News

Dakota still flies special missions

Pilot Charl Yssel stands beneath the nose of his specially adapted Dakota.
Pilot Charl Yssel stands beneath the nose of his specially adapted Dakota. Allan Reinikka

DON'T be fooled by its age or its unusual appearance.

Charl Yssel's Dakota dates back to 1944 and saw active service in the Second World War, but it is still going strong.

And although it is 78 years old, it is loaded with so much advanced technology it flies rings around much younger aircraft when it comes to searching for precious minerals.

The unique plane touched down in Rocky yesterday en route to a geological survey mission for Anglo Coal near Middlemount.

Charl, a pilot for South African technical survey company Spectrem, said he would be flying at just 90 metres over the bush to create an accurate picture of coal reserves beneath the surface.

"There are other planes used for surveys, but nothing in Australia packs this many systems," he said.

The Dakota will take a day to do what geologists would take weeks to do on the ground and uses sophisticated magnetic fields to "see underground".

But Charl knows that it's the Dakota's special place in aviation history that makes it such a draw for plane spotters.

"Wherever we go there is always interest, particularly among the older generation," he said.

The plane bears little resemblance to how it looked during the war against Nazi Germany.

After hostilities it flew domestically in Britain before it was taken to Botswana and then South Africa.

In the 1980s, the original piston engines were replaced by modern turbines, but substantially it is the same Douglas DC-3 that emerged from the hangar back in 1944.

Rockhampton Airport operations manager Iain Lobegeier said it was a privilege to welcome it to the city.

"The DC-3 established air travel as a normal means of transport in 1941 and is often referred to as the greatest aircraft of all time," he said.

Topics:  plane, world war ii




BREAKING: Motorcyclist crashes into tree north of Warwick

One patient has been transported by ambulance to a local medical center with minor injuries.

Motorcycle accident outside of Leyburn.

FOOTAGE: Man arrested over high speed getaway

Alleged stolen car speeds through Warwick

Man arrested over police chase.

Woolworths job cuts: The man behind the 'rebuild'

THE man driving major changes at Woolworth, Brad Banducci, has a huge job ahead of him.

Brad Banducci has big job ahead of him after $1 billion loss

Latest deals and offers

Harry's MasterChef exit makes way for all-Noosa grand final

Harry Foster congratulates MasterChef finalists Elena Duggan and Matt Sinclair after a closely-fought semi-final.

YOUNG Rocky-born cook now working in his dream job in Tasmania.

Kim Kardashian West bemused by selfie 'drama'

Kim didn't expect her naked selfie to cause the stir it did

Alicia Vikander hasn't been home since Oscars

Alicia Vikander "hasn't been home" for nearly nine months.

Tom Hiddleston not worried about relationship attention

Attention doesn't bother 'authentic' Hiddleston

Robbie Williams and Ayda Field to expand family?

Robbie Williams and Ayda Field want more children.

Licking incident bars Ariana from performing at White House

Ariana Grande has been blocked from performing at the White House

You can own this Queensland town for just $1

Yelarbon

Unprecedented auction of town's business centre with no reserve

Work starts on $15M Caloundra apartment building

Turning the first sod at the Aqua View Apartments site in Kings Beach are (from left) husband-and-wife developers Alex Yuan and Stella Sun with construction company Tomkins director Mike Tomkins and Councillor Tim Dwyer.

Developers excited about addition to Kings Beach skyline

72-year-old Coast developer set to start new project

GREEN LIGHT: The Cosmopolitan has been approved for development at Cotton Tree.

Meet the Canberran set to deliver another chapter for Coast suburb

Plans revealed for 1500-lot 'master-planned community'

Precinct will be bounded by Boundary St and Shoesmith Rd

Ecco Ripley sales run sparks prime release

MOVING IN: Sekisui House has announced the release of more residential blocks at Ecco Ripley.

Sekisui House is preparing to unveil more land at Ecco Ripley

The climb is slow but property on the way up

Michael Matusik, director of Matusik Property Insights.Photo Allan Reinikka / The Morning Bulletin

The improvement would be mild when compared to past cycles