PSA started flying the DC-3 on May 6, 1949. The first one was leased for $2000/month, with the owner expecting it to run 12 hours per month. When he found out PSA was using it 150 hours per month, the owner sent a 250 pound man to Burbank to repossess it. Needless to say, the lease was renegotiated.
In the early days, PSA received approval to operate the DC-3 to 27,500 lbs weight. Leo Leonard and Joe Plosser ended up flying the airplane. To operate the DC-3, they had to compute single-engine performance figures. After loading the airplane to the maximum weight with unsecured lead weights, they took off from Lindbergh. The two ended up climbing at about 150 feet/minute on only one engine...over Mission Bay!
PSA steadily added DC-3s through the years. One noted example is a plane PSA bought, and installed a chartreuse green interior in it. Passengers learned to hate the green airplane (N49840) until a new interior was installed.
The fleet information listed below is from PSA archives, and other sources. The dates are from PSA archives. No dates have been found for the other 4 DC-3 aircraft.
|0||N14959||C-53D-DO||11654||USAF 42-68727 |
BU Malta, 1979
|0||N17333||DC3-178||1919||PSA /52 |
CR 3/3/62 VASP PP-SQG
|0||N60233||C-47A-DL||19716||USAF 43-15250 |
BU Oakland, CA 1980
|0||N95487||R4D-1||4225||USN 3135 |
|0||N17186||C-47-DL||4247||USAF 41-7760 |
JA5019, Japanese Playground
|0||N49840||C-47||6006||USAF 41-18645 |
CR ANA 3/16/60, Japan
|0||N17085||C-47||6084||USAF 41-18678 |
DBF Mogadishu, Somalia 12-21-60
|0||N60256||C-47A-DL||9201||USAF 42-23339 |
Operated first flight
CR Pacheco, CA 1949 Arrow Air