Saturday 4 June 2011

Pics from Gisborne #3

Two view of the "Porta Cabin" used by SAFE AIR as passenger accommodation in their two Bristol 170 Freighters used on the Chatham Island service. these two Bristols (ZK-CLT and ZK-CRK) were the only two of the fleet to retain all of their fuselage side windows - to match up with the windows on the "Cabin".
this unit is held at Gisborne by the Gisborne Aircraft Preservation Society. Photos again from ZKDDG.
For more on the Chathams click on the link below.

Below is a view of ZK-CLT, c/n 13157 ,  "Merchant Hauler" taken on 04-06-1987and cunningly marked as "NZ5913" during its stay at the RNZAF Museum at Wigram. It later went to Canada and was written off in April of 1997. Note the full compliment of fuselage windows.
 Below is a shot of ZK-CRK , c/n 13159 , "Merchant Islander"  on the grass strip at Hapupu on the Chathams on 09-10-1969. This was before the days of the Porta Cabin, when freight was loaded through the nose doors and the passengers sat at the rear of the aircraft.
 Below is what is left of ZK-CRK today at the Ferrymead Museum in Christchurch.


  1. Reference the picture of ZK-CLT - NZ5913: As I understand it, when Safe Air sold (or donated?) the aircraft to the RNZAF Museum, the aircraft was actually taken on charge by the RNZAF and registered as NZ5913, thus the ZK-CLT registration was cancelled. As I recall, the purpose of doing this was because the aircraft could not fly as a civil aircraft unless engine overhauls could be undertaken - but it could under the "military flag". It flew to BM-WG and after being parked at the WG airfield for some months it then flew back to BM. Again, my understanding is this: that there was a push for the Museum to operate/fly the Bristol to promote itself etc but this got opposed by those higher up the chain. At this time there was also the push to get C47 NZ3551 airworthy again and for the same reasons this got squashed too. In the end, the engines from B170 NZ5903 were swapped over into NZ5913 (these had much more life left in them) and the aircraft was then sold to Canada to produce cash for the Museum. The aircraft returned to BM as NZ5913, then after "export maintenance" NZ5913 was cancelled and it was re-registered as ZK-CLT. As ZK-CLT it flew to Ardmore then ultimately left NZ on delivery export. During this whole time, the aircraft remained in full Safe Air livery (without Safe Air on the fuselage) but had the "LT" rego on the nose and tail cone. Hope this fills the knowledge history - if indeed i have got it right too!!. Cheers Paul D.

  2. Thank you Paul D.
    That is pretty much as I understand it as well. It was withdrawn by Safe Air on 23-09-1986 and its civil registration was cancelled on 07-01-1987. It was flown down to Wigram on 21-05-1987,presumably on its military marks of NZ5913. Then - as you say - the engine swaps etc with the Museums NZ5903 took place. It returned to the NZ civil register as ZK-CLT on 25-07-1988 listed with Trans Provincial Airlines of Prince Rupert in British Columbia, Canada. It departed Auckland for Pago Pago on 07-10-1989 and its NZ registration was cancelled on 12-01-1990 for it to become C-FTPA sometime in June of 1990. Ownership passed to MRS 4000 Investments Ltd on 21-04-1994 and then to Hawker Aviation Services in August of 1994.
    Its undercarriage collapsed at Bronson Creek, BC on 24-04-1997 and it was written off and cancelled the following month.
    Thanks again for you input.

  3. Have a look at this short video clip and accident brief.

  4. Thanks Blue Bus. I was on duty when the aircraft flew the VFR sectors WB-WG and later WG-WB using the callsign of "Freighter 13". The photo of NZ5913 at WG actually highlights the engine change had taken place: the engine cover and associated fairings are camoflauge brown - straight from NZ5903!! Cheers Paul D.

  5. Good spotting there Paul D.
    I hadn't associated the darker cowls to being post engine change.

    Well done that man !