FLYING THE HUMP

15 August - until we reach Guilin 2016

Commemorative Flight from Australia through Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Myanmar across the Himalayas to China


PRESS RELEASE

During World War II, 600 Allied Aircraft were lost crossing the Himalayas to supply the Flying Tigers in China. Japan controlled the entire coast of China, Philippines, Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, and then Burma. With the loss of the Burma Road, "Flying the Hump" was the only option to re-supply the forces fighting the Japanese from within China. This was one of the most dangerous flying routes at the time. The DC-3 and C47 aircraft were the primary aircraft tasked with this operation.

In August 2016, a C47 will depart from Australia and fly through Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Myanmar and "across the hump" to Kunming, then on to Guilin, China. The final resting place for this historic aircraft is to be the main exhibition display at the Flying Tiger Heritage Park and Museum in Guilin, China. This museum chronicles the critical contribution made by the Flying Tigers and the pilots who flew the hump to supply the Tigers during World War II. The timing of this flight is most critical, because at this moment, the United States, in cooperation with the Government of Myanmar, is currently conducting a MIA search and rescue mission for the remains of the 600 aircraft and 740 American crew members and other nationalities lost during this hazardous mission.

The Flight is being conducted to honor those men who served to bring victory and peace, and to the friendships between nations today that are charged with keeping the peace.

THE AIRCRAFT
A C47 named "Buzz Buggy" painted in D-Day Invasion Colors and owned by the Flying Tigers Organization. Upon arrival in China, the aircraft will be repainted with CBI (China-Burma-India) markings on one side and CNAC (China National Aviation Corporation) markings on the other side.

THE ROUTE
The Aircraft will be flown VFR via Darwin, Bali, Jakarta, Johor, U-Taphao, Chiangmai, Mandalay, Kunming, Guilin.
DAY 1 - Bathurst (YBTH) - Longreach / 666NM (4.8hr)
DAY 2 - Longreach (YLRE) - Darwin / 1,018NM (7.3hr)
DAY 3 - Darwin (YPDN) - Bali / 959NM (6.9hr)
DAY 4 - Bali (WADD) - Johor / 1,002NM (7.2hr)
*ENGINE FAILURE - Emergency Landing in Surabaya, Indonesia.
DAY 5 - Johor (WMKJ) - Utaphao / 654NM (4.7hr)
DAY 6 - Utaphao (VTBU) - Mandalay / 627NM (4.6hr)
DAY 7 - Mandalay (VYMD) - Kunming / 442NM (3.2hr)
DAY 8 - Kunming (ZPPP) - Guilin (ZGKL) / 371NM (2.7hr)

TOTAL DISTANCE - 5,658NM (40.5hr)
Current Wind (3,000') -- TAF -- METAR
Cloud Cover Enroute - Indo - Malay - Thai - Burma - China
View latest position on SPOT map (valid: 16Aug until arrival Guilin)

THE CHALLENGES
This is a very old aircraft and the engines have been carefully restored and prepared for the journey. Weather during the monsoon along the route will be a factor. The aircraft runs on 100LL avgas, which is harder to locate these days. We are receiving very kind assistance from the countries along the route. We have also heard that the Air Force in Myanmar may be interested in assisting with this historic flight. The Myanmar Air Force still operate PT-6 piston training aircraft at Meikhtila, and they have 90-92 octane fuel from China. This could be an exciting chance to work together and form friendships that honor a brave and historic past. We will update as this mission progresses.

"Over the Top of the World" by Roy Grinnell
C47 Flying the Hump
"Over the Top of the World" by Roy Grinnell is used with permission of Roy Grinnell and the Sino-American Aviation Heritage Foundation

AIRCRAFT SPECIFICATIONS (DC-3 / C47)

Registration - VH-XUX
Cruise (normal) - 140 kts
Fuel consumption (normal) - 108 GPH
Fuel capacity - 804 USG
Range (6,000' & 550bhp) - 1300 NM
Passenger Load - 27 Pax
Cargo - 7,000 lbs
TakeOff Roll (SL)=1,500'/Clear 50' obs=3,900'
TakeOff Roll (5,000')=2,100'
Initial Climb - 1200 FPM
Landing over 50' obs=2,080'
FF=100 USG=83.26 Imp.G=378.54 Liters
Gen Dec /

Vr=1.1Vs (tail up 43-52kts)
Vx=76kts (flaps 1/4)
Vy=87kts
Vcc=104kts
Vge=140kts
Vfe=104-97kts
Vref=1.3Vs
Vthreshold=1.2Vs
Vldg=1.1Vs (72kts)
Vs=60-75kts
Vso=50-65kts
Vne=221kts
Gross Wt=25,200lbs (11.5metricTons)
Engines=R-1830-90C (1200bhp/engine)
Alternate Fuel 91 Operating Limits:
(TakeOff=46"mp(sl)/2700rpm/AutoRich)
(MaxCont=41"mp(sl)/2550rpm/AutoRich)
(MaxAutoLean=34"mp(sl)/2250rpm)
 

THE CREW
Alan Searle - Pilot (Aus)
Bob Small - Pilot (Aus)
Larry Jobe - Pilot (USA)
Tom Claytor - Pilot (USA)
Barry Arlow - Engineer (Aus)
Mick O'Grady - Engineer (Aus)

INFORMATION CONTACT
Tom Claytor - tom@claytor.com

The History of the Burma Road and "Flying the Hump" (1945)

 
THANKS
Our sincere thanks to the following who are helping to make this flight possible:
Flying Tigers Historical Organization -- Florence Fang Family Foundation -- Chinese People's Association For Friendship With Foreign Countries -- Spirit of 45 -- Ralph Crystal -- Chris Smith -- John Boland -- Gerry Stort -- Barbara Bussler -- Dave Sanderson -- Adrain Heap -- Dave Ireland (CASA) -- Mike Little -- Erik Mol -- Ambassador Scot Marciel (United States Embassy in Myanmar) -- Jamie McAden & Zack Hohn -- Christian Mosebach (Myanmar Aviation Center) -- U Than Minn -- Danny Zonshine (Israel Ambassador in Myanmar) -- Kevin Pritz (Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency, Det-1 Thailand) -- Mac Thompson -- Myanmar Times -- 7 Day Daily -- Eduardo Loigorri
 

 


CNAC insignia "CHUNG" -- 1st character in the Chinese word for "China" (middle kingdom) -- Photo: James Dalby

 

        Burmese Article
Large Format Photos for articles

A Third of Allied Aircrews Died Flying Supplies to China in WWII
"The Hump" - A Cluster of 18,000' Peaks
Over the Hump to China (AFM)
The Hump (Wikipedia)
Elephants Help Allies Fly The Hump in WWII

www.flyingthehump.com

CURRENT LOCATION (track on 14-15 Oct 2016 "Over the Hump" to Kunming)
 
UPDATE
On 16 August, we flew from Darwin to Bali. Total time was a little over 6 hours in the air. It then took us 5 hours to refuel the plane from 11 drums of Avgas and to add 7 gallons of oil to the engines.

On 17 August, we departed Bali for Johor (Malaysia). After 1hr 30min into the flight, smoke appeared coming from the left engine. After 15 seconds, the engine started to vibrate severely, then fire appeared. We shut down the engine and diverted to Surabaya (25 minutes away). The Indonesian ATC was very helpful and we landed safely.

We have located several engines. We have to ship the engine to Surabaya and install it before the end of September. We are on the clock, because the annual on the aircraft expires in the end of October. All of our crew is working for free.

BRASS PLAQUE*
Please help us to complete this mission and cross the hump to China. Every person who contributes us$1,000* or over will receive their name on a brass plaque beneath the C47 at its final resting place in the FLYING TIGER HISTORICAL MUSEUM in Guilin, China -- https://www.gofundme.com/25ccc2zw
Engine Replacement Sponsors:
Tom Claytor* -- Lynn & Tony Hitschler -- Bonnie Ritchie -- Peter Cooke -- Francis Smith -- Michel Ryf -- Warren Claytor -- Anonymous* (x14) -- The Elephant Story* -- Ed & Joey Story* -- W.C.McDonald,III -- Turbosan -- Maggie McDonald -- Larry & Nina Jobe* -- Jacques Warnez -- Robert Hupertz -- Wichai Laksanakorn -- Richard Ries -- Thomas J. Martin -- Lisa & Eddie Pavlu -- Krystal Bigger -- Gordon & Brenda Ehmann -- Scott Stingel & Carole Wong -- Billy McDonald -- Elizabeth Wilkie -- Pinyada & Suchard Raksangob Phuket Airpark* -- Christian Mosebach -- Mick & Deb Breen -- Don Chapman -- Al Bartlett -- Ben Claytor -- Dale Baumler -- The Shadow Tiger* -- Kathy Mac Donald Adams -- Alan Gaudenti* -- Leon Liebster -- Stephen Gleit -- Johnny Via -- Gabrielle & Danielle Coelho -- John & Peggy Andrews -- Robert Lee -- Andrew Richardson -- Gerald Moon -- William Castle -- Xiaoying Hou -- Saundra Whitehead -- Legg Family Trust -- Stanley Crawford -- Richard Sicilianp -- William Palmer -- Martin McGuire -- Cameron McDonald Vowell -- Joseph Hyde -- Bill Bulfer* -- Logan Ma -- Jerry Baker -- Adam Griffith -- Edward Hay -- Mark Juza -- William Etheredge -- Jan Sonderstrom -- Jeremy Zawodny & Kathleen Moorse -- Catherine Santa Maria -- Worldbeat -- Cissy Thompson -- Stone Hanset Family Trust* -- J.T.Whitehead,Jr* -- Brannon & Sarah Claytor -- Lydia Rossi -- Ken Parker -- Richard Hague -- Michael Ward -- Daniel J. Pereira -- John Talbott -- Mel & Suzanne McGowan -- John & Sally Smikahl -- Bob Cowley -- Tom Rasmussen -- (as of 24 Oct 2016)

REPLACEMENT ENGINE READY TO SHIP
In late August, we purchased a replacement R-1830 engine (which weighs over 1,000 kilograms). It is now in Melbourne, as we are trying to negotiate the very complicated procedure to import an engine into Indonesia. The first quote we received from the maintenance firm located next to the aircraft wanted to charge us us$12.5 per kilo "Handling Fee" to import the engine. As you can see this process is going to be interesting. Larry Jobe is now in Surabaya and the American Consulate has been advising and assisting us with negotiations. THANK YOU EVERYONE who has believed in this mission and has generously donated to our replacement engine. Thank you to Al Marsh for his update in AOPA MAGAZINE.

SINGAPORE INVITATION
We have received an invitation from the Singapore Flying Club to land in the historic Seletar Airport after our departure from Surabaya. Singapore Flying Club is one of the oldest flying clubs in all of Asia, starting with seaplanes in 1928. They are trying to find sponsors for fees, avgas, and oil. In this case, we will alter our plan to land in Singapore to give a talk to aviator friends there and prepare for the next leg of the journey to U-Taphao, Thailand. Standby as we wait to hear more about this exciting opportunity -- Singapore Flying Club

BACK IN THE AIR
If you were wondering how long it takes a bunch of mostly 70-year old guys to change a 2,000 pound engine on a C-47 in the 30*C heat, the answer is 9 days. We had hoped it would take 5, and it almost did, but we had to make sure. The amazing story is how we did it. Indonesia has to be one of the most corrupt countries in the world. There is no straight answer to anything. Whatever is negotiated, then changes. Whatever amount is agreed upon, is then increased. This is a land where a very unique and special style of negotiation is called for. We started with a 500 us$ per day parking fee on an apron that belonged to the Navy. The chaps charging us, didn't even own it. Then there was the us$20,000 Customs "Handling Fee." We knew this was going to be difficult. We started with what is called in Indonesian as "Makan Tulu" (eat first). It took us about 2 weeks of forming alliances and getting our story in the Jawa Pos newspaper to change the tide of the forces against us. In most parts of the world, if you have an engine failure, everyone wants to help you; our experience at the airport in Surabaya was that, as soon as we had landed safely, everybody wanted to eat us. It started with our having to wait 3 hours in an Immigration holding area. They could have just given us a 30 day "tourist" entry Visa, but instead, they were trying to find some way to fine us and detain us, perhaps to extort money from us. Barry found a used engine back in Australia. Tom and Larry hit the ground hard and found the way to get the engine into Surabaya. Our new allies were the Chinese Consul General and her Economic Attache. They went with us to meet the head of Customs. Normally, Customs can hold an engine for up to 30 days, and it is also impossible to import a "used" engine. There are no "new" C-47 engines, but it was useless to explain that, so we instead imported "spare parts" for a complete engine. At one point in the negotiation, the head of the Indonesian Customs looked at us and said, "why is the China helping the America?" And there we were, and they certainly did help us. We cleared the engine in 2 days. The next problem was how do a bunch of mostly 70 year old chaps load a 2,000 pound broken engine into the back of a C-47. We were not allowed by Customs to ship the engine out. No; we had to fly it out. Next to us on the ramp, were about 15 Russians who were repairing their Sukhoi Jet. They invited us to drink Vodka with them. Tom and Barry were the designated drinkers. We asked them how they would load a 2,000 pound engine in a C-47, and they knew exactly how. More Vodka. The next day, we had a crane, some wooden palates, a few metal pipes and our 10 Russian friends. We lowered, levered, and heaved the engine right in and up inside the plane in about 20 minutes. No problem, more Vodka. And we learned the very important Russian Folklore expression, "Nee VeeZhoe PreeCheeNee, ShtoeBey Nyie VeePyiet" (there is no reason not to drink), and we made some good friends. The story goes on.... (more later).


"On Approach to Seletar" -- Photo by our friend Lim Yee Kiat

SINGAPORE
After a month in Surabaya, Larry was awarded the honorary "Surabayan" T-shirt. The symbol of Surabaya is a Crocodile and a Shark circling around a minaret. Aviation is a very small world, and the Thailand EAA Chapter had hosted "Buck," the Manager of the historic Republic of Singapore Flying Club, for a talk on the history of aviation in Singapore. Buck asked us why we weren't stopping in Singapore on our way North. We said that Johor in Malaysia was a cheaper option for us. It took Buck a few seconds to change our minds, and we received the most tremendous and welcome hospitality that any war-ravaged Surabayan C-47 crew could imagine. The club donated us a free drum of W120 Aeroshell Oil. All fees were waived. Jet Aviation took wonderful care of us, and all the members of the Flying Club turned out to greet us and take us to dinner and help with absolutely anything we needed. It didn't take Barry and Mick long to pull the cowlings off and start sorting out our rough magneto, and 2 days turned into 5 days. Seletar has some pretty strick rules, and you can only run up an engine in a special run-up area. This rule was enforced the first couple of days, but when they realized how long it takes a bunch of mostly 70 year old chaps to follow this procedure, an exception was made for an "APU-style run-up" in our special parking area. In the midst of one of our repair sessions, some young Singaporeans peered through a fence and politely commented, "You guys look like The Expendables..." 


 "In Formation..." with the Commanders of Jet Aviation Seletar

THAILAND
(coming)

MYANMAR
(coming)

THE HUMP POINT
15 Oct 2016, A text message to our friends: "We have crossed from Burmese to Chinese Airspace 15 minutes ago at LINSO point time 03:33Z‎ (11:33 Local Beijing). We immediately received excellent comms from Kunming Radio. We had to flight plan out of Myanmar at Flight Level F270, but we stopped our climb at 12,500'. As soon as we had contact with Kunming, they requested our climb to 4,500meters (14,800'). All his years in Papua New Guinea (45 years ago), he never climbed that high. We put the engines forward to climb power at 2350 rpm and 28" manifold pressure (we are off the placard charts on performance). The plane climbed right away and smartly to 14.7 in about 5 minutes. It is getting a little chilly now, and all of us forgot to put our wool socks on. Below us are sharp valleys and jagged brown rivers flowing back and forth. We have passed the few CB thunderheads on the border and we are about 500' to 1,000' above a cloud layer now. Larry has brought us up a bottle of O2 in case anyone feels light headed, but we are all feeling good at the moment. We are now passing overhead Lintsang Airfield (ZPLC). The Kunming Radio chaps speak perfect English to us, but all other traffic is speaking Chinese. A large town now appearing on the left. We are about to go into cloud again. Present groundspeed at this altitude is 150 Knots. We are now running on the Aux tanks which is the fuel (90-95 Octane) that the Burmese Airforce (TatmadawLey) kindly brought to us by truck from Yangon to Mandalay, then they pumped by hand 4 drums into our wings. We are now 1 hour out of Kunming. Larry says he will Kiss the ground in Kunming. This is an amazing airplane. The thought going through all our minds is that after fixing all the things and all the difficulties and the tremendous costs involved with our septuagenarian crew, this may well be the last time any C47 will ever fly the Hump."

KUNMING
(coming)
Xinhua News

 The crew arrives safely in Kunming on 15 Oct 2016 to a warm reception of many excited Chinese spectators

HUMP JACKETS
Ed & Joey Story and The Elephant Story have been generous contributors for our replacement engine. They have also designed a "Commemorative Hump Flying Jacket." Elephants were used during World War II to help load drums of fuel onto aircraft flying the hump, and The Elephant Story supports conservation of Asian Elephants -- Order Hump Flying Jacket.
 


Commemorative Hump Flying Jackets

 
EMAILS FROM THOSE WHO WERE THERE
Stuart Arnold -- raystuar@bigpond.net.au
Aug 13, 2016
Subject: Hump flight re-enactment
Gentlemen, Let me introduce myself. I am Stuart Arnold, ex Flight Lieutenant, Pilot, Royal Australian Air Force served in World War 2 attached to 52 Transport Squadron, Royal Air Force based in India, at Dum Dum, and flying Dakota (C47) Aircraft throughout India, Burma and over the "HUMP" into China. I did a total of 58 crossings of The Hump during 1944 and 1945. I was one of only 8 Australians flying into China and I believe I am the sole survivor of our group. I was a long time Member of The Hump Pilots Association until it became unviable and closed down. Perhaps you can now understand why I am contacting you regarding your proposed "Hump re-enactment flight". I am particularly interested in your planned route, mainly the second last leg from Mandalay to Kunming. This was never a route across the Hump flown by Dakota Aircraft during the war. Flights across the Hump from India departed from Dinjan and other nearby aerodromes in Assam in North- East India and took us over the high mountains and, as is now fairly common knowledge, it was prone to severe weather,high winds, turbulence,and icing conditions. Flying from Mandalay to Kunming would not re-enact this. I will be very interested to hear how well your flight succeeds and in a way I envy you your endeavours. It will have taken much planning and I wish the Crew 'Bon Voyage" and every success. Sincerely. Stuart Arnold
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Chris Bull -- chris.bull@verizon.net
Aug 20, 2016
Dear Tom, I have been following your flight having been alerted by Peggy Maher of the CNAC Association. Sorry to hear about the engine failure, congratulations in getting it down safely. My father, Gifford Bull, flew the hump for CNAC from late 1944 to August, 1945. He took a number of pictures during that time, most of which we know the location. But for a few I donít have a good location and canít find a match using Google Earth. Guessing from your proposed flight plan between Mandalay and Kunming, you will be taking a conservative approach and roughly following the Burma Road. This would bring you close to where I suspect two of his pictures were taken. He captioned them as coming down [from the Salween ridge] to the lower country around Paoshan. Would you be interested in seeing these photos and seeing if they match as you go? If you are, is this the place to send them, or is there a better way? Chris Bull -- ps. I recognize the photo of C-47 CNAC #82 in flight on your web site. This photo has become fairly widely distributed and attribution is frequently lost. It was taken by James Dalby, another CNAC pilot. My dad made copy negatives of some of the Dalby collection, so I have a print that is higher resolution.
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Chris Dennis -- christopherdennis@qantas.com.au
Oct 6, 2016
I saw your story and according to spot message you are stuck in Surabaya (SUB). Have you arranged for the replacement motor to arrive from Melbourne? Good on all of you for taking on such a challenge. My Father, Keith Dennis flew the Hump as a R.A.A.F. navigator / air gunner. He trained near Calgary, Canada and served with many Canadians. He had some interesting stories. He told me one story of pushing freight out the door when airborne. No safety harness in those days. The aircraft suddenly jerked and Keith was falling out! A strong hand grabbed him by the belt and hauled him back in. It was his Canadian crew mate Chris. I was named after him. Good luck. Regards, Chris
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Scott Daniel -- t6gtnr@yahoo.com
Oct 20, 2016
Alan, A personal note about the "Hump." A young man, Ivy Reese, lived near us and had enlisted in the Air Force and had become a pilot. He was home on leave before shipping out to fly C-47's over the "Hump." He was in his uniform and stopped by to visit. I was 10-yr's old. Daddy was a tank maintenance officer for Gen. Patton in North Africa and my brother was on a Destroyer in the Pacific. Lt. Reese thrilled me with flying stories and was a part of my determination to Fly. Ivy disappeared on a flight over the "Hump." Don't know how much longer America can last before collapsing. Keep the "blue side up,"
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