“Passengers are requested to mind the mule upon arrival…”

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BP-Mule

Like a still taken from a Hollywood action set, this photograph speaks louder than the roar of the propellers. A lone Douglas DC-3 is parked beneath the blue skies of Colombia’s eastern plains and aptly named ‘Air Colombia.’ ‘Air Colombia’ moves people and goods across an expanse of jungle which extends from the foothills of the eastern Cordillera to Brazil, and unites very remote communities such as Barrancominas, Puerto Inirida with the cosmopolitan hubs of Villavicencio and Leticia.

Designed in 1935 as the Douglas DC-3, the ‘Air Colombia’ aircraft was originally purchased by the U.S. Air Force, before being sold to the Royal Cana- dian Air Force, and in 1982, ended up in the sweltering tropics. The DC-3 revolutionized commercial air travel around the world and the plane became a standardbearer of the growing transportation industry; moving, as it still does today, teachers, medics, engineers and military across parts of a country otherwise unknown. And don’t expect inflight entertain- ment other than views of treetops. In case one gets hungry in the metal hull of the plane, at the back, there are boxes of fish and freshly-cut stalks of plantain. When disembarking from the reliable“work horse” stay clear of the mule

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