O’Leary, Michael

Last April when Carlos Gomez was helping get the Camarilla Connie ready for its epic trip to Switzerland, we had a chance to talk with Carlos about the acquisition of the Douglas DC-7 that he had purchased with his partner Marc Wolff. They had purchased N836D in November 2003 from owner Joe Kocour who had the plane for nearly 33 years. Parked at historic Holman Field in St. Paul, Minnesota, the transport was beginning to look very ragged. The aircraft had operated with Eastern Air Lines before going to the Nomads Air Travel Club. When Kocour purchased the aircraft in 1971, he flew it to St. Paul with the intention of starting the Twentieth Century Travel Club.

However, for various reasons that never came to be and the plane remained parked at Holman Field. Starting in June, Gomez, his father, and a small crew of volunteers went to work on the old beast. The reason the two men acquired the plane is that is still fitted with it original passenger interior which is in relatively good condition.

After considerable work, the DC-7 got airborne on 7 August and headed to a refueling stop in Atlanta before continuing on to its new home base in Miami. Plans are to return the aircraft to full airline configuration and then hit the airshow circuit. The restoration should take about two years. Watch the next issue for a full story on this rare survivor.

Copyright Challenge Publications Inc. Nov 2004

Provided by ProQuest Information and Learning Company. All rights Reserved.