Jumpseating on the Breitling ‘Round the World DC-3 Part 1!

(Cover photo courtesy @Breitling SA)

Jumpseating on the Breitling ‘Round the World DC-3 Part 1!

Folks, I am very excited to announce one of the aviation highlights of the year for me. Recently, I was invited to a Press viewing and local joyride over Seattle, aboard Breitling’s fully-restored DC-3. And, not just any ol’ DC-3.

Jumpseating on the Breitling ‘Round the World DC-3 Part 1!

Miss Cleveland joins her sister ship, a Super Constellation. Photo courtesy @Breitling SA.

  As we speak, the DC-3 originally dubbed Miss Cleveland is making aviation history by attempting to become the oldest airplane to circumnavigate the globe! Currently, Miss Cleveland is well past the halfway mark, and making her way across the US to join EAA’s Airventure in Oshkosh!

  What’s more, I was invited to jumpseat along during one of their ’round the world legs, this one from Seattle to Portland!

Jumpseating on the Breitling 'Round the World DC-3 Part 1!

The gorgeous Breitling DC-3 graces Mt. Rainier with her presence!

  The cover story of the upcoming September edition of Airways Magazine, hitting bookstores and mailboxes in late July, will feature this epic jumpseat journey! (Recent and back editions can always be purchased individually online at airwaysmag.com/store)

  Right here, I’ll be sharing a few more behind the scenes tidbits and photos, to compliment our Airways story. The article itself will share my first-person account of the jumpseat—the sights, sounds, smells and feel of the journey—along with all the incredible emotions swimming through my heart during the trek.

Yes, I’ll be putting you right there in the jumpseat with me!

  In Part 2 of this series, we’ll share an excerpt from the article to whet your appetite, along with more behind-the-scenes photos . . .

and an exclusive, inflight video, taken from the jumpseat!

Aux Ayy! DC-3

But First . . .

  This week, I’d like to tell some of the backstory to this epic journey, both my own story and that of the Breitling team.

A TALE OF TWO JUMPSEATS

Jumpseating on the Breitling ‘Round the World DC-3 Part 1!

aux-ma-raph Jumpseating on the Breitling 'Round the World DC-3 Part 1!

Cap’n Raph visits Bunny and me in PHX.

  Our great Blog Buddy, Cap’n Raphaël Favre (featured in several previous blog posts—see links below!) is not only an Airbus Captain for a European carrier, but also happens to be one of the lucky few volunteer pilots aboard the Breitling DC-3 tour. (All of Breitling’s pilots are volunteers, and all are checked out at Captains.)

  Capt Favre was able to secure me not only a Press seat aboard their local tour of Seattle, but the jumpseat ride to Portland.

Squeezed into the 2nd jumpseat aboard an AK Airlines 737. My, but those FOs are looking younger each year!

Squeezed into the 2nd jumpseat aboard an AK Airlines 737. My, but those FOs are looking younger each year!

 Coincidentally, with all flights full to Seattle that day, I had to jumpseat aboard an Alaska Airlines 737. In fact, I had to sit in the 2nd jumpseat in the cockpit, to accommodate yet another jumpseater. If you know anything of the cramped layout of a B-737 cockpit, you know that four grown men in a cockpit starts to look like a clown car!

  For 2-1/2 hours, I sat scrunched up behind the Captain, knees to chest, and 1 cheek flopping off the tiny seat and crowding the second jumper to my right!

  But all the “suffering” was well worth it. In fact, it is always quite enjoyable to talk shop and swap war stories with crew from other airlines, to contrast and compare to your own experiences. In fact, it turned out that Cap’n John—whom his coworkers called “Big Bird”—and I had quite similar experiences, not only having flown in Alaska as bush pilots, but also in the Caribbean during Hurricane Hugo! (See, Gone With the Hurricane, Airways, September, 2015.)

  As we approached SEA, landing south, we flew not only over downtown, but also over Boeing Field, just a few klicks north of SEA. From my vantage point, looking over Cap’n Big Bird’s shoulder, I was able to look straight down and find my objective: Breitling’s DC-3!

Saying so long to Cap’n Big Bird and Co., I took a quick über to Signature Aviation Ramp, Boeing Field.

LIVE BROADCAST INTERVIEW

Jumpseating on the Breitling ‘Round the World DC-3 Part 1!

There, I was able to meet up with Raph, who gave me a tour and LIVE interview while preflighting.

Live Jumpseat FB!  Throughout the day, in fact, I broadcast several Live videos via Facebook, on fellow Blog Buddy Captain Jean Denis Marcellin’s crazy-popular People of the Sky page. (http://facebook.com/flyinghumans)

  Viewers such as yourself tuned in for our live interviews and flight. In all, nearly 10,000 hits during each broadcast!

  Without further ado, here’s the first of our four Live broadcasts, Our Preflight Briefing, raw and (mostly) uncut, with just a little audio tweaking  for clarity and ambiance.

Direct Link: https://vimeo.com/capnaux/DC3-1

PRESS JUNKET

Paul Raph DC-3

Jumpseating on the Breitling ‘Round the World DC-3 Part 1!

Next came the briefing for the local press. Captain Paul Bazeley briefed the press on the DC-3, its history and stories, as well as the flight we would take over Seattle. After the briefing, about a dozen lucky reporters—myself included—piled into the plane for a 20′ flight over Seattle.

Buzzing downtown Seattle at 1,000 feet above the ground was great fun—and no doubt a PR boon to Breitling—but the real fun began the next day at 0800, when I was able to have the plane flight crew all to myself for the 2+ hour journey south to Aurora, Oregon. All along the way, we did touch and goes at several airfields, so that Cap’n Raph could get some practice in. Whenever I could get a decent signal, I broadcast live over Facebook. In all, four broadcasts.

Cap'n Raph in command, and wearing one-a my favorite hats!

Cap’n Raph in command, and wearing one-a my favorite hats!

I’ll be uploading an edited version of those videos next week, when we feature snippets from the Airways article itself!

Till then . . . 

THIS IS CAP’N AUX . . .

IMG_7405Best!

JUMPIN’ OFF!

Jumpseating on the Breitling ‘Round the World DC-3 Part 1!

Flight of Miss Cleveland—Timetable and Specs

 

Route and Schedule

Route and Schedule

Route and Schedule

Route and Schedule

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Related Articles

 

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CLEARED TO LAND

Departing July 20

Team Aeroshell ROCKED it!

Team Aeroshell ROCKED it!

A Celebration of Oshkosh!

—  —  —  —

FINAL APPROACH

Departing July 27

3 Cockpit Amigos via Raph

Jumpseating on the Breitling ‘Round the World DC-3 Part 2!

  2Comments

  1. Raph   •  

    Eric, your article is absolutely stunning!! It feels like if we experience the thrill of the flight again when you read it. Thank you for your excellent work.

    • Cap'n Aux   •     Author

      Thank you, Raph! So glad our resident DC-3 Cap’n enjoyed it! More to come!
      Eric

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