Flight in King's DC3 - Nov. 1960

    Again, if memory has some degree of accuracy, the country's Saudi Arabian Airline planes were piloted in 1960 by contracted pilots from TWA.  These US civilian pilots often flew in to Riyadh and need a place to stay.  If hotel accommodations were not available, we would put them up in our villa.  We got to be good friends with several of these pilots and they returned the favor of hospitality by doing favors for us, such as bringing in "sadiki juice" (definitely forbidden alcohol), outside souvenirs (e.g., Keith's camel saddles from Egypt), and other outside purchases (e.g., Keith's replacement 35mm camera smuggled in from the free port of Aden under the floorboards of the King Saud's personal plane).  

    On at least one occasion, a pilot took some of us up on a flight around the Riyadh area.  This was in the King's smaller DC-3 which he used for in-country flights.  This plane needed to be flown occasionally and we were happy to tag along to see our neighborhood better from the air. (If you can help with better identification of these photos, please contact Keith.)  [Thanks to contact from Martin Lovegrove of the UK (lived in Riyadh 1964-66), additional identifications have been made as indicated in green type below]


This is the King's plane at rest at the Riyadh Airport.  Canada Dry manager, Mr. Beebee, is on the right here (this must have been taken at a different time as I don't recall him going with us - maybe just seeing us off?).

Our friend and pilot on left; one of our guys in copilot's seat (his name forgotten.?).

The pilot was then a close friend, but sadly his name too has been forgotten over all these years. (Can you help us identify him?)

Scotty in the back of the plane. Very fine accommodations compared to the inside of our regular military "desert run" Gooneys. 

This shot, which includes Keith, is looking forward in to the cockpit area.

As we taxi out we get the view of the barebones runway (no landing lights as they had been picked up previously by enterprising Bedu).

As we take off, we get a good look at the airport terminal building complete with control tower, neither of which I every remember being occupied. 

Getting airborne, we look down on the airport and our compound area, this view being probably to the southwest.

A section of the previous photo is blown up & labeled to show the location of our 3 villas relative to the airport & jump tower landmark.

This southerly view shows were we lived relative to downtown Riyadh.

Not far outside the city is very much empty space.

Crown Prince Faisalís palace - Prince Faisal later to become King Faisal in 1964. 

And here is the first of several aerial views of the huge palace complex of King Saud.

Another palace view (see previous 2 albums for on the ground views from our palace tour).

Another palace view, with Prince Faisal's farm visible in upper left quarter of this photo.

Another such view.

Only a small portion of palace area can be seen here beneath the wing tip; more of the city of Riyadh can be seen above the wing.

A farm area being developed in the surrounding desert.

A view back toward the city - Northerly view with city center foreground left - curving road upper center would be Airport Road with "barrel" round tower building on right at beginning of curve - ministry buildings on left - & airport runway barely visible to right of end of Airport Rd.

Obviously an old neighborhood here - possibly in east or southeast portion of Riyadh.

This black & white shot is of the ruins of the ancient capital of Diriyah, located about 20 miles northwest of the center of Riyadh.

Next we flew out to the great escarpment not too far from Riyadh.

Here we get a little closer to the escarpment.

And one more faded black & white photo of the escarpment beyond the wingtip. 

Back to civilization, we see more of the city of Riyadh.

Road going left to right under the aileron is the road to the airport with a few ministries visible and the Yamamah hotel just by the aileron.  The round tower and the Rose of Orient Hotel are also visible by the crossroads. Diagonal road foregound runs northeasterly past the Canada Dry plant & King Saud Univ.

Here we look down on Airport Ave. (horizontal line) & the ministry buildings (MODA just above the wing emblem).

Under the wing tip here we can see the Hotel Zahret El-Shark (left of road) & the MODA building (location of our offices to right of Airport Ave.)

Here the locations of the Al-Yamamah Hotel and MODA are clearly marked. Downtown Riyadh would be just out of sight upper right.

An enjoyable flight completed, our pilot friend is greeted by Louie Prima.

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