Monday 27 April 2020

I remember when.

In 1972 the Government and People of New Zealand decided it would be a good idea to gift five Fletcher FU24-950's to the Government of the People's Republic of Bangladesh.

Here we see the first two at 'Aviation Radio' at Wellington Airport being fitted with communications gear prior to their delivery flights.

ZK-DIJ was c/n 173 and was registered to Air Parts (NZ) Ltd at Hamilton on 06-11-1972 and first flew from there on the 29th.
I snapped it at Wellington on 04-12-1972 with dual nationality markings.

Its NZ registration was cancelled on 18-01-1973 for it to become S2-ABW with the Bangladesh Department of Plant Protection at Dacca.
I know not of its ultimate fate.

The second aircraft was ZK-DIK c/n 174 also registered to Air Parts (NZ) Ltd at Hamilton on 06-11-1972. It first flew on 04-01-1973 and was captured below at Wellington on 23-01-1973.                      

 Note the red spinner.

 This script was on the port side only on both aircraft.
It departed from Auckland for Norfolk Island and Brisbane on 06-03-1973 with its NZ registration being cancelled on 06-03-1973.
 It became S2-ABX later in March.
This registration was cancelled on 04-09-1981 and it reverted to ZK-DIK on 16-10-1981 to James Aviation Ltd at Hamilton. 
It was ferried back to NZ, spending some time in Australia, before doing the Lord Howe Island to Auckland leg on 22-03-1982 bound for storage at Hamilton.
On 12-07-1988 it departed Auckland for Lord Howe Island, was cancelled from the NZ register on the 14th, and became VH-HTB on the 22nd with F Fahey of Cowra in NSW.
Unfortunately it had a fatal wiretrike at Frogmore NSW in November 1989.

The other three Fletchers were :-
ZK-DIL c/n 175 which became S2-ABY until returning to NZ as ZK-DIL in October of 1981. 
It went to South Canterbury Aerial Top Dressing Co-Op Ltd in July 1983. 
It was written off near Fairlie on 30-08-1997.

ZK-DMP c/n 178 was listed with Air Parts (NZ) Ltd on 31-05-1973, first flying on 10-08-1973 and then registered to Dalcom Aviation Training Ltd of Wanganui from 12-06-1974. 
After only a short stay it was back with NZ Aerospace Industries Ltd (NZAI) at Hamilton from 31-07-1974. 
It passed through Norfolk Island on 08-09-1974 on a demo tour of South East Asia. 
As a interesting aside - it had been painted as S2-ABZ in NZ - but after its NZ registration was cancelled on 03-0-1974 it actually became S2-AAG with the Bangladesh Department of Plant Protection. 
After being withdrawn it was restored to its old ZK-DMP registration on 16-10-1981 but remained in Australia becoming VH-KXT in mid-December of 1981 via Pays Air Service before moving to Col  Adams of Cootamundra NSW from 22-12-1981 with whom it is still listed.

ZK-DMQ c/n 180 was listed with NZAI Ltd at Hamilton on 25-06-1973, first flying on 05-03-1974 and was cancelled on 14-05-1974 and became S2-ABZ. 
It was restored to ZK-DMQ 16-10-1981 with James Aviation Ltd of Hamilton but also remained in Australia becoming VH-EMQ and is still active with J & R Wild Pty Ltd at Tenterfield NSW.

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