Douglas DC-3 VH-CAN - 1979 onward

After finishing up its long service with the Department of Transport and predecessors, DC-3 VH-CAN was sold in 1978-79 to Paradak for use as a parachuting jump ship. It is seen in the photo above in Paradak colours at one of the Schofields airshows in 1979, shortly after joining Paradak.

After Paradak VH-CAN went to DC3 Queensland, who sold it in turn to John Love, an ex Albury Flight Service FSO, in approximately Sept/Oct 1991. The later photo below shows VH-CAN with Flight Australia titles at an unknown location, probably in the late 1980s.



In about April 1994 John Love sold VH-CAN to Vincent Aviation of Wellington, New Zealand. The aircraft was ferried to New Zealand by Civil Aviation Authority Flying Operations Inspector Kevin Smith. The trip from Bankstown to Auckland took 11.05 hours flying time via Lord Howe and Norfolk Islands for fuel. Kevin's photos show VH-CAN at the picturesque Lord Howe Island, above, on 8 April and at Norfolk Island, below, the same day. By this time the aircraft was wearing Dakota Downunder titles and the name Madeleine.



In New Zealand, Peter Vincent had the aircraft put on the NZ register in August 1994 as ZK-AMY Lady Jane, operating it from Wellington.

In mid-1998 the aircraft was put in storage with Fieldair at Palmerston North. In October 1998 the aircraft was registered to GYM Properties, Nelson, but remained in storage. In 2001 ZK-AMY returned to work, this time with Pionair.

In December 2004 ZK-AMY and another DC-3, ZK-AWP Lucille, were sold to Peau Vava'u Air of Tonga (both DC-3s had been operating in Tonga under charter since June 2004).


ZK-AMY In April 2006 ZK-AMY was advertised for sale in Aviation Trader newspaper (left). It subsequently returned to New Zealand on 2 October 2005 and was registered to Southern DC-3 Limited on 23 February 2007. The aircraft remains on the New Zealand register as of August 2014.

(Photos: 1-Richard Hitchins; 2-Ken Watson, 3&4-Kevin Smith)

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