Dutch Dakota Association at Norwich Airport 28th June 2014
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When I was visiting Norwich Airport with some friends one day I was told that a Dutch Dakota was coming to Norwich on 28th June. Sure enough there was a competition in the local paper to win some seats for a pleasure flight in it. This reminded me of when an Air Atlantic Dakota (G-AMRA) came to Norwich on 31st May 2008 and I had a flight although I had to pay as I didnít win one. After getting off the Airport Park and Ride I wandered over to Saxon Business Centre, where there was a Piper PA-28-161 Cadet (G-CEZO) owned by Redhill Air Services Ltd parked near a Hawker 400A (G-KLNR) near the main roundabout and I saw one of my aircraft enthusiast friends waiting for the DC-3 Dakota (PH-PBA Princess Amadia) from the Dutch Dakota Association Classic Wings). Sadly I could not see the DC-3 until I was in the terminal as it was on its first pleasure flight of the day (one of four). When I got to the automatic sliding doors I could hear some big band music playing. Inside everyone was in party spirits as KLM were celebrating 95 years of service. This was the final day of the DC-3ís tour around KLMís various airports before going back to Amsterdam. When there was a seat by the window I was able to see what was going on and make notes of a few movements. For those lucky enough to have a flight it was a case of collecting their flight tickets from the desk where a woman was dressed in a RAF uniform. The Jonathan Wyatt Big Band was playing. Presumably the passengers were told about the history of the aircraft before boarding the plane, having a flight around the city, Thorpe St Andrew, where my parents saw it come over, Lowestoft and Gt Yarmouth before arriving back and having a group photo. On the second flight it landed and came down the central taxiway where two fire engines were waiting. As it drew level the fire engines switched their hoses on to form a giant arch of water over the top of the Dakota. This was the only time out of the four trips that this took place and I must say it looked spectacular. After listening to the Jonathan Wyatt band and seeing the following flights I came back home.

Andrew Elphick