:30 to 10:30 am. Twenty-six DC-3s taxied out for takeoff at 12:30. Of the 26, one returned to the ramp for a maintenance problem. Another DC-3 aborted his takeoff, and one DC-3 made it in the air but had to return to Rock Falls with an oil temperature problem. This left 23 airplanes flying towards Airventure with all systems GO! The flight maneuvered on to a 40 mile final for a Show Pass down runway 09 at Airventure. With the Herpa DC-3 as lead and coming over top, the order was given: "This is it boys, tighten her up, lights on, smoke on!" After passing directly over Airventure, the flight broke for landing on 5 second breaks and formed a single ship line of 23 DC-3s perfectly spaced with gear down, 100 knots, and landing checks complete. The continuous perfect conga line was cleared to land on Runway 18 and all aircraft were down and clear in a record 16 minutes and 34 seconds.
Congratulations and credit to the expert airmanship of these fabulous Douglas pilots and owners!