‘Pieces of History’ Still Soar at Opa-Locka Airport

Feb 05, 2013 No Comments by

It’s where old planes come to roost. Florida’s Opa-Locka Executive Airport is home to about a dozen large propeller planes, such as Douglas DC-3s and Convair 340s — planes that originally flew for the airlines or the military in the 1940s and 1950s.

Although aviation enthusiasts consider them classics, suitable for museums, these “freight dogs” and “skytrucks” still work for a living, flying cargo or spraying dispersants over oil spills.

“Because it’s a piece of history, it’s slow and noisy,” said Keith Kearns, a pilot for Florida Air Cargo, referring to the 1940 DC-3 he flies almost daily to the islands. “It’s like flying a truck with no power steering.”

Opa-Locka Executive is home to a handful of companies that operate the large propeller aircraft — planes rarely seen at other South Florida airports. Also scattered across Opa-Locka’s ramps are numerous retired jetliners, such as Boeing 727s and DC-10s, waiting to be scrapped.

For the complete story by Ken Kay of the South Florida Sun Sentinel.com, click here.

Civilian, Featured News

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Online Editor I've been around airplanes since I was a kid. That's when my uncle, a professional pilot, showed me how to fly his Cessna 177 Cardinal. l later became a writer and editor, so covering the exciting and ever-changing aviation industry -- which I've been doing in Flight Journal's Flybys since the late '90s -- was a natural fit.
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