Built by Douglas as DC-2-115A with Constructor's Number 1317. First flight on August 16, 1934. This was the first DC-2 operated by Royal Dutch Air Lines KLM.
Nicknamed "Uiver" (Stork).
1934 MacRobertson London to Melbourne Air Race
During the MacRobertson Air Race between London and Melbourne during October 1934, KLM entered this aircraft. Out of the 20 entrants, this DC-2 finished second behind only the purpose built de Havilland DH.88 racer Grosvenor House. During the total journey time of 90 h 13 min, it was in the air for 81 h, 10 min, and won the handicap section of the race.
On the night of October 24, 1934, the aircraft became lost over the town of Albury, NSW, Australia. With the help of locals lighting an improvised runway, the aircraft force landed safely on the Albury Racecourse, opposite the site of the current Albury Airport.
According to the Albury-Wodonga Australia website:
"It was the night of October 24, 1934, when a hopelessly disorientated Dutch entrant in the MacRobertson International Air Race was saved when the city’s entire lighting system was flashed on and off during a torrential storm to signal the word 'Albury' in Morse code. The plane had lost all communications and after circling for hours trying to get its bearings in the pitch-black night, was about to run out of fuel. The sound of the heavy drone of the plane’s engines overhead had alerted the city to its plight and an appeal for cars to go to the Albury Racecourse was broadcast by the local ABC station. At 1.20am with about 80 vehicles assembled in two rows, headlights blazing, the Uiver began an approach to land. It bumped several times on the undulating centre of the racecourse, ran 200 yards and slithered to a halt 100 yards short of the inner fence. Saved were the crew of four and three passengers, who walked from the plane without so much as a scratch to show for their ordeal."
On the morning of December 20, 1934, while operating on a flight from Schipol to Batavia, the aircraft crashed at Rutbah Wells in Iraq, killing all seven on board. This was
the first loss of a DC-2, and the first fatal incident involving the aircraft type.
Ex RAAF DC-2 A30-11 is painted in the markings of this aircraft and was previously displayed as part of the Uiver Memorial at the Albury Airport.
Ex RAAF DC-2 A30-9 has, for a time, been painted in the markings of the "Uiver" and is now owned by the Moorabbin Air Museum, Victoria.
Ex USN R2D-1 Bu No 9993 / NC39165 is in airworthy condition and operated by the Aviodrome, the Netherlands, in the markings of PH-AJU.
Albury-Wodonga Australia - The Night Albury Saved the Uiver DC-2 and All on Board
Aviation-Safety.net - DC-2 PH-AJU
Thanks to Daniel Leahy for his assistance with this profile
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January 9, 2018