by Ron Cuskelly & Patrick Stansfield



The year 1973 was a memorable one for Australian aviation enthusiasts. Not only were they treated to a visit by the Rolling Stones' Lockheed Constellation N7777G, but just several months later, another classic Lockheed propliner visited Australia in the form of the Electra N42FM. The aircraft was transporting legendary guitarist Carlos Santana, his band and stage gear on a tour of the Orient, Australia and New Zealand. Once again Patrick Stansfield was the Production Manager and he takes up the story:


This Electra had an Interesting cabin layout. The Band were accommodated in a 22 seat front cabin behind the cockpit. The crew were in an 18-20 seat rear cabin which was once first class. The cargo of sound and band gear plus six non-arc spotlights were carried in a fifty foot long cabin amidships with bulkheads fore and aft. When I was offered the choice of seats for the crew, I jumped at the rear cabin assignment as I knew the old First Class to have been located aft. This aircraft had an auxiliary power unit (APU) and needed no ground air-start assist. It was also equipped with a snap-in trolley rail and tiny wheeled chain motor to hoist boxes where no belt loader or fork lift was available, which was seldom. In contrast to the Rolling Stones' Connie, the TAA ramp guys in Australia were all smiles over this ship!

Anchorage, Alaska: The Sports Arena was the last gig before the jump off for N42FM to take us to Japan. The Electra flying into Japan was not really looked upon very favorably by the Japan Aviation Authorities. In fact they cleared the flight as a non-stop from Cold Bay, Alaska to Fukuoka, Japan only as a non-stop, thinking it was beyond the Electra's extreme fuel operating range. They turned out to be right, but not according to the flight plan N42FM filed to Fukuoka from Cold Bay. In fact, due to headwinds, Capt Byron A. Susan declared a low fuel emergency and landed in Nagoya to refuel in violation of his filed flight plan. In Nagoya the Electra snapped a starter motor shaft on start-up. Byron Susan simply put the hammer down on the three working engines and let the #4 drag until it essentially jump started itself. The Japan Air Controllers were not amused in any way shape or form by this. He simply denied it. Proof of the pudding was N42FM was grounded for ten days in Fukuoka while a replacement part was flown in! Thus Japan's Civil Air Authority accomplished what they had wished in the first place: i.e. that N42FM would not fly passengers or freight internally in Japanese air space!

Sapporo to Hong Kong (Kai Tak): If I remember correctly the Electra was given a permit to ferry empty to Sapporo and make the jump non-stop directly to Hong Kong (Kai Tak) with passengers and freight on board. The amazing thing about that flight was the famous "checkerboard" (IGS 13) approach path into Kai Tak. It was a series of right angle turns, with dozens of ubiquitous Hong Kong tenement skyscrapers seemingly off either wingtip on approach!

Hong Kong Typhoon: During the layover in Hong Kong the weather deteriorated into a full blown typhoon. The Star ferry, funicular railway, and electric trams ceased to operate. Heavy storm shutters blocked all shop windows and even the Lee Garden Hotel battened down hatches. Everything essentially was shut for two solid days. We had nothing to do but hang and drink. There being no hangar space available to shelter N42FM, it was decided to move her to Manila out of harm's way. Consequently she took off prior to the Typhoon arriving in Hong Kong.

We did the shows at the old Lee Garden Theatre and audiences as I recall were so unused to Western Pop Culture that when the set was finished and Carlos walked offstage there was only silence. Carlos was somewhat puzzled and asked the promoter did they like the show? The promoter, Arthur Oh, had a few of his lads "start" the applause in the house and it rippled like wildfire through the audience. The problem did not re-occur at the second show as the audience had already been briefed and the starters were in place to "cue" the fans!

Jakarta, Indonesia: I do believe the typhoon delayed the departure and resulted in the cancellation of the show in Jakarta. I do not recall landing the aircraft or doing a performance there at all.

Kuala Lumpur: I do in fact vividly recall landing in KL and the show at the Stadium Negara.

Christchurch: The Show was performed at the modern and lively, though petite Town Hall.

Auckland: Here the show played the Civic Theatre in downtown Auckland. Long since demolished, it featured a Venetian Gondola Orchestra platform that raised from the pit to stage level on hydraulic riser tubes. In it's lowered position it served as the Band Stage for an elaborate Dance Hall / Night Club with a grand Venetian setting and decor. The load-in was down the main aisle of the upper theatre and across a scaffolding bridge over the void between the theatre balcony front row and the stage lip; as the night club floor lay twenty odd foot below it was totally out of sight line up to the main stage! The audience sat in the "Balcony" and by the way, the planks on top of the load-in bridge were removed for onstage security!



Santana Electra
Photo Gallery

(click for a larger image)

N42FM - August 1973
N42FM - November 1973
N42FM - October 1975
HK-1845 - March 1981


The History of The Santana Electra



Lockheed L-188C Electra MSN 1077

Ordered by Northwest Airlines.
Built as type L-188C-08-14. The 08 indicates Allison 501D13 engines and the 14 indicates that the customer was Northwest Airlines. (Source: 8)
Delivered to Northwest Airlines as N122US.
Sold to American Flyers.
Delivered to American Flyers.
Sold to Regency Income Corp. as N300GA and operated by Holiday Airlines.
Leased to General American Development Corp.
Repossessed by mortgage holder, United Bank of Denver.
Sold to Prairie Avenue Gospel Center and operated as Fiesta Air.
Re-registered N300FA.
Sold to Aviation Equipment Leasing after the bankruptcy of Fiesta.
Leased to FM Productions Inc.
Sold to FM Productions Inc.
Re-registered N42FM.
Noted in Darwin. (Source: 1)
Noted in Brisbane. (Source: 2)
Santana concert at Festival Hall, Brisbane. (Source: 5)
Santana concert at Hordern Pavilion, Sydney. (Source: 5)
Santana concert at Hordern Pavilion, Sydney. (Source: 5)
Santana concert at Apollo Stadium, Adelaide. (Source: 5)
Santana concert at Apollo Stadium, Adelaide. (Source: 5)
Santana concert at Beatty Park, Perth. (Source: 5)
Santana concert at Beatty Park, Perth. (Source: 5)
Departed Perth for Melbourne. (Source: 6)
Santana concert at Festival Hall, Melbourne. (Source: 5)
Santana concert at Festival Hall, Melbourne. (Source: 5)
Departed Tullamarine, Melbourne for Sydney. (Source: 1)
Santana concert at Hordern Pavilion, Sydney. (Source: 5)
Departed Sydney for Auckland. (Source: 4)
Santana concert at Town Hall, Auckland. (Source: 5)
Departed Auckland for Christchurch. (Source: 4)
Santana concert in Christchurch. (Source: 5)
Departed Christchurch for Auckland and Pago Pago. (Source: 4)
Repossessed by Aviation Equipment Leasing.
Sold to American Jet Industries.
Converted to a L-188CF freighter by AJI. (Source: 8)
Photographed at Miami, Florida in Aerocosta Columbia colour scheme but still registered N42FM. The aircraft was named El Caribe. (Source: 3)
Sold to Aerocosta SA.
Re-registered HK-1809X.
Re-registered HK-1809.
Sold to Aerocondor Colombia and re-registered HK-1845. (Source: 7)
Photographed at Miami, Florida in Aerocondor Columbia colour scheme as HK-1845. (Source: 3)
Withdrawn from use and parked at Barranquila, Columbia. (Source: 7)
Broken up for scrap.



Source for the above, unless shown otherwise, is Lockheed L-188 Electra and Orion
compiled by Jay L. Sherlock and published by Air-Britain (Historians) Ltd. 1977.


Essendon Newsletter Issue 68/55 compiled by Gordon Reid.
Ron Cuskelly
Ron Killick
Geoff Goodall
Turbo Prop Airliner Production List by J. Roach and A.B. Eastwood, published by The Aviation Hobby Shop, U.K. 2003
Peter Clukey, Lockheed Martin


Santana Tours with the Electra



[Previous concert: May 18 Fri: Community Center Theatre, Berkeley, CA]

June 21 Thu: Sports Arena, Anchorage, AK

June 27 Wed: Kyuden Taiiku Kan, Fukuoka, Japan

June 28 Thu: Yuhbin Chokin Hall, Hiroshima, Japan

June 30 Sat: Shi Kokaido, Nagoya, Japan

July 1 Sun: Shi Kokaido, Nagoya, Japan

July 2 Mon: KoseinenKin, Osaka, Japan

July 3 Tue: KoseinenKin, Osaka, Japan

July 4 Wed: KoseinenKin, Osaka, Japan

July 5 Thu: Kaikan Diichi Hall, Kyoto, Japan

July 6 Fri: Budokan, Tokyo, Japan

July 7 Sat: Budokan, Tokyo, Japan

July 10 Tue: KoseinenKin, Sapporo, Japan

July 11 Wed: KoseinenKin, Sapporo, Japan

July 15 Sun: The Lee Theatre, Hong Kong

July 16 Mon: The Lee Theatre, Hong Kong

July 18 Wed: Jakarta, Indonesia

July 19 Thu: Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

July 23 Mon: Festival Hall, Brisbane, Australia

July 25 Wed: Hordern Pavilion, Sydney, Australia

July 26 Thu: Hordern Pavilion, Sydney, Australia

July 28 Sat: Apollo Stadium, Adelaide, Australia

July 29 Sun: Apollo Stadium, Adelaide, Australia

July 30 Mon: Beatty Park, Perth, Australia

July 31 Tue: Beatty Park, Perth, Australia

Aug 2 Thu: Festival Hall, Melbourne, Australia

Aug 3 Fri: Festival Hall, Melbourne, Australia

Aug 5 Sun: Hordern Pavilion, Sydney, Australia

Aug 7 Tue: Town Hall, Auckland, New Zealand

Aug 8 Wed: Christchurch, New Zealand

[Next Concert: Aug 12 Sun: Garden State Summer Music Fair. Roosevelt Stadium, Jersey City, NJ]


Central & South America

Sept 21 Fri: Guadalajara, Mexico
Oct 21 Sun: Ginasio Municipal Novo, Brazilia, Brazil


Patrick Stansfield recalls that Santana and the Electra visited the following places during this tour of Central and South America:

Guadalajara, Puebla, Ciudad de Mexico, San Jose (Costa Rica), El Salvador, Guatemala, Panama, Venezuela (2 cities), Colombia (Bogota & Cali), Argentina (via Asuncion, Paraguay - two Cities) and into Brazil (Porto Alegre, Sao Paulo, Rio, Brasilia (mandatory) and then home, via Jamaica (Montego Bay).




[Previous Concert: Oct 21 Sun: Ginasio Municipal Novo, Brazilia, Brazil]

Nov 15 Thu: Rainbow Theatre, London, UK

Nov 16 Fri: Odeon Theatre, Birmingham, UK

Nov 17 Sat: Wembley Arena, London, UK

Nov 18 Sun: The Hardrock Concert Theatre, Manchester, UK

Nov 20 Tue: Philipshalle, Dusseldorf, Germany

Nov 22 Thu: Oberrheinhalle, Offenburg, Germany

Nov 23 Fri: Boeblingen Sporthalle, Stuttgart, Germany

Nov 25 Sun: Festhalle, Frankfurt, Germany

Nov 26 Mon: Congress Centrum HH, Hamburg, Germany

Nov: Berlin, Germany

Nov 28 Wed: Forest Vorst Nationa(a)l, Brussels, Belgium

Nov 30 Fri: Stadthalle, Vienna, Austria

Dec 8 Sat: The Ahoy, Rotterdam, Netherlands

Dec 9 Sun: Kongresshaus, Zurich, Switzerland

Dec 12 Wed: Palazzo Dello Sport, Rome, Italy

Dec: Turin, Italy

Dec: Barcelona, Spain

Dec: Madrid, Spain

[Next Concert: Dec 31 Mon: Winterland, San Francisco, CA]


Jan 13 Sun: Buffalo Bills Stadium, Buffalo, NY
March 14 Thu: Kabuki Theatre, San Francisco, CA

[Then recording]

FM Productions did not use Electra N42FM after May 1974.

Source: Thanks to Santanamigos




See also: The Rolling Stones' Connie




Patrick Stansfield
Is the legendary stage manager who, along with Bill Graham of FM Productions, launched the modern music concert format by creating and popularising the arena rock business. After a lifetime in show business, Patrick today heads Patrick Stansfield Associates Inc of California although he now considers himself to be semi-retired. In addition to Carlos Santana, Patrick has managed productions for such legendary performers as the Rolling Stones, Barbra Streisand, Neil Diamond, Bob Dylan, George Harrison, Tina Turner and many others.

Ron Cuskelly
Went to the Santana Guitar Heaven concert on 24 March 2011 (thanks Libby and Patrick).



The authors wish to thank the following without whose assistance this story might never have been told. The Webmaster records his thanks to co-author Patrick Stansfield.

Libby Fabro
Peter Gates
Gordon Reid
Mike Madden
Geoff Goodall
Clint Groves
Peter Clukey



Added input from Source 8.
Additional input from P.S.
Added to post-Santana history of N42FM.
Updated Australian tour dates.
Original issue


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