A Douglas DC-3 operating for a cargo airline in Colombia has gone missing, sparking a search effort and fear that a crash killed all onboard.
DC-3 Missing, Crash Feared In Colombia
The aircraft, HK-2820, operated for Aliansa Aerolíneas Andinas. After taking off with three crew members onboard from La Vanguardia Airport (VVC) on a training flight, it never returned.
On Twitter, Colombian civil aviation authorities (Aeronáutica Civil) noted:
“At 07:05, local time, radar and communications contact were lost with the airplane Douglas DC-3, registration HK-2820, of the company Aliansa. The plane had departed at 7:00, local time, from Vanguardia de Villavicencio Airport.
“Immediately, search and rescue personnel from Aeronáutica Civil and other help organizations launched an operation to try to find the aircraft and the people onboard.
“Preliminary information indicates that there were three people onboard the aircraft, including the crew, all workers of Aliansa.”
#InformaciónImportante sobre posible accidente de aeronave en cercanías de Villavicencio. pic.twitter.com/DHWlRHcoA9
— Aeronáutica Civil de Colombia (@AeroCivilCol) July 8, 2021
Meanwhile, El Tiempo reports the aircraft was found crashed near a river in Guatiquia, Colombia.
The DC-3 first flew in 1935. This particular aircraft first flew in 1944. While over 16,000 were produced, only about 300 remain operational.
Aerolíneas Andinas has used DC-3s for more than 25 years and this particular DC-3 since 2009. This same aircraft suffered a crash in 2019 at La Chorrera Airport (LCR). However, all 22 people onboard emerged unharmed, with no injury or death reported.
Aeródromo La Chorrera, Colombia.- Un DC3 de la aerolínea Aliansa se salió de pista tras aterrizar. Todos los 19 pasajeros y la tripulación salieron ilesos. pic.twitter.com/t78bF6Vllz
— ó ✈︎ (@Conradoaviacion) August 17, 2019
A 77-year-old DC-3 has presumably crashed in Colombia, though no details have emerged yet on whether there are survivors. This is the same aircraft that crashed in 2019 but was restored to airworthiness. Hopefully the crew managed to get out without harm.
image: Aliansa Aerolíneas Andinas
This is the scariest model I’ve ever flown on in adulthood ( on the pretty long list: inter alia Vickers Viscount and Vanguard, Hawker Siddley, Tridents, Tupolevs, Antonovs, Hercules). It used to fly between Denpasar ( Bali) and Bima ( Sumba), one one of the now defunct Indonesian airlines ( like Bouraq, Zamrud or Merpati). Reasonably recent: c 1974.
It’s sad to see this one go down with lives lost; but there’s no way in hell I’d ever get on another.
I’ve never flown a DC3 so I can’t comment on that but yes I can imagine. I would be a bit nervous on a 70 year old aircraft, but would hopefully enjoy the thrill of it. When you list Viscounts, Tridents, Tupolevs etc are you saying those are the planes you found scary (pretty much anything apart from Boeing or Airbus) or is that just the list that you have flown?
Also a small nitpicking point: 1974 is not relatively recent for an aircraft built in the second world war. In 1974 the aircraft was only 30 years old; but that was 47 years ago.
Yes, point taken about ‘recent’, although many of those Indonesian DC3s were genuinely old , including some reconfigured from the military variants. Many of the start-up airlines after the war used them , including of course Cathay Pacific ( although ‘Betsy’ came from the USA as a second-hand civil plane, IIRC). They were pretty safe: they’d flown the early stages of the WW2 China supply airlift from Assam to Kunming ( ‘over the hump’, ie through the Himalayas) with a good record.
But they did shudder , shake and bounce around rather alarmingly. On the Indonesian routes they were replaced by the HS748, Vickers Viscount, Fokker F27 and eventually by jets.
Yes, that list is just some of my more ‘scary’ models of adulthood
I lived in Indonesia 2007-2014 and flew around a lot but mostly 737s and A320s. I once flew Lombok to Bali on IAT an ATR but had hoped for something older!
I flew a lot around Russia, Caucasus and Central Asia 1998-2007, on Tupolev 134s, 154s, 204s, some Ilyushin 86s, 96s, a few Yakovlev Yak40s and 42s and a few An24s. Never felt scared. The most worried that I was in that time was on a 737-300 flying from Kuching to Jakarta.
I’d love to fly on a DC3 but the opportunities now are few.
I and a buddy flew on a PBA (Provincetown-Boston Airways) DC-3 from New Bedford to ACK back in the late 80s. It was such a gas to be on that old bird. Sorry to hear about this mishap.