New Zealand Military Aircraft Serials & History

RNZAF Beech C.17L

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Serial c/n Aircraft History
NZ573 107 Manufactured 1936,
14/11/1936 ZK-AEU F. B. Cadman, Auckland, New Zealand,
06/05/1936 Auckland Aero Club, major part of £ 2,500 purchase funded by the St. John’s Ambulance Association, served as air ambulance and on charter duties,
23/12/1936 Arrived Auckland aboard SS City of Manchester for Auckland Aero Club, Auckland,
The aircraft which was damaged in transit, and the repairs took some time,
It's first flight in New Zealand finally took place during the second week of May 1937,
The aircraft was used on air ambulance and charter duties, and set several speed records within the country,
24/09/1939 It was impressed into the RNZAF for a cost of 2100 pounds being BOC at Rongotai and receiving the serial NZ573,
Allocated to the Communications Flight at Rongotai, its service was not spectacular as it spent considerable time under repair,
A crash at Opotiki in April 1940 saw NZ573 out of service for nearly a year, and damage from a second crash at Taupo on 01 February 1943 was not repaired until 1945,
De Havilland New Zealand replaced the original 225hp Jacobs L-4 engine with a 220hp Continental W-670-6A taken from a tank,
15/08/1945 First flight after repairs and engine change,
24/05/1946 Sold to Auckland Aero Club from No.42 Squadron and entered the New Zealand Civil Aircraft Register as ZK-AJS,
26/04/1947 The aircraft's life was not trouble free, as further problems included a wheels up landing at Rongotai,
The Staggerwing was exported to Australia in 1954 where it became VH-BOU with J. M. Bonney, Cobar, New South Wales,
10/03/1955 C. Kelman, Julia Creek, Queensland on 10 March 1955,
03/08/1962 To M. Kelman, Yamala,
29/03/1963 The aircraft was re-registered as VH-PMG to J. Whelan, Sands, NSW,
17/03/1964 To Columbia Trading Co, Sydney as VH-PMG,
18/04/1964 Re-registered once again as VH-TOT with Australian Aircraft Sales,
20/01/1966 To L. Day, Geelong, Victoria,
01/09/1967 (or 30/08/1967?) Crashed on takeoff from Cooktown, Queensland when it swung off the side of the airstrip,
Trucked back to Geelong for rebuild,
1969 Cancelled from register as crashed at Cooktown, Queensland on on 30 August 1967,
Rebuilt in Sydney, Australia. - Further details appreciated.

The Author of this page is Ivan Prince (updated by Brendan Cowan).

Sources: AHSNZ Journals 1964/1969. Australian CAR, RNZAF records, ,

Emails: Ross Polkinghorne, Phil Treweek, John Burford, Brendan Cowan, Martin Edwards,

Updated 17 December 2013


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