Saturday 2 September 2023

Douglas DC-3 ZK-BBJ update


Thursday, 18 November 2021

The tale of Douglas DC-3 ZK-BBJ

Check out this STUFF link for the sad demise of the Douglas DC-3 ZK-BBJ  (Adverts and all). 


Actually this DC-3 has not featured on this Blog previously.

So here is my take on it.

Douglas C-47B-45-DK c/n 34222/16962 was built as s/n 45-959 for the U.S.A.A.F and appears to have been taken on charge on 20-07-1945.

It was almost immediately handed over to the RNZAF and became NZ3552 with a delivery date of 16-08-1945 and served mainly with 41 Squadron until struck off charge in mid-July 1952.

It joined the NZ Civil Aircraft Register as ZK-BBJ in July 1952 with NZNAC and was converted to civilian DC-3C status at Palmerston North from 08-06-1953 and given the name 'Piripiri'. 

ZK-BBJ at Christchurch pre-mid 1960's

ZK-BBJ at Taieri about mid-1960's

It was upgraded to Skyliner standard and renamed 'City of Gisborne' from 17-03-1964.

Luggate Game Packers Ltd/Alpine Helicopters Ltd hired it from 31-07-1970 for the transportation of deer until it was parked up at Palmerston North in about October of 1971 with title passing to Fieldair Ltd on 29-05-1972

At Palmerston North 20-11-1972 still wearing Alpine Helicopters Ltd titles.

Its conversion for the agricultural role was completed in December 1974.
Photo above from Joohn Anderson shows ZK-BBJ in its agricultural role on 14-02-1975.

The Company name changed to Fieldair Holdings (Central) Ltd on 18-11-1980, and then to Fieldair Holdings Ltd on 30-03-1984
 It served in the ag role until 05-05-1987 which I believe was the last DC-3 ag flight in NZ.

It was then converted back to the freight role for Fieldair Freight Ltd who listed it from 08-02-1988.
As noted at Christchurch on 14-09-1987.
Sold to North Shore Helicopter Ltd of Albany from 19-04-1993 it departed Ardmore for Norfolk Island on 21-04-1993 for Cambodia, Somalia and Kenya.
Its NZ registration was cancelled on 14-09-1994
It has been derelict at Mombasa for some years.
Photo  above taken by David Trupe at Mombasa on 29-01-2021 via Airport-Data-com.


  1. Really sad to read this. I have a photo of myself (aged 5 ) taken on the tarmac at Mangere as I am about to board her for the second to last service to Whangarei flown by a DC-3.
    Shame BOBH could not have saved her as well.
    Another piece of NZ aviation history bites the dust.

  2. These photos of the DC3s with Dave Paull on them does that mean you've been plane spotting that long or are just part of your collection?


  3. Yes I have been 'plane spotting' That Long.
    Started when I was in High School in 1961 or 1962.
    Where have those years gone ?

    1. Quite a legend Dave .
      And yes where have those years gone.



      Anonymous has left a new comment on  'The tale of Douglas DC-3 ZK-BBJ':

    This plane is on display at the Mombasa go kart track as of August 2023.
  1. UPDATE 02-09-2023 
  2. From Kenneth Brown showing ZK-BBJ in the Mombasa go cart track. 
  3. Photographed last month.
  4. The script on the fuselage reads " Book The Party Plane Mombasa - "

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