The bell rings and the hay bales go out the door.

Even in her penultimate year of airline operations, DC-3 VH-ANR was still performing relief work for the communities she had served faithfully for decades. After floods in north-west New South Wales in 1971, VH-ANR was pressed into service air-dropping hay bales to stranded livestock. This photo was taken on one such flight to Walgett on 11 March 1971. Standard equipment in the galley of passenger DC-3s was an electric bell for the purpose of signalling "Brace for Impact". On these flood relief flights, a short ring would signal "prepare to drop" and a long ring would be the signal to drop. As VH-ANR was always a genuine small door DC-3 and not a converted C-47, it was necessary to operate these flights with the outward opening door removed. A sheet of thick plywood helps the bales to negotiate the corner around the galley.
Photo: Bill Bray Collection