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Dakota travels to Ceres by road

Date: 4 July 2008

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The following is a rough translation from an article that appeared in Die Burger newspaper:

A C-47TP Dakota aircraft will follow an unusual path by road tomorrow and Friday when it will be transported to the Bokrivier military base between Ceres and Touwsrivier 

Roads between Milnerton and the base will be temporary closed for the operation.

According to Capt. Jacqueline van Schalkwyk, spokeswoman for Air Force Base Ysterplaat, the aircraft is no longer in service and cannot be restored.

"It will be delivered to 80 Air Navigation School for use in survival training and will be transported tomorrow and Monday between 09:00 and 15:30.

The aircraft and the tractor transporting it is together 24m long, 5.3m high and 8.1m wide. "It will take almost the whole width of the road."

Although the wingspan of the aircraft is almost 30m, a section of the wing has been removed for the move.

The convoy, which includes a train and other vehicles, will drive 10km at a time before they pull over to the side of the road for a few minutes to allow traffic to pass.

The group of vehicles will leave Air Force Base Ysterplaat at 9:00 tomorrow and will overnight in Wolseley. From there it will travel on Monday to the Bokrivier military base.

The Nuwekloof Pass will be closed on Sunday for an hour. The Mitchell Pass will be closed on Monday for two hours and the Hottentotskloof Pass for an hour.

Numerous security and support vehicles will accompany the convoy.

If anything goes wrong, the aircraft will be removed to the side of the road so that traffic can pass normally. "We have driven the road for a few years and planned well to make sure the aircraft can fit everywhere," Van Schalkwyk said.

Only mist and snow will hinder the transport of the Dakota. "It's about visibility. The weather forecast looks good."

Van Schalkwyk acknowledges that it is a dangerous process, "but we have planned well and have many support vehicles."

Webmasters note: The C-47TP Dakota is SAAF 6884 "Spike" (c/n 12064), ex 35 Squadron.


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