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


Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

Region given good dousing

Sandy Willcott sent CQ News a photo of her backyard from the weekend's wet weather. She said she was lucky her house is on stilts otherwise she might've been flooded out.

Emerald has received it's highest July rainfall ever recorded

Police drug raids prove successful with arrests

Blackwater police has led the charge in drug raids across the Central Highlands.

Police drug raids prove successful with arrests

On track for Brazil

Anna Meares has been announced as flag bearer for Australia at the Olympic Games later this year.

Cyclist Anna Meares is on track for Brazil

Latest deals and offers

Ipswich drivers hate this more than anything else

RACQ asks motorists what causes them the most angst.

Pizza chain goes into voluntary administration

Eagle Boys pizza store

Mackay Eagle Boys will continue to feed the Mackay community

Giving hope to those touched by cancer

Bev Donohoe will lead the Central Highlands Relay for Life this year, 2016.Photo Rebekah Yelland / CQ News

Springsure's Bev Donohoe is the face of CH Relay for Life 2016

Ipswich MP wants "royal commission into black lung"

Minister for Police, Fire and Emergency Services, Minister for Corrective Services and Bundamba MP Jo-Ann Miller at the official swearing-in ceremony when Queensland Parliament resumed in Brisbane. Photographer: Liam Kidston. POOL IMAGES: FREE FOR EDITORIAL USE IN PRINT AND ONLINE

MP and coal miner's daughter wants royal commission into black lung

Region given good dousing

Sandy Willcott sent CQ News a photo of her backyard from the weekend's wet weather. She said she was lucky her house is on stilts otherwise she might've been flooded out.

Emerald has received it's highest July rainfall ever recorded

Flights cancelled as fog causes chaos at Brisbane Airport

Flights from Brisbane to regional Queensland have been affected

Dr Karl, Barnaby Joyce and 'how to unf*** the planet'

Dr Karl will be at Splendour in the Grass 2016.

Controversy and laughs at Splendour in the Grass panels and forums

Vintaea: Why I left The Bachelor on the first night

Vintaea Carlos was one of 22 "bachelorettes" looking for love on the fourth season of The Bachelor.

Queensland beauty leaves Richie at rose ceremony.

Amber Heard claims Johnny Depp is stalling divorce

Amber Heard claims Johnny Depp is delaying their divorce

The Bachelor host: this year's season is a cracker

The Bachelor host Osher Gunsberg.

GUNSBERG says tonight will be "the best night of TV of the year".

Kerri-Anne Kennerley to Sonia Kruger: "Stay brave"

She said her television peer should "stay brave"

Swimwear designer looking for love on The Bachelor

Noni Janur on her first day of filming.

The 25-year-old is one of 22 women vying for Richie Strahan’s heart

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