Douglas DC-3C – c/n 12911

With Channel from Apr 1960 to Jan 1970

Channel’s second Dakota – G-AMDZ – put in her first appearance at Southend on April 4th 1960. A few days later she entered service with the company, flying on their well established bulb charter routes and would continue to perform such duties until the end of May. The summer season would also see her introduction onto the premier Paris and Channel Island routes to and from Portsmouth via Shoreham and in doing so, replaced the Doves that had been faithfully plying these routes since the mid-50s. By October 1960, she was seen in the middle of SEN’s grass field less one engine. As such, she was due to undergo an overhaul which would take place during the middle of January and she was summarily pulled into the hangar with the overhaul of B170 G-ACIT being put on hold so that Delta Zulu could be readied for service again.

After being restored to service in the spring of ’61, she would go on to have a similar year to the one before, until being withdrawn again in October 1961. It wasn’t until April 2nd 1962 that she would be flown again and after a test flight, was once more put to work on the Portsmouth routes for much of the year. October would see her becoming involved with a nationwide rail strike and she spent much of the beginning of this month hauling newspapers and post between Gatwick and Cardiff. Once more she would be withdrawn for the winter, not emerging again from her slumber until April 1963, when she was once more, prepared to take on the seasons bulb charters. As 1964 dawned, a change in Delta Zulu’s schedule would become evident and from this year forward, she would remain at Southend and would instead be relegated to feeder route services, having been usurped on the main routes by Channel’s ‘new’ Viscounts.

And thus this is invariably how the rest of her service life would pan out, although she would still from time to time, be called upon to fly across the Channel to Ostend which by this time, had become the most heavily trafficked, commercial route on the planet. Otherwise it was the maintenance of the Ipswich and Rochester feeders that was her main remit, until finally being withdrawn at Southend and put into open storage on October 2nd 1966 after returning from what would be, Channel’s last ever service to and from Rochester. By 1967, almost all of Channel’s DC-3s had been withdrawn or scrapped, but in August, Delta Zulu would win a temporary reprieve and was reactivated to stand in for two of Channel’s H.S 748s that had been damaged while landing at Portsmouth on the 15th of that month.

While this grass airfield had rapidly fallen out of favour with the Channel Board of Directors, this DC-3 would still fly there or to nearby Southampton when operating conditions were less than ideal. She would also be called upon to stand in on some of the 748’s cross-Channel services and also the Ipswich feeder route, being as this DC-3 was one of the few remaining aircraft in the fleet that was capable of tackling unmade, grass landing strips. On August 30th she was forced to take a few days out after flying to Ipswich for an engine change, otherwise she would continue to fly through to the end of September, finally being withdrawn for the final time after returning from Ostend on the 24th and in doing so, brought Channel’s DC-3 services to an end.


History of G-AMDZ

4/44 to 1/50

Royal Air Force as KG507

1/50 to 11/50

Airtech as G-ALWD

(Conv from C-47 to DC-3)

11/50 to 4/60


4/60 to 1/70

Channel Airways


WFU at Southend 9/67 – B/U 1/70


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