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Tim Harris

TalAir I'll be home soon

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This aircraft had a long association with Papua New Guinea and an interesting history afterwards.

S/N 88 rolled out 22 Jan 1968 on express order for TAA to join its Airlines of New Guinea Sunbird services where it was to follow Twotters VH-TGR, TGS and TGT that had arrived in  TPNG commencing in 1966. (TAA had many more Twotters that came afterwards: VH-TGF, TGG, TGH, TGI, TGV, TGX and TGY - unlike Ansett Airlines of Papua New Guinea who only had two: VH-PGS and PGT).

Accepted by TAA on 29 Feb 1968, the ferry as N1756 commenced from San Francisco 08 Mar 1968 and arrived Brisbane 28 Mar 1968 where it was registered as VH-TGU to TAA Sunbird service in TPNG.  After fitting and painting it took up service in Port Moresby,TPNG, on 11 Apr 1968, completing in late 1973 as TAA wound down services in favour of Air Niugini, the new government owned airline of the now self governing PNG.

It was sold as VH-TGU to Territory Airlines, Goroka, PNG on 03 Oct 1973, then registered as P2-TGU on 21 Feb 1974 in the new self governing PNG register. The owner's name changed to TALAIR in Dec 1974 and it was re-registered as P2-RDB following major overhaul in Jan 1976.  It was withdrawn from use for refurbishment prior to sale in Goroka on 25 May 1993.

It was ferried to Mareeba, QLD on 29 Sep 1993 and sold on 21 Mar 1994 as N669JW to Down Under Inc., Waynesville, OH, and subsequently ferried Cairns-Port Moresby-Port Vila-Pago Pago-Honolulu-San Francisco.  From 24 Mar 1994 it was operated primarily on behalf of Skydive Sebastian, FL, then sold to Fayard Enterprises, Louisburg, NC, on 20 Mar 1997, then sold to Pegasus Air, Laurel, DE, on 18 Dec 1999 and is currently operated by Skydive Delmarva, Laurel, DE.

To summarize, 25 years of service in TPNG/PNG, then 20+ years in the USA.

Quite remarkable and very typical of this type, a worthy successor to the venerable C-47/DC-3 which it often replaced.

(acks to twinotter site, Michie balus register and several private aviation forums for the info quoted and re-arranged above)

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Wow that is one epic history, to think an aircraft can survive 25 years PNG + 20 years in the US, and still going!! thanks for posting TT, I did know of this already as it was the reason I chose this particular frame, but to see it in one segment is great


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I was supposed to fly on a bandit from Madang to Goroka in the early 90's but decided to stay another day, just as well as the Talair bandit found cumulus granitous in the gap - all on board killed.


 


Another fun flight was out of Goroka in an Air Niugini Dash 7, wonderful aircraft.


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