Inside OSH AirVenture — Who Flies Those Warbirds?


AVweb‘s Look Behind The Controls

Doug Rozendaal arrived at Oshkosh flying a DC-3 and left in an F6F Hellcat. He doesn’t own either of them, nor does he own any of the Corsairs, B-25s or Mustangs he transports to air shows for owners. With a small nod and smile he offered, “I’ve been very lucky in my flying career.” Rozendaal’s education with warbirds began with flying freight in DC-3s and Beech 18s. These airplanes were not the well-kept examples seen around Oshkosh. But they provided a good, if hazardous, classroom. One Beech 18 had Rozendaal in IMC handling an emergency with his right hand and holding a cup of urine in his left.

The flight was an out-and-back to get a replacement part for an automotive assembly line. Rozendaal didn’t get a chance to “use the facilities” before launch but figured he could do that while they loaded up the plane. On landing, he found the forklift waiting. By the time he got out of the Beech, the pallet was being loaded and he was told to climb right back in. No problem, he figured he’d just use the relief tube after takeoff. He launched back into the clouds and peed into the tube, only to find it clogged. Then a tank ran dry and an engine quit. Welcome to the world of the freight dog.