Priscilla Queen of the Sky

by DJ Doran

PrideFlight is a moment in history. It is about my attempt to fly a DC-3 aptly named Priscilla Queen of the Sky and an icon of aviation, around the world as the 1st gay pilot to circumnavigate the globe by air. This flight will honor the history and contribution of the McDonell Douglas DC-3 and those pilots that have gone before me. PrideFlight will also be a real-world event that will demonstrate the past and continuing impact civilian and military aviation has had on our lives. 

I am planning on departing the Chicago area sometime in late spring of 2022 with planned stops in the U.S and over 30+ countries around the world on this global goodwill mission. We will attempt to meet with many people and cultures along the way, especially those in the LGBTQ community and hopefully bring needed focus to LGBTQ communities in countries that deserve our support and encouragement. 

Our Facebook and Instagram page will chronicle our preparation and journey and offer a glimpse into what it takes to get ready and then fly an epic flight like this through photos, videos and blog updates of our progress.  Be witness to everything from the highs to the lows and everything in between.  Journey with us through the crazy process of raising money to fund the restoration and finance the flight to the seriousness of mission planning to ensure the safety of me and my crew as we fly around and through some not so LGBTQ friendly countries at or below 10,000 feet.

The DC-3 is not a pressurized aircraft and flies relatively slow by todays standards.  To give some perspective the cruising speed of the twin engine DC-3 is roughly the speed of a modern single engine aircraft.  It is also not a pressurized aircraft so our operating ceiling is not much more than 10,000 feet unless we wear portable oxygen.  This means that if something goes wrong we have very little time to figure it out.  Given that we will be crossing large swaths of ocean (very cold, shark infested ocean), mountainous regions, deserts and countries that let’s just say don’t throw out the welcome mat for LGBTQ people, it is imperative that we do everything that we can to make sure we are able to stay in the air. 

At such a low altitude and slow speed we will also be pretty easy targets for those that want to damage the aircraft.  Lastly and unfortunately, we will also have no choice but to land in some countries that might deny us service or support because of who we are.  

In spite of all of this PrideFlight is about the never ending quest for humans to triumph over challenges and obstacles and this flight will demonstrate that LGBTQ people are not some fringe part of society but, instead show that we are part of the diverse fabric of the global community and that we also contribute and play important roles in the achievements of every nation. 

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