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




120-plus tourism park approved by council

Conditional approval granted for tourist park at Moore Park Beach.

Many residents oppose tourist park development

Firefighters rush to grass fire

EMERGENCY: A grass fire has started at Hoffmans Rd, Burnett Heads.Photo Contributed

Two vehicles are currently on scene

Students' skills tested in QCS

BOOKS AWAY: Kepnock Students Paul Scholze, An Pham, Lauren Cutmore and Ryan Kruger ready to finish the QCS.

QCS test almost complete for grade 12 students

Latest deals and offers

Mexican band takes aim at Trump

Disguised as unhinged narcotraficantes, the Mexican-American agitators of BRUJERIA captured the mood of the citys minorities with the bands infamous and widely banned 1993 debut, Matando Geros (Killing White People), quickly becoming the Spanish-language counterparts to early grindcore masters TERRORIZER and NAPALM DEATH.  Photo Contributed

'Satanic drug lord' band challenges Trump

Guess which morning show is visiting the Bundy region?

Sam Mac hosts the TV series First Dates. Supplied by Channel 7. Please credit photo to Jeremy Greive.

Everyone's invited to head down and be a part of the broadcast

Willy Wonka star, Gene Wilder dead at 83

A still of Gene Wilder in the 1971 film Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory

Social media has already lit up with tributes to the late actor.

Gladstone couple's spontaneous Gympie Muster wedding

Craig Oglesby and Brenda Strong celebrate their wedding at the Gympie Muster with punters in front of the Main Stage.

The Gympie Music Muster was the perfect place for a wedding.

Australian Survivor's Peter: I'm no quitter

Australian Survivor contestant Peter Fiegehen.

ILLNESS forces castaway's early exit from Samoa.

Diva's sister on soliciting charge

FILE - In this May 14, 2016 file photo, Mariah Carey attends the 27th Annual GLAAD Media Awards, in New York. Carey will appear on the Oct. 5 episode of the Fox series, \"Empire,\" the network confirmed Monday at a TV critics bi-annual press tour. (Photo by Charles Sykes/Invision/AP, File)

Mariah Carey's sister has been arrested on charges of prostitution.

Palm Lake Resort set to move in to Coast with 276 villas

Palm Lake Group has been given approval by Sunshine Coast Council to build a 276-villa over 50s resort and 120-bed aged care facility at the intersection of Caloundra Rd and Caloundra Mooloolaba Rd in Little Mountain.

New facility planned for Caloundra Rd

Warning for unit investors with price plummet prediction

The warning signs are flashing for one real estate sector in 2017 despite others performing the best they have in years and it's not going to be pretty.

One real estate sector looks set for a rocky 2017

REVEALED: Pat Rafter's $18m Coast house on the market

Check out the photos of the Coast's most expensive property for sale

The "correction we had to have" in Gladstone's rentals

UPWARD MARCH: The rental vacancy rate in Gladstone has improved for the first time in more than a year, providing a confidence boost in the market.

Vacancy rates improve with signs that things are getting betterF

ISLAND FOR SALE: Cheap Fraser Coast island drops price again

Suna Island in the Great Sandy Strait will be auctioned by Ray White Hervey Bay on Saturday morning.

This is the cheapest island you will find for sale in Australia

How a family home can fit on a 250sq m block

This is what you can build on 250m2.

Here's the floor plan of a home built on 250sq m