For the first time in over a decade, restored Air North DC-3 takes flight

The vintage plane, dubbed Yukon Sourdough, was restored by aviation enthusiasts

The restored Air North DC-3 in a hangar in Hagerstown, Maryland. (Air North DC-3 Yukon Sourdough/Facebook)

A vintage Air North DC-3 plane, grounded for a decade, took to the sky once again after being restored by aviation enthusiasts in the U.S.

“I am an antique airplane guy,” said Ken Casady, a pilot involved in restoring the plane.

Casady got to be in the plane when it flew last week near Hagerstown, Maryland.

“It was wonderful. Everybody involved had a big smile on their face after,” he said.

Two men test one of the propeller’s of the restored Air North DC-3 in Hagerstown, Maryland. (Air North DC-3 Yukon Sourdough/Facebook)

There were a few minor little glitches, he added, and adjustments needed to be made, but it did everything it was supposed to do.

And the plane, dubbed the Yukon Sourdough, will fly again this weekend, at an airshow in Oshkosh, Wisconsin.

After that, Casady’s goal is clear: “Our mission is to steward this airplane.”

How the DC-3 ended up in Maryland

Casady said the Experimental Airplane Association originally bought the plane from Air North to use it as a support ship for its B-17 aluminum overcast.

At some point, Casady explained, the plane was put in a hangar and some restoration work was done on it. But then the association received a donation of another DC-3 and decided to sell the Air North one.

Some of the work being performed in restoring the Air North DC-3. (Air North DC-3 Yukon Sourdough/Facebook)

Malcolm Van Kirk and his older brother, Steve, a retired airline pilot, along with another person bought it and brought the DC-3 to Maryland.

More repairs were done on it and it was put up for sale.

Casady saw the ad and considered buying it.

“But I could tell they didn’t really want to sell,” said Casady.

So he and the brothers entered into a partnership that culminated with the plane’s first flight in about a decade last week.

Hopes to make it an operating piece of equipment

Casady said he’s looking for people to support the cost to fly and maintain the plane, which includes hangering, insurance, maintenance, fuel and oil.

“You know, the list goes on and on,” he said, adding it easily costs $1,500 an hour to fly the plane.

“We’d like it to be an active operating piece of equipment … not hanging from the ceiling in a museum somewhere.”

Casady’s hoping many people will donate a small amount to keep the plane in the air in the same way that many people support the United States commemorative air force, which also has a lot of vintage airplanes.

So would he fly it to the Yukon?

“If anybody would send us a check for some fuel, we’d be there in New York second,” Casady said.

Written by Michel Proulx with files from Paul Tukker, CBC

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