When I acquired the DC-3 C-FDTD in April 2017 and transferred it to Avialogs a few months later, my goal was first to preserve an historical aircraft, menaced at the time to be scrapped. The aircraft history was almost unknown to the majority and thousands of people saw this aircraft rotting away near Saint-Hubert Airport without knowing her past. From the D-DAY to Market-Garden, from Cairo, Karachi to Montreal, it was not for me only to preserve a piece of metal but also the memory of all who flew aboad. More than an airplane, she is a witness to history.
Many people helped the project, I have not enough place to thank them all but despite all the good will, we were unable to rise enough money to get the work done and I could not sustain this investment alone.
The restoration project with Avialogs was unsuccessful and I had two options: Get the aircraft stored during several years, with the hope to rise one day enough money to get her back in the sky, or to sell it to an organization which will have the experience and the knowledge to achieve this task.
I took this second option as my first goal is to get the aircraft saved and restored.
Two weeks before Christmas, despite several attempts to sale the aircraft, I was not able to find a good buyer, I had offers to transform her in a bar, to be displayed in a D-DAY theme park, but no organization stepped up to restore her. I decided to sale her on Ebay. Why Ebay ? I knew it will attract a lot of attention and it worked beyond my expectation. Three days after, I got a call from Mikey McBryan with his father Joe from Buffalo Airways. They were interested by the aircraft. With their experience regarding the DC-3, the possibility to keep the aircraft in Canada, there was no better scenario for the plane and we quickly completed the sale.
But the story does not end here. One of my favorite quote is from Mark Twain " They did it because they did not know it was impossible". I believe this can apply to the McBryan family. Their project was not simply to buy the aircraft and get her back trucked to Yellowknife but to make her fly for the 75th anniversary of the D-DAY. Restoration will take place in CYHU and where my "best case scenario" was a three years project, they want to complete this in 6 months.
They have the sistership of C-FDTD, C-FDTB and all sub assemblies will be completed in Red Deer before being shipped to CYHU. They have the knowledge and the will.
This is crazy and this is why I believe this is possible.
She will fly again !
To follow the project:
Subscribe to the YouTube Channel : https://www.youtube.com/mikeymcbryan
Benoit de Mulder - January 6th 2019