"FIFI-KATE" Dakota C-47 DC3 Homeward Bound

Monday, May 22, 2006

The Home Run

At Denver Centennial it was 5:30 in the morning…nothing stirred except an insomniac bird and those moving a P-51D on to the ramp. Suddenly the piece was shattered as two Pratt & Whitney 1830-92s coughed and roared into life. The Lelystad Six were on the move again. First to Grand Canyon airstrip for fuel then taking time to explore the Grand Canyon itself. After all, if caught they were going to spend a long time in State Pen! The initial run over the Rockies was breath-taking with the invasion strips providing perfect cover when set against the snow and dark shadows. Sensational sights! Setting course for Orange County Airport in LA, Fifi-Kate’s new home, the desperados were now resigned to their fate but resolved to turn over a new leaf and renounce their criminal ways. Fancy the life of Riley in California? No chance.

The gang had finally run out of options. They had no answer to the overwhelming odds facing them. Forced to land at John Wayne International (Orange County) reluctantly they put up their hands and said “Ok gov, it’s a fair cop”. Still, the Gods who had supported them throughout continued to smile. The Dutch trio were deported to Schiphol with the English element placed on an aeroplane for Heathrow.

Now that the Lelystad Six have been “banged to rights” it is time to return to the real world. It’s been the most incredible journey for which most aviation enthusiasts would give their right arm.

A few statistics for the record:
• Nautical miles flown: 5600 (6440 statute miles)
• Time airborne: 37hr 29mn
• Fuel consumed: 3873 US gallons
• Mars Bars eaten: 78.5

Any mammoth undertaking such as this relies on the generous and willing help of the backroom team who have done a magnificent job. We have tried to list them below. If we have inadvertently omitted your name, we must apologise but you know who you are.

Ken Beckman – Commercial Pilot, Winnipeg, St Andrew’s
Clive Edwards – EB Aviation
Richard Hayward – EB Aviation
David & Sue Archer – EB Aviation
Mark Edwards – Edwards Aviation Worldwide
Ria Sol – Flight Planning
Willem Oskam – Flight Planning (RNLAF 334 Sqn)
Theo Hendriks – Engineer (and moving the Captain’s furniture)
Andrew Bruce – Far North Aviation
Arno van der Holst – The Aviodrome, Lelystad
Raymond & Mark Oostergo – The Aviodrome, Lelystad
Alan Solway – Anglo Ltd.AJ Driessen – Insurance Broker
Lloyds of London
Phil Lowe – Certification Ltd.
Clive Pegden – Willing Supporter
Paul Chandler – Willing Supporter
Mike Gelpi – Willing Supporter
Graham Spiller - Willing Supporter
Mark Wheeler - Willing Supporter
Ron Jones - Willing Supporter
Steve Dugan – Technical Support
Pete Elson - Technical Support
Dick Smith – Southern Airframe Specialists
Max & Peter – Hotel Lelystad Airport
Miriam Mohammadi – Hotel Lelystad Airport

And our wives…
Felicity Holden – Oustanding support and encouragement
Sarah Pell – Indulging her husbands flights of fancy

And the Lelystad Six…
Tony Holden – ‘Captain Darling’ – Arch Fixer without whom none of this would of happened
Captain Peter Kuypers – ‘the Flying Dutchman’ – In Command and Ace Pilot
Robert Verdonk – One of the ‘Dastardly Dutch Duo’ – Co-Pilot
Martijn Zwijnenburg – Flight Engineer and the second member of the ‘Dastardly Dutch Duo’
Charlie Holden – ‘Cheeky Chappie’ – Chief Purser
Commander Geoff Pell – Crew Chief and ‘Admiral of the Rear’

And finally… FIFI KATE

Thank you to one and all for following our fortunes; good luck and farewell. Safe Flying…

PS More pictures to follow in a week or twos time – when our feet are back on the ground.

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Rocky Mountain High

Having soon discovered that they had been completely outwitted, the police staked – out the ramp at Winnipeg St Andrew’s confident in the knowledge that the end game was near. Meanwhile, in downtown Winnipeg the Lelystad Six were reveling in their ability to stay one jump ahead of the law. Spotted by a local “Hack” in Earl’s, a neighbourhood steak house cum speak-easy, the gang were enjoying some freedom in the belief that perhaps, after all, they would achieve their goal. The steaks were rare (and high)…the beers were cool and the amply-endowed staff each had the same telephone number 36-26-36. What more could anyone want?

The mastermind behind the audacious scheme, Captain Darling, had yet another ace up his sleeve however, and employed a diversionary tatic which saw four of the gang hijacking a MPV and heading for the boarder – stopping only briefly for an Egg-Mcmuffin. With the attention of the police now otherwise diverted, the Flying Dutchman plus the remaining desperado seized their chance and in a flash were off the ground and headind due south VFR to the crop-dusting strip at Pembina to clear customs…a vicious, ruthless criminal he may have been but you don’t mess with the US Customes. With the law thrown totally off balance, the “Six” now reunited could take life easy and having stopped off at Grande Forks, North Dakota for fuel continued south west and hold-up for the night in Denver Colorado. This was no Holiday. Inn fact it was tough, miserable experience…six more beers please honey.


Great pictures by Paul Filmer - click the link below

The French Connection

At a hastily arranged press conference in Goose Bay RCMP HQ, the Chief Goose Police Superintendent Barnacle Brent admitted that the Lelystad Six had escaped the net. In a move calculated to outwit their pursuers, the gang had boarded Fifi-Kate under cover of darkness and executed a tactical take-off – this entailed muffling exhausts, a bump start and minimum power. Their ruse worked, as the locals “didn’t hear a dickie bird”. Despite sweeps of the skies by the QRA, there was no sign of the aircraft…it was as if they had vanished into thin air. Although the trail had gone cold (-10ºC at FL 120 to be precise – and that’s inside the aircraft!), a lack of radio discipline and a chance intercept lead to the re-discovery of the gang. A dodgy French accent (yes, you’ve guessed it, the same one as in Wick) was heard ordering scrambled Elk with extra fries and Chocolate Moose for delivery at La Grande Riviere – a one runway town in South Western Quebec. They clearly had a cunning plan…

The old saying that “The Mounties always get their man” was not realized on this occasion as, try as they might, a one horse power nag with four sets of landing gear – one at each corner could not match the 2400 HP employed by the fugitives. It now becoming clear that Captain Darling, The Flying Dutchman et al (who invited Al?) are heading south perhaps to meet up with an old accomplice and sometime moll of Charlie the Cheeky Chappie, Winnie Pegg. Is it conceivable that their destination is the US border? In a uncommon use of initiative the Police aided by the Women’s Institute surrounded Winnipeg International Airport. Ah ha, they wouldn’t get away this time. Guess what? They landed at Winnipeg St. Andrew’s.

Friday, May 19, 2006

Escape to the Icecap…

The chance sighting of five members of the gang in a communal bath house in downtown Reykjavik has sent shock waves through governments worldwide. How do these men mange to stay one jump ahead of the law? What is their next destination? Can MI5.33(recurring) salvage their tarnished reputation before the Lelystad Six make another daring escape? No doubt answers to these and other questions will unfold over the coming tension-filled hours.
News Flash!!! Six suspicious characters-two bearing uncanny resemblances to Dipstick and Poo (but without TV aerials on their heads) – were observed walking purposely towards a parked – up Dak on the ramp at Reykjavik. The fact that they were humming quietly (no, they had already had a shower!) a verse of “There is a Greenland far away” etc…) is perhaps a clue to their intentions…we shall see.

Olaf Wotalafehson reports from the city Narsarsuaq (population 25 ½) on the southern tip of Greenland that Fifi-Kate had landed at 11.05 (local) for fuel, oil and victuals. He said that the sight of what he described as “aliens” from another planet (Lelystad isn’t that bad…is it?) filling their faces with salmon and reindeer sarnies was far from edifying or, for that matter edible! Apparently they were uncommunicative, talking only in grunts (nothing new there then!). They made constant reference to a goose, pointing to the west. Perhaps they meant Goose (e.) Bay. In any case they were off in no time flat and were last seen lost amongst the ice flows.

In a report filed by Reuters, the RCMP have surrounded a C-47 in Goose Bay, Labrador. Before they arrived, a number of men were seen to leave the aircraft, however they bore no resemblance to the Telly-Tubbies. Could it be that having traversed the North Atlantic, they have cast aside their disguise in order to blend in with the scenery. Goose Bay today…tomorrow who knows?

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Hanky,Panky, Woopsy,Floozy,Dipstick and Poo!

In a lucky break for the police, an elderly Wick resident reported seeing a number of men answering the descriptions of the wanted fugitives drinking pints of ‘heavy’ in “Bide-a-While”, a local hostelry known to be frequented by the criminal classes. With co-operation from a hastily-assembled SWAT (Society of Wickists Against Terror) team, two agents from MI5.33 (reccurring) quickly surrounded the building. To the annoyance of Government officials this attempt to apprehend the Lelystad 6 also failed as at 19.30, the security forces hurriedly withdrew to watch a repeat of “Allo Allo” on the box! Some time later a number of men heavily disguised and conversing in dodgy French accents were seen entering “Le Petit Dak”, an ethnic fish restaurant down by the harbour.Despite the best efforts of all concerned the gang eluded capture overnight and clearly had gone to ground in a safe house. “Honest” Jock MacWhitney (a complete pratt) was brought in for questioning but observing the code of the Kosher Nostra would divulge nothing.

Early in the morning of Wednesday 17th, a chance sighting by a terminal cleaning lady of some strange goings on prompted renewed activity in Police circles. Although limited in her descriptive vocabulary, she claimed to have seen six Tele-Tubbies in the vicinity of the aircraft. Quickily dismissed as a crank, her report was filed under “Local Nutters” and rapidly forgotten.
This was just what the gang needed and before the tower at Wick could raise the alarm, Fifi Kate was airborne and aiming for the clouds and an unknown destination….possibly Iceland where they could count on the help of either “Keflavik Kevin” or “Reykjavik Ron”!

In a dramatic development MI5.33 (reccurring)’s Northern Hemisphere agent has just forwarded this photograph taken by surveillance satellite. It appears to show Fifi Kate, and a 100LL bowser bearing an unfamiliar foreign script. Could this be Reykjavik?
Of the Tele-Tubbies and the Lelystad 6 there is no sign….But hang on a
cotton-picking minute, who is this?

Dateline Lelystad

Dateline Lelystad – FK News reports that,as expected, the ‘Lelystad Six’ were, this morning subjected to a pincer movement from the secretive and seldom-seen ,Yellow Brigade,. Armed with state-of-the-art foam and led by Freddy ‘The Extinguisher’ Van der Pump(s), they attacked just after dawn. Alerted by a sympathizer, the desperados pulled off their most daring stunt to date and in a dramatic break for freedom hijacked an historic airliner.

According to reports from the C-47 helpline, the stolen aircraft is believed to be none other than the world-renowned ‘Fifi Kate! Having dared to flaunt the authority of the forces of law and order, FK conducted a spectacular fly-by and was last seen heading NNW climbing to FL 140. Confirming the authorities’ worst fears, it has been established from microwave intercepts set up by MI5.3 (reccurring) that two previously unidentified members of the gang are none other than the ‘Dastardly Dutch Duo’ – breakaway members of the Eindhoven Faction. This is a serious development!

Breaking News….our Highlands and Island correspondent has just sent word that a C-47, similar in appearance to Fifi Kate has been spotted on a wind-swept ramp at Wick in Caithness. Having been alerted to the possibility, it was expected that a crack anti-terrorist unit of the Highlands police would swoop to make an arrest. The chance was, however, missed as the constable concerned was otherwise occupied with a little old lady parked illegally on a double yellow! With the aircraft now grounded by weather, it would appear that this vicious gang of villains has yet again escaped the net….

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Wanted…Alive or Alive!

Have you seen these men? Under no circumstances should they be approached unless of course you are carrying a fully-loaded six-pack! Last reported being pursued across several international borders, this bunch of desperados has finally been tracked to a little-known airport in Holland. Dubbed the ‘Lelystad Six’ by the local media this dangerous, thoroughly scrupulous band including the notorious blogster ‘Captain Darling’ has resorted to extreme means in a desperate attempt to escape the lack of fire cover. Following a vicious attack on the general store in which the owner was subjected to painful puns and horrendous humour, the gang got away with a large quantity of consumables.

The accompanying photo gives some indication of the lengths to which this underclass will go to acquire calories! Shots from long distance surveillance cameras would suggest that the gang may be attempting a spectacular break-out as the arch aviator and villain known as ‘The Flying Dutchman’ has been spotted in several hazy images. Renowned for his Houdini-like escapes in C-47s it is anticipated that he and his accomplices (also believed to include the infamous painter ‘Admiral of the Rear’ as well as ‘Charlie the Cheeky Chappie’) will make their move on Tuesday when, faced with a possible pincer attack by the Lelystad foam tender and the rarely-seen fire officer they will have little option other than to take off in more ways than one!

An un-confirmed report from our Scottish correspondent Hamish MacHaggis would indicate that Wick – a well-known staging post for trans Atlantic fugitives – could be their next stop. Tune in same time tomorrow for an update to this unfolding drama…(FK News Inc.)

Saturday, April 22, 2006

"FIFI-KATE" Homeward Bound to the USA

Posted here over the next few weeks will be the story of a band of desperados flying the Dakota N47FK, a C-47, from Lelystad Airport in Holland to Las Vegas USA - this beautiful airplane is called "Fifi-Kate" and is loved by all.
The crew are hobos off the street who have names like "Captain Darling", "Admiral of the Rear" and "The Flying Dutchman" to name a few - to all intents and purposes it will provide fascinating reading, if not a sequel to the story "Nightmare on Elm Street".
So sit back and enjoy the journey with us starting next week, the first week in May 2006, who knows were we will all end up!