Veteran aircraft to tour South

One of the top three most recognisable aircraft will roar across Otago skies this month, as a Douglas DC-3 takes to the air on the Southern DC-3 Trust's Legend of the Skies Heartland Tour.

Trust chairman Dave Hors-burgh said the 1944 DC-3, ZK-AMY - fondly referred to as Amy - was given in perpetuity to the Ashburton Aviation Museum and it was hoped the tour of rural South Island airfields would help pay off some of the remaining debt on the plane.

"All too often, the smaller towns get overlooked.

But we are proudly bringing the Southern DC-3 to 20 rural towns so that as many people as possible can go for a joyride.

"Many such aircraft are no longer flying and to think that we can keep this iconic aircraft operating in our southern skies is a great accolade to our supporters."

The Douglas DC-3 first entered service in 1935 and its speed and range revolutionised air transport.

Its lasting impact on World War 2 and the airline industry has made it one of the most significant transport aircraft.

"Although she [ZK-AMY] is 65 years old, she still rides like a magic carpet and, unlike modern passenger aircraft, passengers are still welcome to visit the flight deck," he said.

The Otago and Southland leg of the tour will begin in Oamaru on October 27 and the aircraft will visit Dunedin (October 28), Roxburgh (October 29), Gore (October 30), Invercargill (October 31-November 1), Five Rivers (November 1), Alexandra (Nov 2), Cromwell (November 3), Wanaka (November 4), Omarama and Twizel (November 5) before travelling to rural towns on the West Coast.

Tickets are available from CRT FarmCentres or by calling 0800 278-583.

Passengers on each flight go into a draw to win a rugby ball signed by Southern DC-3 Trust patron and All Black captain Richie McCaw.


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