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In August 2016 I visited the Aviodrome 'aviation themepark' at Lelystad Airport with my friend S. We did not just go there to look at the static show but we had a 'splash and go' flight with the oldest still flying Consolidated PBY-5A Catalina amphibious aircraft. This Cat is 75 years old (built in San Diego, Ca, in 1941)  and it is owned and operated by Stichting Catalina.

For a very reasonable fee they take you on a ~ 40 minute flight with two splash downs in the IJsselmeer/Markermeer. This is an awesome experience! You get an opportunity to walk up and down the aircraft in-flight, sit at the amazing 'blister' observation windows and look over the pilot's shoulders while they work hard in this all-mechanical bird.

During the (de)briefing by the enthusiastic ground crew and cabin staff you are told about the history of the PBY flying boats, and of this one in particular. It is not only the oldest still flying, but aso the most successful in its day: it sunk three German submarines and crippled a fourth.

This was a flight to remember. Highly recommended!

PH-PBY \'16-218/Karel Doorman\' on the Lelystad platform
PH-PBY '16-218/...
Landing gear de...
Fuselage detail
PH-PBY \'16-218/Karel Doorman\' on the Lelystad platform
PH-PBY '16-218/...
75 years old in...
Blister
Cabin, looking ...
Coming up on Le...
Safety placard
Splash and Go w...
Splash with flo...
Works in the Ma...
Looking over th...
Looking aft fro...
Looking forward...
Almost at splas...
Looking forward...
Port blister fu...
Overhead Lelyst...
Overhead Oostva...
 

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