Jul 2006 Gooney bird becomes latest dive site
On the morning of the 19th of July at the DC3 N782T crash landed in the ocean about a mile from the end of the runway on
Well it turns out we have another excellent dive site and what an interesting history is attached to this one. Like many of our wrecks around
Lucy Kreiling checks out the cockpit of N782T
A C47 in WWII garb
It appears that this particular Gooney bird was built in 1942 at the Santa Monica CA Douglas factory, she has the construction number 4382.
She was delivered to the US Air Force, with the serial number 18344 and would operate with the mighty 8th Air Force in
The Eighth Air Force carried out daytime bombing operations in
Back then she would have been referred to as a C-47 Douglas Skytrain, and probably used to transport troops and supplies between airfields.
C47 Skytrains in operation over Europe in the 40's
With the end of WWII, she was renamed as a DC-3 returned home to the
Back in 1945 ARAMCO was the company that had the contract to extract all that oil in
In 1955, she was re-registered to N722A and this is where the plot thickens!!
In 1976 she was on lease to a Malaysian airline named Pan-Malaysia Air Transport that seemed to be used as a cover for CIA operations (Not confirmed), there were not too many details on this company available (Not surprising really. Ed). When the lease was over she returned to ARAMCO, and a few years later she went back to the USA, this time to fly with another defunct airline named New Jersey Airlines (once again not too many details on this airline).
In the early 1980’s, the aircraft was presumably privately owned and seemed to be based in the
N782T In happier times on apprach to the runway
A diver explores the tail section of N782T
This illustrious history came to a sad end on the 19th of July when she carried out her last touchdown on the
But her history will live on as we take divers to visit her on a regular basis. she makes an excellent deep dive allowing suitably qualified wreck divers to enter into her cargo bay and swim up to the cockpit and imagine what views have been seen through those windows in the past 64 years.
To read the accident report follow the link below.
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Wednesday, July 19, 2006 in St. Thomas, VI
Aircraft: Douglas DC-3, registration: N782T
Injuries: 1 Minor, 3 Uninjured
(Thanks to Miguel Cláudio for the following history of this gooney bird)
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