Dakota Hit By a SAM-7 Surface to Air Missile on 1 May 1986

In 1986, a Dakota (The Douglas C-47 Skytrain or Dakota (RAF designation) is a military transport aircraft developed from the civilian Douglas DC-3 airliner) while on a flight to Ondangwa at about 8000 ft was hit with a soviet SAM-7 missile. The explosion ripped off most of the Dakota’s tail. To add additional pressure, the Dakota was full of military VIP passengers including the Chief of the Army.
Captain Colin Green slowed the Dakota down to 100 knots in order to keep it under control and called for help. There was a chopper in the area which formatted on him and relayed the damage to him. The chopper also took the picture’s.
Apparently Captain Green ordered the passengers around the aircraft to regulate the centre of gravity before going into land. Using flaps and power to control the pitch (up and down), he landed it onto the tarmac.
Captain Colin Green was later awarded The Chief of the SADF Commendation for his exceptional flying skills.

Previous Image
Next Image

info heading

info content

Photographs: Captain William Good collection

“They patch her up with masking tape,
And paperclips and strings,
And still she flies and never dies
Methuselah with wings”.

There is also a Lourens Fourie song about this incident called “Puff The Magic Dragon” (lyrics are below):

Puff The Magic Dragon – The Recces – Lourens Fourie

Due to international sanctions, the South african Air Force had to keep her aging aircraft serviceable. This “flying museum” included the largest fleet of WWII Dakota light cargo planes. Dakotas were fitted with 20 mill machine-guns for self-protection, hence the name “Puff the Magic Dragon”. SAAF pilots lent a new meaning to “Low level flying” with a hundred feet above ground level considered as VERY safe!

You’ve never been a soldier
If you don’t know how it feels
In a battered old dakota
That flies from tree to tree
Now don’t you worry Corporal
Now come on force a smile
For Puff may huff and the ride is rough
But she’ll do that extra mile

And Puff the Magic Dragon
Will always fly and fly
For ever since the Great World war
Those Pratt & Whitneys sighed
And Puff the Magic Dragon
For ever rules the sky
Yeah Puff the Magic Dragon
Will always fly and fly

One day in the Ovambo
The Old Lady made her way
On the Rum Run to Enhana
With a rat pack load that day
When a Soviet served SAM-7
Tried to take her from the sky
And without a tail and rudder
The Madam kept her flight

(Guitar Solo)

So keep your fine airliners
Your supersonic planes
Without Puff the Magic Dragon
It will never be the same



This is the Official Website for South African Military Veterans Organisation of the USA - SAMVOUSA Their ideal is our legacy - Their sacrifice our inspiration At the going down of the sun, and in the morning, we will remember them.

Posted in Interest, SADF Tagged with: , , , , , ,