Opa-locka Airport - June 9, 2006

Opa-locka Airport - June 9, 2006

Ralph M. Pettersen


It had been over a year since my last visit to Opa-locka so I decided to make the trip south to check out progress on the DC-7B restoration. Carlos Gomez was in Switzerland flying with the SCFA Super Connie but he hooked me up with his flight engineer Douglas. The enormity of the restoration effort hit when I saw that almost the entire left fuselage had been re-skinned and the plan was to do the same with the right side. Outer wings sections and other parts had been donated by International Air Response from their scrapped Chandler DC-7ís and definite progress was being made on the project.

I spoke to Carlosí dad Martin and he told me that Frank Moss would be making a flight to Indianapolis later that day with DC-7 freighter N381AA. They would be carrying car parts that were arriving from Brazil early that afternoon. About an hour later Frank, his son and Dick Zerbe showed up and began preparing for the flight. Dick Zerbe owns Carvair N89FA and would be flying co-pilot with Frank that day. They invited me to join them for sandwiches in the airplane and I spent an hour or so listening to some very interesting war stories. By now it was 2:00pm in the afternoon, the airplane had been fueled but the parts still hadnít arrived. It was time for me to leave the 1950ís and rejoin my wife, who was patiently waiting for me at the hotel. I donít know if the parts ever arrived and they made the flight but it was a real treat to hang our for a few hours with Martin, Frank and Dick!


Click on the photo for a larger version

Ralph M. Pettersen
February 10, 2008


Page Top


----Created 10 February 2008----