Douglas DC-3C – c/n 9624

With Channel from Feb 1960 to Jan 1970

India Bravo was the very first of the ex-BEA DC-3s to join Channel, she was also the oldest. Arriving at Southend on February 26th 1960, she was provided with the requisite maintenance, refinished in Channel’s livery and made her first trip for the airline at the end of March when like most other Channel aircraft, she became heavily involved in flights to the Channel Islands and Rotterdam. This work continued through to May and by the summer of 1960, this Dakota had settled into flying between Southend, Portsmouth and the Channel Islands with a stopover at Shoreham on the Isle of Wight and on the Portsmouth to Le Bourget service. The summer months would also involve the odd charter with G-AJIB flying a group of sailors from Le Havre to Southend on July 15th. However by October, she had returned to Southend where she would rest for the winter.

The next year would see IB carrying out similar duties while turning up on the Rotterdam route during the summer, from time to time. However, being more suitable for grass airfields, while at the same time, being more voluminous than most of Channel’s other aircraft, along with fellow Dakota G-AGZD, she was eventually sent to Portsmouth where she would be based from 1962 onwards, returning to Southend only when the schedule demanded it, she required mechanical attention or indeed to overwinter during the quieter months. However, India Juliet would continue to service Portsmouth over the winter of 1962/63, although a good number of her flights were often diverted into Eastleigh, due to heavy snowfall. India Bravo also became involved in one last hurrah when a rail strike necessitated her services and as such, she spent the first few weeks of October lugging mail and papers between Gatwick and Cardiff.

By the spring of 1963, she was back at Portsmouth and would effectively be confined to such services until she made her last flight between this airfield and Southend on October 13th 1965. With most of Channel’s services now being operated by the much faster Viscounts and with the arrival of a handful of Herons to service the feeder routes, the Dakotas were rapidly becoming obsolete and while a couple of these old timers would continue to operate well into 1966 and even ’67, the day of the Dakota had effectively come to an end. She was removed to the rear of the airport where she was slowly dismantled for spares to keep the remaining aircraft flying and was eventually scrapped at the beginning of 1970.

Honeymooners fly to Jersey in G-AJIB

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History of G-AJIB

7/43 to 2/47

Royal Air Force as FD902

2/47 to 2/60


(Conv from C-47 to DC-3)

2/60 to 1/70

Channel Airways


WFU at Southend 10/65 – B/U 1/70


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