VH-ECA Pacific Electra

Type: L-188C / L-188CF Electra
MSN: 2002
Previous Identities: Nil
Subsequent Identities:




01APR58 Ordered by Qantas
10AUG59 Application for CofR and CofA by Qantas Empire Airways Ltd (Source: 1)
18AUG59 Aircraft weighed at Burbank. (Source: 1)
17SEP59 First flight
30OCT59 CofR 3276 and CofA 3276 issued (Source: 1)
08NOV59 Arrived Sydney on delivery to Qantas as Pacific Electra
21DEC59 Operated inaugural service Sydney to Tokyo
11OCT60 T.T. 2289.11 hours (Source: 1)
13DEC60 Departed Sydney to Lockheed, Burbank for wing and engine mount modifications
19DEC60 Entered LEAP as LEAP #45 QEA-1
18JAN61 Completed LEAP
09OCT61 T.T. 4570.38 hours (Source: 1)
16JUL62 Operated Sydney-Wellington-Sydney. (Source: 2)
12AUG62 Training at Richmond. (Source: 2)
14AUG62 Operated Sydney-Darwin. (Source: 2)
15AUG62 Operated Darwin-Bangkok. (Source: 2)
17AUG62 Operated Bangkok-Singapore-Darwin with the King and Queen of Thailand, King Bhumibol and Queen Sirikit, on a tour of Australia and N.Z. (Source: 2 & 3) For the duration of the tour, the Thai Royal crest, known as The Garuda, was carried aft of the rear door (and possibly also the forward door). In all probability the Thai Royal Standard would have been flown from the aircraft. Image of the Thai Royal Standard
18AUG62 Operated Sydney-Wellington with the King and Queen of Thailand. The Canberra Times of Monday 20AUG62 reported that the King and Queen did not leave the aircraft during a seventy minute refuelling stop at Mascot on Saturday. This sector was evidently not operated by Capt Ross as it does not feature in his log book. Capt Ross resumed flying from 24AUG.
AUG62 The King and Queen of Thailand travelled Wellington-Tauranga-Whenuapai (Auckland) in RNZAF C-47 NZ3551. (Source: 4)
AUG62 The King and Queen of Thailand travelled Auckland-Wellington on NZNAC Viscount ZK-BRE City of Auckland. Because of bad weather in the South Island, onwards travel to Christchurch was by express steamer. (Source: 4)
AUG62 The King and Queen of Thailand travelled Christchurch-Dunedin-Christchurch on NZNAC Viscount ZK-BRE City of Auckland. (Source: 4)
24AUG62 VH-ECA operated Wellington-Christchurch. (Source: 2) It is likely that this was a positioning flight as the King and Queen travelled within NZ on NZNAC and RNZAF aircraft. (Source: 4)
  Other aircraft used within New Zealand in support of the Royal Tour included:
Fokker F27 Friendship ZK-BXH Koropio (reserve aircraft for the Viscount)
de Havilland Devon NZ1801, NZ1802, NZ1814 and NZ1818.
Douglas C-47 NZ3546 and NZ3553.
Bristol Freighter NZ5904, NZ5906 and NZ5909.
(Source: 4)
26AUG62 Operated Christchurch-Canberra with the King and Queen of Thailand. (Source: 2)
29AUG62 Operated Canberra-Sydney with the King and Queen of Thailand. (Source: 2)
31AUG62 Operated Sydney-Brisbane with the King and Queen of Thailand. (Source: 2)
02SEP62 Operated Brisbane-Melbourne with the King and Queen of Thailand. (Source: 2)
05SEP62 Operated Melbourne-Hobart with the King and Queen of Thailand. (Source: 2)
07SEP62 Operated Hobart-Adelaide with the King and Queen of Thailand. (Source: 2)
09SEP62 Operated Adelaide-Woomera-Evetts Field-Adelaide with the King and Queen of Thailand. (Source: 2)
10SEP62 Operated Adelaide-Perth with the King and Queen of Thailand. (Source: 2)
12SEP62 Operated Perth-Singapore with the King and Queen of Thailand. (Source: 2)
13SEP62 Operated Singapore-Bangkok with the King and Queen of Thailand. (Source: 2)
14SEP62 Positioned Bangkok-Darwin. (Source: 2)
15SEP62 Positioned Darwin-Sydney. (Source: 2)
03OCT62 T.T. 5979.52 hours (Source: 1)
27SEP63 T.T. 7464.47 hours (Source: 1)
23SEP64 T.T. 9774.24 hours
29MAY67 Sold to California Airmotive/Air California
05JUN67 Departed Sydney on delivery (Capt A.M. Bonney)
09JUN67 Change of ownership to Air California, Newport Beach, CA and handed over to Air California as VH-ECA. Cancelled from Australian register at 1200 hours AEST. (Source: 1)
JUN67 Re-registered N359AC (Source: 1)
01NOV68 Sold to GATX-Booth Aircraft Corp and leased to Air California
19MAR69 Sold to Aircraft Holdings
07NOV69 Sold to F B Ayer and Assoc
70 Stored at Forth Worth, Texas
71 Stored at Tucson, Arizona
07SEP71 Leased to Ecuatoriana, Ecuador as HC-AVX
06MAR72 Ecuatoriana lease finished
24MAR72 Re-registered N359AC
MAR72 Stored Miami, Florida until Dec 75
75 Registered to Miguel C Acosta, Miami, Florida
75-76 To MCA Leasing Inc
APR76 Operated by LACSA as TI-LRM named "Camaquire"
APR76 Converted at Miami to L-188CF (rear door)
late 76 Sold to LACSA, Costa Rica
30AUG81 Withdrawn from service at Miami, Florida
SEP81 Registered N359AC to The FBA Corp, Miami, Florida
OCT82 Registered to Turbo Power Inc, Miami, Florida
DEC83 Registered to Qualley International Corp, Miami, Florida
MAY84 Registered to James B Qualley, Miami, Florida
13SEP84 Seen at Montreal with TPI International Airways titles
MAR85 To JBQ Aviation Corporation, Miami, Florida
MAY85 Registered N359Q to JBQ Aviation Corp and operated by TPI International Airways
NOV86 Seen at Miami in STAF titles
26DEC86 Seen at Ezeiza (Buenos Aires) with Servicios de Transportes Aereos Fueginos SA (STAF)
11FEB87 Re-registered F-OGST to STAF, Buenos Aires
29MAR87 Seen at Buenos Aires with STAF
05OCT90 Arrived East Midlands Airport on lease to Air Bridge Carriers
09OCT90 Seen at Amsterdam in STAF colour scheme with Air Bridge stickers
25SEP92 Departed Castle Donington for Keflavik and USA
13OCT92 Seen at Opa Locka, Florida with Air Bridge titles and minus one engine
OCT92 Re-registered N359Q to JBQ Aviation Corp, Miami, Florida
19FEB93 Seen at Miami with ALM stickers
08NOV93 Arrived Coventry on delivery to Air Atlantique
FEB94 Cancelled from US register
10FEB94 Registered G-LOFA to Atlantic Air Transport Ltd
15FEB94 Entered service Stansted/Cologne for TNT
30JUL96 After take-off from Berlin while climbing through FL115, the aircraft experienced an explosive decompression as the rear cargo door opened. The door, its operating mechanism and the surrounding fuselage structure were extensively damaged. The opening door had over-travelled upwards to such an extent that part of the dorsal fin was flattened. [Extracted from AAIB Bulletin No: 5/97]
Read the full incident report.
The aircraft was subsequently repaired and returned to service.
16MAY98 Ferried to Coventry for overhaul but found to require extensive work. Retired as beyond economical repair and stripped for parts.
06OCT02 Photographed at Coventry by Ulrich Hoppe (see images above). It is reported that the hulk is to be used for fire-fighting training.
OCT02 The aircraft was completely broken up at Coventry by the end of October 2002. (Confirmed by a source at Atlantic Airlines).


File C3905/2 VH/ECA Pts 1 & 2 (21) N.A.A., Chester Hill
Log Book of Captain Jock Ross sourced by Greg Weir.
Qantas News July 1984.
The Aviation Historical Society of New Zealand Journal, Vol. 5 Nos. 9 & 10, September & October 1962. Sourced by Peter Layne.

Issue Date Remarks
18 28DEC22
17 04DEC22
Added a slideshow.
16 04AUG22
Added an image thanks to Eric Allen.
15 08MAY17
Added details of the Thai Royal flights in AUG-SEP62 from the log book of Captain Jock Ross. Thanks to Greg Weir and Peter Layne.
14 21SEP16
Added an image of the flight deck sourced from the Qantas Heritage Collection.
13 25JUN16
Added an image from the Qantas Heritage Collection.
12 03APR16
Refreshed page layout with no change to data.
11 12DEC15
Added another image of the aircraft as TI-LRM with LACSA and an image of the aircraft with Equatoriana as HC-AVX thanks to Peter Gates.
10 11DEC15
Added an image of the aircraft as TI-LRM with LACSA of Costa Rica thanks to Peter Gates.
9 12JUL12
Added an image of the aircraft in the original Air California colours thanks to Ken Watson.
8 16MAY12
Added an image of the aircraft in Air California colours thanks to Peter Gates.
7 08FEB04
Added an image of the aircraft in STAF colours thanks to Peter Gates.
6 06JAN04
Added several new references extracted from file C3905/2 VH/ECA Pts 1 & 2 (21) N.A.A., Chester Hill by Chris O'Neill.
5 21DEC02
It is confirmed that this aeroplane was broken up during October 2002.

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