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DC-3 Crash Survival - A Miracle!

(continued)

Davis recalls that Thursday, June 20 began as a very exciting day for him personally. He and the two experienced pilots with whom he had been working , were set to take the Chariot up for some practice flights.

Although Davis had flown the aircraft before, he had yet to handle a takeoff or landing. This was the day he would get that opportunity.

"We took off from the airport with me at the controls and we flew to Conroe. I handled the landing and I remember that we came down without a bump or skip. I was very proud of that landing," he recalled.

After refueling the aircraft, the three were going to take her up again, this time with George "Buddy" Roberts of Houston in the captains seat and his fellow pilot; Ron Holder of Kingwood, flying as copilot.
"Both of these men flew the DC-3 in Vietnam and between them had more than 4,500 hours in that type of aircraft," he said, noting that both men are now commercial pilots who fly with Continental Airlines out of Houston.

Holder, however, needed to be recertified on the DC-3 by another pilot and Roberts was to oversee that operation.

Immediately after the plane left the Montgomery County Airports runway, Davis recalled that he removed his seat belt and walked forward to stand behind the two pilots.

I was going to observe them but I had no sooner gotten behind them when the left engine lost power. Things began to happen really fast at that point," he said.

Davis said with the loss of the left engine, the aircraft began to quickly lose airspeed, a very dangerous situation for an aircraft of that size.

"They were trying to keep enough speed so they could bring her down in a controlled crash," Davis said."By doing that, they would have some control over where and how the plane came down." (continued)

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