Monday 30 July 2012

Long Beach Fletchers.

Jean210 has very kindly sent in these three photographs of Fletchers seen at Long Beach, California, in the early 1980's. All three are in spray configuration.
Above is N212FA c/n 253 as seen at Long Beach, California in July of 1980.
It was first flown at Hamilton as #253 on 19-02-1980.
It gained its US CofA on 16-06-1980 with Frontier Aerospace Inc.
I believe it eventually migrated down to Venezuela and became YV-2221P


The N.Z.A.I Fletcher FU24A 950 with the construction number 240 was built at Hamilton and initially listed as ZK-EGR to NZAI Ltd on 12-07-1977. It however was not completed as such and it was re-registered on 16-09-1977 as ZK-USA, still with NZAI at Hamilton.
The photo below shows ZK-USA at Hamilton in November 1977 with the long range tank fitted in the cockpit, and comes from the CMM collection.
It flew out from Hamilton and spent the night of 18-11-1977 at Norfolk Island; moving on to Nandi the following day; and then on to points northeast. It was destined for display at the US National Agricultural Aviation Association Convention.
Below is a small clipping from Flight International dated 19-11-1977.
WHEN the National Agricultural Aviation Association convention opens at Las Vegas, Nev, on December 5, New Zealand Aerospace Industries will be among the exhibitors with the current Fletcher FU-24-950. The aircraft will be ferried over by Aerospace chief test pilot Cliff Tait and will have its spraying equipment installed on arrival in the United States. Fletcher will make a sales tour following the three-day convention and will be sounding the market for its forthcoming Cresco turboprop version of the FU-24, now under construction.

Another pic can be seen here :-

Its NZ registration was cancelled on 07-12-1979 and it became N4917Q with Frontier Aerospace Inc at Long Beach on 21-12-1979. It went to Paine Air Service Inc of Brawley, California during 1980 but was back with Frontier in 1981
Above is N4917Q c/n 240 taken in February 1982, with some real nice background airframes !
My next reference mentions that this Fletcher was written off when it struck a tree on 26-09-1982 in Mexico.


Below is Fletcher FU24-950 N37509 c/n 251 as seen on 18-02-1981.
It first flew at Hamilton using is c/n of 251 as its "registration" on 07-12-1979.
It was first listed with Frontier Aerospace Inc at Long Beach, California on 18-02-1981.
It later went to YV-426A with Fumigadores Aereos, Los Condores.
Thanks to Jean210 and RJD for details and pics.


  1. Thx for the info!

  2. From Lord Nelson - I'm sure you have seen in the 3rd shot of N4917Q is the tail of Fletcher N212FA

  3. Gday Lord Nelson
    When 4917Q was photographed, it looks like 212FA was ignored (at least on slide film) because it had already been bagged. There may be a b&w of that revised scheme, but my shoeboxes are in deep storage.