A World War 11 era propeller-driven plane, dubbed
Airscapade, will take to the skies for the first time in
years this weekend.
A DC3 World War II era plane will take to the skies over Te Anau
this weekend for the first time since it arrived in New Zealand
eight years ago.
The Douglas DC3 propeller-driven plane belongs to Te Anau
Lodge owner Mark Oremland.
Oremland has lovingly been restoring the once-derelict aircraft
since he brought it from England to bring it up to scratch with
New Zealand regulations. It is named Airscapade.
The plane’s arrival at the Te Anau-Manapouri airport was greeted
with much fanfare back in 2012, when Oremland and his crew
retraced the landmark 22,000 kilometre trip made by Kiwi aviator
Jean Batten in 1936.
Batten’s image was emblazoned on the plane’s tail.
“That was quite an adventure,” Oremland said.
He bought the craft because: “I love old things – old cars,
old buildings – and it seemed like a good idea at the time.”
“The DC3 is an iconic plane in aviation history.”
The inside of Mark Oremland’s restored DC3 called Airscapade.
Oremland wanted to create a unique experience for his guests
at Te Anau Lodge, he said, but modifying it turned out to be a
lengthy and costly process.
The plane was finally ready for private flights, although it not yet
allowed to carry paying customers.
Ormeland was hoping to give Te Anau residents a chance to
experience her charm on Saturday with 30-minute flights over
Lake Te Anau and one-hour trips, possibly over Stewart Island,
if the weather allowed.
He was planning a meeting with tourism industry stakeholders
to discuss options for the future of the plane.
“My dream is to have it running between Queenstown and
Te Anau. Then it becomes a useful flight,” Ormeland said.
THANKS TO ‘STUFF’
Blue Bus comment :-The aircraft arrived in Te Anau on 17 February 2012 as N451ZS.It has actually spent much of the intervening time at Omaka Airfield with replacement engines being fitted about October 2017. It re flew again on 20 July 2018.It has been mentioned several times previously on this site. Check HERE.