Some 19 countries and nine months into the D024 ATTs HistorieFlightforDreams world tour, SEAIR chairman, Captain Iren Dornier, raises $61,000 for UNICEF's children and continues to strengthen the Dornier name in world aviation. Captain Dornier, who is retracing his grandfather Claude Dornier's epic tour in another seaplane, the giant DO X, in 1930-31, resurrected the Dornier 24 ATT, a no mear feat, and flew the plane to Europe in summen, demonstrated the aircraft in Germany, France, Austria, Italy, Greece, and Switzerland, and recently took its last stop in England enroute to North America. Captain Dornier tells his story to Inflight executive editor and SEA1R director Nikos Gitsis.
The air Show and spectators at Biggin Hill England gave us a warm reception, but the weather was a different story. Ice storm, rain and heavy Winds made the stay unpleasant. Additionally, my crew's arrival was delayed because of their English visas. This really hurt when a tech-nical problem hit the control column. The storm broke both control locks and the column due to high Winds. Luckily, some former Dornier technicians were able to build us a new one out of T-3 aluminum.
England was your last European air Show. How did it go?
After England you departed for North America - what was your flight plan?
Because of the technical problems encountered in England I was concerned that a North Atlantic crossing might be very difficult be-cause it was getting late in the year and the jet steam was starting to gear up for Winter. The good news was I was able to get some local help in Biggins and my crew finally got their visas. From Biggin Hill we flew to Shannon, Ireland where we borrowed some jacks from Lufthansa Technik and did some landing.gear work. From Shannon we headed for Reykjavik (lceland). We had favorable tail Winds and the weather was clear blue. However, our heater gave out, and we had to fly five hours in -10 degrees celsius. Below us the Atlantic waves were huge and I was imagining how we would land if we had any problems. Fortunately our waten landing was uneventful, but while an final ap-proach into Reykjavik our landing gear refused to drop. We asked the tower to clear us to a holding pattern so we could do some trouble shooting. While the tower was asking, "Dornier 2403 do you have a problem?" we were recycling the gear. Sud-denly we heard a loud bang and the normal noise of our gear going down. The gear doors had initially frozen, but we were now in a con-figuration to land.