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



10 best street art spots to take an Insta selfie

IF YOU are in need of a few trendy new Instagram snaps, then get your phone and selfie-stick ready and head to Brisbane.

Theatre royalty graces Brisbane stage

Don't miss Charles Edwards in this incredible theatre performance.

WHEN acting royalty comes to town, you sit up and take notice.

Don’t go chasing waterfalls…find them on these drives!

The Scenic Rim is just one place nearby that you'll love.

BRISBANE isn’t all bright lights and city slickers.

Your boots are made for walking these tours

Brisbane Greeters tours are a great way to learn the local history of the city.

YOU don’t need a bike or bus for a seriously good tour of Brisbane.

Drink where the cool kids do this summer

There are a bunch of new bars open in Brisbane, make sure you're there!

CHECK out these new funky bars.

Discover Brisbane’s laneway gems

Brisbane's laneways will surprise you.

NOT all of Brisbane City is as it seems…

Science Festival seriously awesome

Don't miss the World Science Festival Brisbane!

CALLING everyone who wants to see something totally cool.

150 residents meet to fight for their dump

FIGHT BACK: Residents met with council representatives over fears the Avondale Waste Facility would close.

Councillor promises to fight tooth and nail

Bundy's little brave heart after third operation

BRAVE HEART: Bundaberg's little Noah Lammi has undergone his third open heart surgery. He is now recovering in Lady Cilento Hospital Brisbane.

Another open heart surgery for Bundaberg youngster

WATCH: Fire close to homes, firefighters work to control it

Emergency crews work to control Burnett Heads fire

Residents are urged to keep there windows shut as smoke fills air

Local Partners

Theatre royalty graces Brisbane stage

WHEN acting royalty comes to town to direct the theatre performance of the year, you sit up and take notice.

Un-American tale makes Lion weakest link in Oscars line-up

Dev Patel in a scene from the movie Lion.

PSYCHOLOGY researchers find US films most likely to win at Oscars.

Can rightful winner Midnight take out golden Gosling in Oscars?

Can Lion pip La La Land at the post in this year's Oscars? Sunny Pawar (pictured) helped bring a powerful film to the big screen.

WILL Aussie film Lion triumph or will popular La La Land prevail?

Living End, Grinspoon stars hit stage for American Idiot

Chris Cheney of The Living End stars in the Australian production of Green Days musical American Idiot at Brisbane's QPAC Theatre.

TAKE a look behind the scenes of Green Day's American Idiot musical

Samuel L Jackson dismisses La La Land ahead of Oscars

Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone in a scene from the movie La La Land.

Hollywood actor and Oscars voter says Denzel should win top gong

'Why we drove 800km to buy a treehouse with a disco ball'

The new owners have planned a few updates, but will stick with much of the original design.

A couple travelled almost 800km for the home of their dreams.

The trick homeowners are using to buy more properties

Chantelle Subritzky leaves her home each week for Airbnb guests.

Queenslanders are going down this path to help pay their mortgages

Stunning home blends South Pacific beauty with Orient style

Immaculate residence with two outdoor living areas

$140k damage: landlord says property trashed, contaminated

He had what he calls "the tenants from hell"

Submarine, buses and 3000 tyres removed in $100K clean up

The list of things removed from this property is beyond astonishing

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!