Wednesday 2 October 2013

Update on Convair ZK-CIB.

Jean210 has rightly pointed out that my blurb on the Convair 580 ZK-CIB3 was somewhat untrue.
So follows is an updated version of its history.
In 1953 Convair 440 c/n 96 was registered as N8420H to Union Production Inc.
It was damaged by fire at Shreveport Airport Los Angeles on 20-10-1955. (See comment 4 below).
To replace it Union Production Inc had the aircraft rebuilt on the San Diego Convair production line using a "new fuselage". This rebuild was squeezed in between Convairs c/n 327 (which became HB-IMB) and c/n 328 (OO-SCJ) and it was allocated a new c/n of 327A.
This was registered as N8444H with Union Production Co with a manufacture date of 09-05-1956.
 On 11-03-1966 it moved over to North Central Airlines Inc of Minneapolis.
Check out

A lovely photo from Neil Aird showing N8444H still with its piston engines. Taken on 27-08-1966.
More of Neil's photos at
She was soon after upgraded to CV-580 Turboprop standard and re-delivered to the Airline on 01-05-1969.
In a merger on 01-07-1979 it became part of the Republic Airlines Inc fleet.
Photo here:-
(with tail markings not unlike Fieldair's "Strangled Goose")
On 09-01-1983 it is listed as being involved in an accident. See:-
By mid October of 1983 it was in the hands of Jay-Dee Aircraft Supply Co of Santa Monica,
California and went out on lease to Coastal Air from December of 1983 through to September of 1984. Its registration was cancelled in October of 1984 as being destined for an operator in Panama.
It was noted at Tucson, Arizona in August of 1985 wearing "Ilsa Colon" (Colon Island) markings and was still parked there in March of 1987.

About this time it was marked up as TG-MYM and painted in the Aeroquetzal scheme. 
Photo above shows it as TG-MYM in Aeroquetzal colours at Tucson in May of 1989.
Photo by Jean-Marie Magendie via Jean210
 It was not delivered to Guatemala and remained stored until taken up again by Jay-Dee Aircraft Supply of Valencia, California on 20-03-1992 for delivery to Kelowna, British Columbia in May of 1992.
A pic of N8444H at Kelowna on 26-07-1992 (before freight door conversion) can be seen here :-
On 26-07-1995 it was registered as C-FCIB  to Kelowna Flightcraft Air Charters of Edmonton, Alberta and was fitted with a large cargo door on the left rear fuselage before being leased sold to NZ.
It arrived at Auckland from Pago Pago on 25-05-1996 and became ZK-CIB with Air Transport (Chatham Islands) of Te One on 10-06-1996.

Below - we are inbound to Wellington from the Chathams in October 1997 with Lake Onoke just above the engine cowl and Lake Wairarapa in the mid distance.
Looking through the prop arc on turn onto final for runway 34 at wellington.
A recent view of ZK-CIB at Christchurch on 09-07-2013.
The unusual tail emblem is a map of the Chatham Islands clearly showing the Te Whanga Lagoon, and with Pitt Island at the bottom and the latitude of "44 South".


  1. Seems like a bit of an unlucky aircraft...I had no idea it was involved in that fatality in the 80s. So when it was "rebuilt" in 1955 did they use parts/sections from the original aircraft (ie the cockpit section)? Seems like quite an involved process.

  2. Morning dhcomet.
    Sorry but I do not know the extent of the fire damage.
    The references that I have found all mention that it received a "new fuselage".
    I have this image in my mind - but it is pure conjecture so will not blog it and maybe cloud the aircrafts history even more.

  3. Intriguing nonetheless. I love a good mystery.

  4. The fuselage was completely burnt out during the fire from nose to tail. The wing was the only part salvaged. Interesting to note it was built as a 340,after the fire it was rebuilt as a 440 (no two convairs are the same). Air chathams purchased the aircraft from Kelowna, it was not leased.

    Here is a picture of the fire damage in question.

  6. Evening Anon.
    Alas that link does not work for me.


  7. Still flying today with Air Chathams. Saw her today at Wellington,NZ.

  8. Was N8420H destroyed at LAX or Shreveport, LA ? Reports differ..