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The EUvil Empire strikes again

The EU has determined that passenger flights by DC-3’s flown by Air Atlantique Classic Flight or any one else must cease when new regulations come into effect on July 16th of this year. These rules are imposed upon and override UK regulations, so even though the UK CAA is on the side of Air Atlantique, it will make little difference. Brussells, not London, is the capital of the United Kingdom.

The new rules require any aircraft with more than 19 passengers must have an armoured door to the crew cabin among numerous other modifications. They even demand an inflatable slide be added to the passenger door. There are no exceptions for classic aircraft and thus after July 16th the soulless gray men will make the European world that much more like themselves.

The EU Federal State is a special case of the general truth whose promulgation is a primary raison d’etre of Samizdata: The State is Not Your Friend.

Note: If you want to fly on a DC-3 before your betters prevent you for your own good, you had better hurry. You can reach AACF at 08703-304747 for reservations.

22 comments to The EUvil Empire strikes again

  • I wonder if, say, just supposing, it was a Breguet, a Snotzine, or a “Eurine” (the sort of small plane someone in EuroStalinia might build and sell) or that Brazilian monstrosity, the rules would be so applied?

    Perhaps because most old and still living (and therefore good by definition) planes are and were American, this is a problem for them.

  • Dale Amon

    Your suggestion would assume bureaucrats were actually intelligent enough to think of such things.

  • Kevin B

    I’ve flown several times on a DC-3 and the inflatable slide would need to be at least three foot long. By the time it was inflated, all the passengers could have jumped out. In fact, the slide could not be steep enough to get any impetus, and would get in the way of any escaping passengers.

    As for the armoured door to the cockpit. I used to enjoy flying in old aircraft since one could wander up to the cockpit, have a chat with the crew, make a cup of coffee, and look out at the land below.

    But the problem with not enforcing the absolute letter of the regulation in this case, ( as any bureaucrat will explain), is that if you let these guys get away with it, every non state-owned airline in Europe will immediately remove all it’s slides and armoured doors to save money and make profits for the nasty shareholders, because it’s not as if a reputation for cutting corners on safety and security will cause the cowboy airlines any business.

  • Alice

    But …. it is for your own good! These brave & selfless bureaucrats are simply taking care of the children, even the children who are themselves the parents of the next generation of children.

    Now, about those sharp knives in kitchen drawers all across mighty Europe ….

  • NUB

    To someone who lives in Europe this criticism sounds a bit strange, since there are virtually thousands of rules imposed by EU council and commission that could be abolished before abolishing security related rules. E.g. rules concerning freedom of contract, freedom partly removed by anti discrimination directive, product laws defining what a banana looks like…

  • Brian

    Excuse my ignorance, but can’t they just remove sufficient seats from the aircraft to bring it below the limit?

    The weight thus released could be used for a decent bomb load. I’d certainly pay to drop some on the Palais De Parasitisme at Brussels, Luxemburg, Strassburg or Paris.

  • CountingCats

    Moving off topic, but related to the control freaks –

    A wonderful new word I read today at LGF in relation to Michelle Obama – ‘victocrat’

    I guess it is meant to mean rule by, or on behalf of, victims.

    I think that describes all the shits in control these days.

  • Dale Amon

    Kevin B: And so what happens if they do? Caveat Emptor. Accidents ruin airlines. The impact of the regulators is not a fraction of the cost imposed by the market on those who ignore safety.

    As to the dilemma of those poor bureaucrats… since I’d love to see them in the unemployment line where they belong, you can hardly expect me to sympathize with their ‘problems’.

    The only good bureaucrat is one who quits and gets honest employment.

  • Saladman

    Even better than armored cockpit doors: armed pilots. Many of us in America, at least, have learned our lesson. I pity Europe when they reap the whirlwind.

  • Jacob

    To someone who lives in Europe this criticism sounds a bit strange

    That’s true. There are millions of regulations in EU. Nobody is too worried about them. Nobody takes them too seriously. You Brits think that regulations exist in order to be implemented. Wrong. They exist in order to provide employment to the writers and legislators. Also in order to be broken. That’s the usual practice.

  • Good point, Jacob. Not a good reality, but a good point.

  • permanentexpat


  • Are you saying that this company should simply fly in the face of this regulation (pardon the pun) and to hell with the consequences, because there probably won’t be any?

    I doubt that…

  • Kevin B

    Dale, I guess I didn’t lay the sarcasm on heavily enough.

    Of course it’s a market issue. But for years the process has gone something like this. The media gins up a huge problem, (often pushed by a pressure group). The politicians have to be seen to ‘do something’ so they pass a stupid law which does nothing to ‘solve’ the ‘problem’ but keeps the rabid press pack off their back for a while. Rinse and repeat, often with the same issue, and you get the kind of regulatory nightmare the modern state has devolved into. (And for our smug US friends; SOX to you).

    The thing about the EU bureaucracy is that they’ve become pro-active. They no longer wait for a public controversy to trigger their regulatory zeal. They have whole departments researching situations which aren’t sufficiently regulated.

    Until we elect politicians with sufficient balls to turn around and say ‘Stop!’ the regulations will continue to multiply until it is impossible to do business or even live one’s life without breaking numerous laws. Of course this will then lead to massive corruption and, eventually, revolution, and the whole process will start again.

  • Paul Marks

    A good, although sad, post Dale.

    Yet again something that gives joy to people is destroyed in the name of “health and safety”.

  • DocBud

    Apparently, there are about 15 DC-3s still being flown in Australia, couple of sites below:



    What could be better, a DC-3 flight and a few weeks from under the EU jackboot? The downside would be updating all the new EU and UK laws passed while you were away.

  • Midwesterner

    Jacob at February 24, 2008 12:58 PM left out one other important service they provide to our masters. Selective prosecution. Difficult people who don’t accept their proper place in the scheme of things can be prosecuted at whim with laws that are unenforced on properly subservient subjects.

  • Barnacle Bert

    It seems sadly ironic that an aircraft that was used to drop thousands of Airborne troops in Normandy to ultimately free Europe from German National Socialist tyranny, followed by the integral part that these aircraft played in the Berlin Airlift, saving Berliners from Soviet tyranny, has ultimately been brought down by some faceless bureaucrats at a the stroke of a pen.

    Sums up what the EU(SSR) has become.

  • llamas

    There’s a bunch of DC3’s still flying for a living in the US. 3 of them are based at Oakland-Pontiac Airport, in the Northern Detroit suburbs, where they are used to fly auto parts from place to place. All are (I suspect) actually C47s since all 3 have the double cargo door configuration. One of these venerable old buggers goes growling over my house most evenings.

    There’s an outfit up in the Great Lakes that puts turbo-prop engines in them. Should be good for another 60 years of service.

    I had the pleasure, several times in the early 80’s, of flying in the DC3s operated by Provincetown-Boston Airways out of Boston to Cape Cod. Nothing like it in the world.

    The regulation is, of course, sheer stupidity, the result of the ‘hobgoblin of small minds’. I fear, however, that the result for Air Atlantique will be inevitable and all that will happen is that the US or other nations will get another dozen DC3s to make good use of.



  • virgil xenophon

    Sadly, like Churchill, we will never see the like of the DC-3/C-47 “Dakota” again. Being designed in the pre-
    computer slide-rule days it (along with most of its other pre-computer siblings–like the 60’s C-130 Hercules)
    was so “over-engineered” as a fudge factor for safety
    that it is practically immune to metal fatigue, etc.

    By contrast, today’s computer-designed aircraft allows the ability to design right up to the breaking point so as to meet budgetary constraints. Hence things like the recent unprecedented breaking in half behind the cockpit of a USAF F-15 during practice aerial combat that resulted in the grounding of some 400 AC of that same production bloc–most of whom may never fly again de-
    spite being hundreds of hours of flight-time below their
    projected useful life.

  • llamas

    Virgil xenophon – sorry, but that’s a wildly-simplistic view of aircraft design.

    1) The Lockheed C130 is indeed a design of fantastic capability, in a class with the DC-3/C47 – but it ain’t immortal. High-mileage C130s of the A-B-C series are being retired and scrapped, precisely because of a widespread and understood problem of – guess what? – metal fatigue in the wing box structure. Here’s how that goes:


    (warning – graphic video)

    The C130 fleets of the US and other militaries are in a recycle mode, which is possible because the production line for new C130s is still open and the latest -J models can be ordered brand-new. The -J model has been completely computer-analysed, up-engined, and improved in 1,001 other ways, and is expected to be the strongest, liftingest and longest-lasting C-130 model to date. It can fly further, faster, higher, land shorter, take off shorter, and generally do everything the earlier models could do – better.

    2) A single F15 crash due to a suspected structural failure doesn’t prove – anything. In any event, the F15 that crashed was a C-model – first delivered in 1978. FGS, isn’t 30 years life out of a first-line combat interceptor airframe – which is designed and expected to work at the outer limits, and beyond – isn’t that actually a pretty good design?

    3) The DC3/C47 was not designed as a military aircraft, but as a passenger airliner. It’s not fair to compare the two – a military aircraft design may well be deliberately compromised eg in service life or in margin of safety, to obtain performance benefits, in a way that would not be tolerable in a passenger aircarft which has to earn its living day-in-and-day-out.



  • Romeo D

    once again the eu bureaucracy is forcing more of their unpopular legislation upon us, its about time that someone told them what to do with their legislation and leave the c47 dakota alone