Another Aviation Legend Lost
This is the photo used to celebrate the life of "Captain Jack" at a special gathering of friends, family and representatives of the RAAF at St.Patrick's Estate, Manly following a private cremation in the morning. A flypast in honour of Jack included a Spitfire, Kittyhawk (the type of aircraft Jack ...
The reverse of the photo card with Jack in his favourite DC-3. This is the Agenda for the special Celebration of the life of a wonderful Aviator, Family Man and Friend.
Jack's son John gave a memorable and heart felt Eulogy in celebrating his father's life, reminding all gathered what a wonderful father and faithful friend Jack really was. There was hardly a dry eye in the audience.
Former Fighter Pilot Jack Curtis with Michael Johnson, son of the famous WWII Battle of Britain Fighter Pilot "Johnnie" Johnson at the Australian Aviation Museum
The aviation world is now the poorer with the sad passing of Jack Curtis who, at 90 years of age, was the oldest and certainly the most experienced and respected DC-3 Captain in the world.
A good friend of long standing, Jack was for many years based at the Australian Aviation Museum site, Bankstown Airport where at one time no less than 7 DC-3 (C-47) aircraft belonging to Dakota National Air (also known as Dakotas Down Under and Discovery Air Tours ) operated Joy flights over Sydney, Night Champagne Flights and Tours to the Wine Region of Mudgee.
Other flights included Skydiving operations and, perhaps the most popular, flights to the Temora Aviation Museum on operational days.
Jack Curtis began his flying career with the Royal Australian Air Force during World War Two, flying a range of aircraft types, including Kittyhawk fighters with 450 Squadron.
After the war, he joined Trans Australia Airlines and served throughout Australia and New Guinea. While with TAA , Jack gained command experience on a number of aircraft including the DC-3 , DC-6B and Bristol Freighter, as well as the Viscount, DC-9 and Boeing 727 .
During his long flying career, Jack logged more than 22,000 hours, including 7,000 in the cockpit of the DC-3.
Just recently I had the honour of hosting a surprise 90th birthday party for Jack, organized by devoted friend Ray Molyneax and attended by his family and a great many friends, including former TAA and DNA colleagues.
Jack was taken totally by surprise, and we all enjoyed his stories of past aviation adventures and “misadventures”. He had a wonderful sense of humour !
There will be many a tear shed at the passing of this wonderful man.