Couple convert a plane into guest accommodation in Great Southern

If the DC-3 aeroplane that will soon act as an alternative accommodation option on a rural West Australian property could speak to its guests, it would have some interesting stories to tell.

At the age of 71 years, the plane may have entered its retirement some time ago, but in its earlier days it was used by the Dutch during World War II and flew passengers when taking a commercial flight was considered somewhat of an adventure.

Those heading to WA's Great Southern will soon be able to have an adventure of their own by staying in the old aircraft overnight in its new resting place which has views of the Stirling Range.

Pleun and Hennie Hitzert bought the aeroplane in 2012 and have spent the past two years fitting out its internal space to create accommodation space on their property.

The plane will add to the existing self-contained cottage-style options available to guests at The Lily, located about 100 kilometres north of Albany in the Stirling Range National Park.

The couple who came to Australia from The Netherlands in 1980 with their three children for "a bit of a change" and "more open space" have been running the property since 1989.

On it is a Dutch windmill used to create stone ground flour, a restaurant and vineyard in addition to accommodation.

Mr Hitzert who has done much of the manual labour to transform the plane said working from the aircraft's manuals meant he had experienced few great challenges other than one issue.

"Everything is round, nothing is square so that can make things difficult," he said.

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The Californian built DC-3 was ordered by the United States Army Air Force in 1943. 

A year later it was issued to the Netherlands East Indies Transport Section, based in Brisbane, where it operated supply flights for Dutch military units, and later the airlifting of liberated Dutch POWs from New Guinea to Australia.

The plane then carried passengers for the KLM Royal Dutch Airlines before operating more commercial flights for Garuda.

Whilst operating a charter flight in 1974 from Broome to Timor the plane experienced engine trouble and the pilot had to return to Broome where it had to do a "belly-landing" without its wheels lowered.

It never flew after that, instead being used as a tourist bureau in Broome, then an aviation museum and passing between a few different owners before the Hitzerts bought it.

While there have already been a number of enquiries about bookings to stay in the plane, Mr Hitzert said he had did not have a firm date for when it would be ready.

He is hoping to have it ready by late October in time for the commemorative events of the Anzac anniversary in Albany.

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