Author : D.L. Sirimanne
Publisher : The Jam Fruit Tree Publisher
First Edition 2022
ISBN : 978-624-5412-21-1
In April 1948, the Civil Aviation Department arranged for a charter flight from Colombo to Brisbane to transport a Sri Lankan Royal Navy crew to bring a ship from Brisbane. I was selected as 2nd Redio Officer / Purser for this trip. The DC3 was certified airworthy by the engineers, and the passengers were ready for boarding, it had rained the previous night and the sheen of water on the tarmac reflected the aircraft and the cloudy sky.
It was my first international flight, into the unknown, and the radio communication and radio navigation equipment both on air and ground were so primitive. Other than visual flying, we had to depend were available to home in on, from one point to another. On my return from that epic flight, I was assigned to fly the Colombo Jaffna – Madras – Trichy – Bombay – Karachi Flights and on several Jeddha charters.
Soon the daily flights to Jaffna, Madras and Trichy became routine. We knew every landmark, and even flying in bad weather during the monsoons, one could never get lost flying with basic navigational instruments such the ADF. Flying was a lot of fun as the DC3 was a very reliable aircraft which could not even be forcibly crashed. It was the most reliable aircraft to fly and I felt it was my second home.
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