Monday, September 24, 2012

A Tribute to Lebombo (ZS-BMH)

DC-4 Skymaster (Lebombo)

While visiting the Africa Aerospace and Defence Airshow at Waterkloof on Saturday, I couldn’t help but feel weirdly attracted to the old Douglas DC-4 aeroplane (aka Skymaster).  Aircraft of all sorts were zooming around and parachutes of all shapes and colours were hovering about, but for some odd reason all the boisterous activity going on around me didn’t distract my attention from the old DC-4. And, NO - it was not the old South African flag displayed on the vertical tail that fascinated me, it was something else!

It was only when I arrived home, and after I had done some reading-up on the old aircraft, that I discovered a possible reason why there was this unexplainable feeling of affection for the old plane.  Now – I don’t like doing this on my blog, but if I’m going to tell the story then unfortunately I also have to reveal my second name… My second name is William, and the name runs in the family.

According to info provided on the website of the SAA Museum Society, this specific plane registered as ZS-BMH and named “Lebombo” was the last DC-4 Skymaster off the Douglas factory production line. The aircraft was delivered by SAA Captains G.D.B. Williams, Captain G.W. Williams and Captain William J. Morrisey, assistant chief pilot of Douglas Aircraft Company. One of the photographs on the website was taken by a certain John Austin-Williams. 

Anyways, enough of this spine-chilling association with names… It’s probably a mere coincidence! Personally I think my fascination has much to do with the fact that this old aircraft was delivered to SAA on the 9th of August 1947, and that she is still with us in the year 2012.

Here’s a short video-tribute to ol’ Lebombo:

Enjoy your Heritage Day!


Wolraad said... .....Click here to refresh this blog

I have not flown in a DC-4, but have had the opportunity to see the inside - it was not the Lebombo.

Very nice Post! Thanks.

Off topic. Can you say what has happened to Mike Smith's Political Commentary Blog?

Tia Mysoa said... .....Click here to refresh this blog

@ Wolraad – Thanks for the compliment!

I have no idea what happened to Mike, and also miss reading his commentary. Maybe he’s taking a breather from blogging for a while, and hopefully he will be back soon.

Anonymous said... .....Click here to refresh this blog

Lovely, lovely, I love all aircraft and did some flying in my youth, my son was an instructor at 43 Air School, Port Alfred for several years and now is a captain flying the Embraer Jet and has his ATPL. I unfortunately could not be at the air show and my son was away flying on the weekend. I was wondering how many black pilots if any were flying for the SAAF, just curios wonder how many made it through the course. I wished I could have been there.

Anonymous said... .....Click here to refresh this blog

If my memory serves me then my first ever plane ride was in this plane way back in 1959 or 1960. An 1 hour hop around Jan Smuts airport. And the part I remember best was that the airhostes41 had beautiful legs :-)

Dave D

E van Hout said... .....Click here to refresh this blog

Mike Smith gave no indication of taking a break - I think something is up. Hope I'm wrong.

Tia Mysoa said... .....Click here to refresh this blog

@E van Hout (and others) – Mike also gave no indication of taking a break when the exact same thing happened in June this year. I think about 2 weeks passed before he came back online, without providing an explanation for his mysterious ‘desertion’… (not that I’m aware of)

For the record…

Blogger has been giving many hassles lately, and it’s sometimes quite a mission to get stuff posted. Spamming has also become a problem. You won’t believe the junk people post to the comment sections, and it has become a tedious task to sort out what’s-what… It is for this reason that I am on the verge of giving up blogging for good!!! Mike’s blog attracted 100x more visitors than this one, so there’s a possibility that his blog experienced 100x more problems than mine.

Mike, if you’re reading this please e-mail me and tell what’s going on!?!

Bill Good said... .....Click here to refresh this blog

Hi there. Well just having gone through your blog so to add another William to the list. The name of the Captain of ZS-BMH on the Saturday of the Waterkloof Airshow was William Good, but known as Bill Good in aviation circles. Amazing coincidence!! Flew this aircraft in the SAAF (serial number 6904)and am still involved with SkyClass Aviation flying this fantastic bird. Regards

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