Dorado Wings

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Dorado Wings
Commenced operations 1964
Ceased operations 1982
Operating bases Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport, Puerto Rico
Fleet size 13 BN-2A Britten Norman Islanders
3 Handley Page Jetstreams, 5 de Havilland Canada DHC-6 Twin Otters
1 Piper Navajo
1 Fairchild Swearingen Metroliner
Destinations Dorado Airport; See below
Headquarters San Juan, Puerto Rico

Dorado Wings was a small airline that operated from Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport in San Juan, Puerto Rico to Dorado Airport in the tourist center of Dorado. Dorado Wings was the only commercial operator at Dorado Airport. Dorado Wings existed from 1964 to 1982. In early 1982, the airline was purchased and its name was changed to Crown Air which operated until 1988. Aircraft operated were 13 BN-2A (Britten Norman Islanders), 3 Handley Page Jetstreams, 5 DHC-6-300 (Twin Otters), 1 Piper Navajo, and 1 Metroliner.

Flights from San Juan to Dorado took a mere 15 minutes. Because of the shortness of their flights, Dorado Wings airplanes were a constant sight every day at many airports throughout this part of the Caribbean. Airports served in Puerto Rico were San Juan International (SJU), Isla Grande (SIG), Dorado Beach (DBA), Mayagüez (MAZ), Palmas Del Mar (PDM), and Aguadilla (BQN) (former Ramey Airforce Base). Other airports served were St. Thomas (STT), St. Croix (STX), Tortola/Beef Island BVI (EIS), Virgin Gorda BVI (VIJ), St. Kitts (SKB), St. Maarten/St. Martin (PJM), St. Barts, and Anguilla (AXA). Still more airports were served on a charter basis.

Pilots (there were 900 to 1,000 of them during the history of the company) have wonderful memories of the good times and say it was the best jobs they ever had in aviation. No mortgage, car payments, worries or cares mostly.

Incidents and accidents[edit]

In 1981, a Dorado Wings airplane suffered an accident on a non revenue flight after take off at San Juan airport. There were no major injuries or fatalities, though the aircraft was totaled.

The airline was, at the time, part of a group of smaller Puerto Rican airlines that were seen commonly at San Juan's international airport. These also included Flamenco Airways, Prinair, Oceanair and Vieques Air Link, of which, as of 2012, only Vieques Air Link and Flamenco Airways survive.