Sunday, 7 March 2010

From the old shoe box. Trislander ZK-LOU

I've just had a rat around in the shoe box of non catalogued colour slides looking for items to try on a new slide scanner that I have borrowed.
Behold; I found the two shots below of a Britten-Norman BN.2A MkIII-1 Trislander.

Above is DQ-FBY as seen outside the Wellington Aero Club rooms on 30-01-1973.
This aircraft with the c/n of 322 was initially allocated the BN trade plate markings of G-51-322. (G being for UK; 51 was allocated to Britten-Norman products. and 322 was the aircraft c/n).
It quickly became G-BAFF to BN on 17-10-1972 and first flew on 01-11-1972.
It was delivered to the Australian agents (Islander Air Service of Lakemba NSW) on 05-12-74.
The UK marks were cancelled on 01-01-73 and afaik was leased to Fiji Air Service from 01-02-1973. (the above pic in its DQ marks was taken a couple of days earlier).
It was demonstrated in NZ and obviously did not last long in Fiji because it was registered as VH-BGS on 29-06-1973 to Barringer Surveys of Sydney for whom it was fitted with a tail magnetometer and under wing fuel tanks.
In June of 1976 it joined Bush Pilots of Cairns - the pic below was taken at Cairns on 31-03-1977.

Bush Pilots became Air Queensland in 1982 and the Trislander was sold off to Douglas Airways of Port Morseby where it became P2-DNX on 19-08-1983. It returned to Australia in May of 1995 where it was allocated - but did not take up the VH-CYC registration - more Company trade letters I suspect - settling on VH-MRJ instead with Cape York Air followed by a short stint with Murchison Relines of Mt Magnet in WA and Bushstar Pty of Kalgoorlie.
It was crated in December 2003 in Queensland and shipped to North Shore for Great Barrier Airlines with whom it became ZK-LOU and carried out its first service on 22-01-2004 from Auckland to Great Barrier Island.

Above we see it at Clarris on GBI on 03-03-2009.

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