Saturday 11 August 2012

The blog header photograph.

I was just thinking about replacing the Fokker Friendship header photograph on Thursday when this newspaper clipping arrived out of the ether from the same Anonymous provider.

Below is an extract from this email

"Re the F27 header photo on your site which I sent you several months ago.
I have been cleaning up a lot of "old folders" of late and found the attached cutting amongst the dust and ghosts.
I cannot recall the paper which ran the article nor the date.
Historical info in the text would indicate somewhere around the first half of 1972 and it could well have been the Evening Post in Wellington.
Leo De Vries, pictured in the article, (A Dutchman by birth and an ex KLM man) was still alive earlier this year and I believe living in Waikanae.
The natural progression of time has thinned the ranks of many who flew and there are now only two of us remaining who flew in the LH seat of the DC3 and F27 in this "totally unique and enjoyable" job. "
I have dug up the following pics that show ZK-DCB at various stages of its career.
Above - in magic monochrome - is ZK-DCB tied down at Paraparaumu on 27-11-1972.
It has the "New Zealand Ministry of Transport" loggo  along the lower fuselage. The NZMoT loggo just behind the cockpit appears on all these pics - as indeed does the "Fokker" one at the tail end.
On 10-05-1985 I captured it at New Plymouth. Now with "Calibration Flight" on the upper fuselage.
It did a couple of stints with The Mount Cook Group, and is shown above at Christchurch on 27-10-1986. (It was not officially listed to them until 03-11-1986). It has lost its "Civair" from its tail and has "Mount Cook Airine" over the "NZMoT" on the lower fuselage. Still with "Calibration Flight on forward upper fuselage.
During its second period with Mount Cook - as seen above on 12-04-1989 - it carries the Rununculus (Mt Cook lilly !) on the tail.

ZK-DCB (c/n 10445) first flew on 07-12-1970 in the Netherlands as PH-EXF.
It was registered as ZK-DCB on 19-03-1971 to the Ministry of Transport, Civil Aviation Division and was handed over to us on 22-03-1971. It ferried out through Singapore reaching Wellington on 02-04-1971.
It was transferred briefly to The Mount Cook Group from 03-11-1986 until returning to MoT CAD on 21-01-1987.
It returned to Mount Cook on 14-11-1988 - remaining until returning to the MoT Air transport Division on 02-08-1991 to be sold to Aviation Capital Enterprisis of Wellington on 05-11-1991.
It flew out of Auckland to Norfolk Island on 02-03-1992 and was spied in Brisbane on the 7th. It was cancelled from the NZ register on 02-03-1992.
It - along with ZK-DCA and ZK-DCG - went to the Pakistan Navy.
The link below will show ZK-DCB in its later Pakistan Navy scheme.


  1. If my memory serves correctly they were the only F27's built with APU's in the R/H Nacelle.

  2. I meant to mention that, as its shows up reasonably well in the photos.
    DCA and DCB had the APU but I believe DCG did not.

  3. A great article put together and greatly appreciated on part of New Zealand history. Job well done by all, Thanks CMM

  4. Gidday Blue Bus - you are quite right, ZK-DCG did not have the APU facility. Equally, both ZK-DCA and ZK-DCB were configured very differently by having a Navigator positioned in what would have been the forward starboard cargo area when in a passenger role. ZK-DCG did not have any of this, it was simply purchased as a passenger aircraft to undertake VIP / passenger activity as well as light calibration work, such as VASIS checks and the like. Later in its career there was some extra wiring installed in the cabin area for calibration activity but this did not get as serious as the activity of ZK-DCA and Zk-DCB. While the "navigator office" was moved more toward the passenger cabin during time, it was soon completely removed when the first of the new satellite technology started to appear. Cheers, Paul D.

  5. Thank you for the info. It sounds pretty user friendly. I guess I’ll pick one up for fun. thank u...

    Calibration Singapore

  6. The main task of NZMOT Calibration flight was to measure and record the performance of radio navigation from the air.The South Pacific area covered was bounded by Tahiti, Tarawa, New Caledonia, New Zealand. Initially by ex wartime radio ops, later by qualified avionics people. At any one time there were only three operators employed, eight of us in all from the 1940's to the 1990's. The job was interesting and at times hectic. The wartime guys are all gone but the other five are still around.