DC-6 c/n 43127: its History by Gil White

Douglas DC-6
C/n 43127

Manufactured by Douglas Aircraft Company Inc. at Santa Monica in California. Aircraft initially ordered by Scandinavian Airlines System and allocated the registration of SE-BDI, which was not taken up as the aircraft was sold to British Commonwealth Pacific Airlines. Registered as VH-BPG on 29/10/1948 and delivered to company on 17/12/1948. Whilst in service with company aircraft was named 'Adventure' which was named after one of the sailing ships that were commanded by Captain Cook on his various voyages of discovery.

Sold to Tasman Empire Airways Limited in May 1954 and reregistered ZK-BFB. Struck off the Australian civil register on 17/5/1954. Whilst in service with this company aircraft was renamed 'Arawhata'. During 1956 aircraft was reregistered ZK-BGB and retained the name of 'Arawhata'. Sold to the Royal New Zealand Air Force on 16/5/1961 and given the serial number NZ3632. Its first flight with the Air Force was flown on 25/5/1961. Whilst in service aircraft was based at Auckland with No 40 Squadron and saw operations as a personnel carrier.
This link shows a photo with damage to the rear while serving as NZ3632.

In early 1964 this aircraft was surplus to the Air Force's requirements and sold to the San Francisco aircraft dealer Lamb Associates Inc. on 19/4/1964 and reregistered N254N. Sold to National Interests Inc. in June 1964. Sold to Pacific Western Airlines, which was based at Vancouver on 13/3/1965 and reregistered CF-PWP. Sold to Lamb Associates Inc. on 17/2/1971 and reregistered N80MA. Resold to Mercer Airlines and used for passenger charter work out of Burbank in California during March 1971.

Sold to Aerial Applicators Inc. which was based at Salt Lake City in Utah during May 1972 and whilst in their service was known as 'Tanker D20'. At this stage aircraft was fitted with large belly retardant tanks to begin a new career in aerial firebombing.

Sold to Sis-Q Flying Service, which was based at Santa Rosa in California on 13/5/1981. During May 1985 sold to Macavia International Corporation. Later withdrawn from service and placed in storage at Santa Rosa in California.

In February 1991 sold to T & G Aviation for use as an aerial fire bomber. Later withdrawn from service and placed in storage at Chandler Field in Arizona. Sold to Pacific Harbour Capital Inc in February 1993 and resold to Barron Thomas Aviation Inc, which is based at Wilmington in Delaware and registered to the company on 25/1/1994.

Sold in July 1994 to Air Transport Office, which was based at Kinshasa in Zaire and reregistered 9Q-CPL. Struck off the American civil register on 6/7/1994. Whilst in service with Air Transport Office aircraft is operated as a freighter. Registered EL-WNH in Liberia to Air Transport Office in August 1997. Sold to Socata in the same month. Allegedly took place in clandestine smuggling flights during the war in the Congo. Aircraft was abandoned at Lanseria, South Africa and as at September 2004 has been reportedly utilised by the Airport Fire Service for rescue training.

Still being utilised in December 2004 for a useful purpose.

© Gil White (2004).

back to Propliners around Johannesburg, 2004



Created: 28-01-05 Updated:
28-6-05