Coventry, UK (EGBE) - July 2008

Tuesday July 15th, 2008, saw the cessation of DC-3 pleasure flights in the United Kingdom. New safety regulations brought in by the European Community have made lockable cockpit doors, weather radar and inflatable escape slides mandatory on DC-3-sized aircraft carrying passengers.

Britain's Civil Aviation Authority is one of the first airworthiness agencies to bring these rules into force, applying them to majestic vintage aircraft like the DC-3 as well as to modern types.

The last few weeks before the final flying day saw record numbers of people signing up for pleasure flights all over the UK. For the DC-3's final passenger flight, it was fitting that Air Atlantique's DC-6, newly painted in Eagle Airways colors, took leave from its stint at the Farnborough airshow to act as wingman.

Air Atlantique Classic Flight still hope to persuade the CAA that the new measures are unnecessary, as evidenced by the fact that other nations in Europe have not taken up the new regulations. But until that happens, Coventry Airport will be a little quieter.

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