History of DC-4 c/n 27352, by Gil White

 

C-54E-15-DO
VH-PAF
C/n 27352

Manufactured by Douglas Aircraft Company Inc. at Santa Monica and delivered to the U.S.A.A.F. on 14/5/1945 seeing war service as 44-9126. The only difference with this aircraft from the other types was that it had a different fuel tank arrangement whereby the cabin tanks were replaced by collapsible bag tanks in the wing. Whilst in service with the U.S.A.A.F. and later with the U.S.A.F. aircraft was mainly used to transport cargo and troops when required. In December 1971 aircraft was withdrawn from service and placed in storage at Davis Monthan Air Force Base in Arizona. Purchased by Dross Metals Inc. at auction on 13/11/1975.

A reprieve from the ultimate fate of scrapping came when it was sold to Transglobal Inc., which was based at Fort Lauderdale in Florida on 5/10/1978 and registered N9013V. Sold to Flying Fish of Indiana on 7/9/1979. Leased to Tiger Leasing of Pompano on 7/1/1980. Due to some infraction of the law the Sheriff of Hardee County on 22/1/1980 seized this aircraft. Sold to Carolina Aircraft Corporation on 14/7/1980. Ownership of aircraft was transferred to Florida Aircraft Leasing Corporation on 1/10/1980. Later withdrawn from service and placed in storage at Fort Lauderdale in Florida.

Sold to Thomas F Mach on 24/1/1981. It was to be further involved in trouble as the Bahaman Authorities seized the aircraft at Nassau for smuggling during April 1981. Sold to Force International Enterprises in November 1983. Resold to Lynch Air Tankers, which was based at Billings in Montana on 14/6/1984. Ownership of aircraft transferred to Lynch Air Cargo Inc., when the company was renamed on 28/3/1986.

Purchased by Pacific Air Freighters Pty. Ltd, which was based at Archerfield Airport and ferried to Australia from Montana and known to have routed via Chino, Hilo and Majuro. On arrival at Majuro aircraft was delayed for a few days with a mechanical defect, which needed to be rectified before the ferry flight continued via Honiara, and Cairns and arrived at Archerfield on 16/6/1995. The ferry flight was under the command of Captain G Layton one of the co-owners of the company.

Initially this aircraft operated in Australia under the American registration. Its first revenue earning service for the company was flown on 30/9/1995 when it flew general freight from Brisbane to Noumea. Reregistered VH-PAF to the company on 31/1/1996. Its first revenue earning flight for the company under the Australian registration was flown on 16/2/1996 when it carried freight from Eagle Farm to Honiara. Whilst in service with the company aircraft mainly used for cargo charters to the Pacific Islands.

Over the weekend of the 10th and 11th of August this aircraft was a visitor to Essendon Airport to celebrate the 75th Anniversary of the Airport. Whilst at Essendon it put on a spirited display and the crew of the aircraft allowed interested people the opportunity of seeing over the aircraft and also asking questions.

On 14/10/1996 aircraft commenced a long term lease to Goroka Air Services of Papua New Guinea however on 25/12/1996 it returned to Australia after operating in New Guinea for only three months and refuelled at Cairns on the way down to Brisbane. After arrival at Brisbane aircraft has remained static with a security guard being its constant companion. Aircraft was advertised for sale by tender in March 1997.

Sold at auction on 22/5/1997 at Archerfield to Airfreighters International P/L, which was based at Palm Beach and registered to the company on 13/10/1997. Departed Archerfield for its new home at Lismore on 29/6/1997 and on arrival was parked there. Even though Air Freighters International owns this aircraft it still operates under the name of Pacific Air Freighters.

On 15/9/2000 this aircraft was chartered by Ansett Australia Cargo and departed Brisbane for Darwin carrying a consignment of general freight. After arrival at Darwin it was chartered by the United Nations and carried fright to Dili. Returned to Darwin and departed for Cairns on route to Brisbane on 23/9/2000. Over the 23rd and 24th of October aircraft was chartered by Pacific Air Express to operate a Brisbane - Honiara - Brisbane flight carrying a load of tuna on the return flight and again chartered by Pacific Air Express to operate a further charter to Honiara and return to Brisbane.

VH-PAF In October 2001 noted at Archerfield Airport but on 2/12/2001 noted at Bankstown Airport with Trans Australia Airlines on the left hand side of the fuselage only for a film.

Still in service with the company as a freighter in 2004 carrying freight within Australia and also to Fiji, New Caledonia, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands and Vanuatu when required. Withdrawn from service and noted parked at Archerfield in February 2005 for sale.

 

© Gil White (2006)

To my page Australia 2005


Gil White 2005IN MEMORIAM.
"It has been a great pleasure to have known you all, but my days are now numbered." -24Jun06.
Gil White passed away on 27Jun06. He will be remembered by me as a enthusiastic (Ansett) historian and a courageous person; may he rest in peace.


 


Last updated 26.3.2006