c/n 20051                               C-47A-85-DL          

Constructed as a C-47A-85-DL by Douglas at Long Beach, California, USA.            
Circa 1943, it was taken on Strength/Charge with the United States Army Air Force with s/n 43-15585.

Built in 1943 and delivered on April 12, 1944, this aircraft served with the US military before being registered NC65393 and sold to
Trans PacificAirlines in 1953, then Aloha Airlines in November 1958. Brought to New Zealand on December 4 1960.
Registered on February 23 1961 to Rural Aviation, the aircraft was converted for ag-work in Hong Kong (to James Aviation plans)
and brought back to New Zealand on March 4 1961.
They passed it to Airland on August 25 1966 , it was later passed to Fieldair at Palmerston North on February 20 1978.
Named 'Kotuku' the aircraft worked as a top-dresser until it's retirement on January 20th 1981, it's final flight, with a total of 34,891
Purchased in 1982 by John Regan, the aircraft was transported by road to Lower Hutt where work on restoring the aircraft to
wartime configuration was started by the Silverstream Aeronautical Society.
In 1992 the aircraft was transported again by road to Ohakea where further restoration work was completed. The aircraft was
painted as NZ3547 (actually sold to South Africa) and displayed on loan outside the Museum as a 42 SQN aircraft as seen during
the 1960s and 70s.
In 1998 this aircraft was removed from display as it had been put up for sale. Purchased by the Gisborne Aviation Preservation
Society (GAPS), it was moved by road to its new home during May 20-22, 2000. The aircraft is currently on
display at Gisborne airfield at the GAPS facility.
BYF seen here at an Air Show at Paraparaumu 9th January 1965. Flown here by George Allen who took
over from Gerry Oman when he left to go to Australia.        © Mills Archives

BYF parked at Milson (Palmerston North) 17th February 1966        © Peter Lewis

Great colour shot of BYF at Rukuhia (Hamilton) 8th May 1966        © Don Noble

Seen working down at Queenstown, August 1966 flown by George Allen        © Mills Archives

Seen working down at Queenstown, August 1966        © Mills Archives

Seen working down at Queenstown, August 1966        © Mills Archives from The Topdressers book.

Back at Milson 6th January 1967        © Don Noble

With new Airland colour scheme seen here at Tangiwai 1967        © Neville Worsley

BYF seen here at Milson 1st January 1971        © Don Noble

And 10 days later working off Paraparaumu Aerodrome 11th January 1971        © Dave Paull

See Dave's great blog on NZ Aviation here:   

BYF parked here at Gisborne 1972, possibly flown by Charlie Down around this time      © Neville Worsley

Parked by the Dannevirke Flying School 5th January 1976        © Don Noble

Now working out of Gisborne 8th April 1977        © Don Noble

Now working out of Gisborne 8th April 1977        © Don Noble

Landing at Gisborne 8th April 1977        © Don Noble

Loading at Gisborne around the same time        © John Anderson

Now back at Dannevirke 1978 flown by Neville Worsley        © Neville Worsley

Working back at Gisborne 31st May 1980 and flown by Bill Luther        © Don Noble

There were 3 DC3's working here on this day, BKD and AWP which were captured by Don.
And from memory Andy Stevenson was working from the loading area in Farmers Air Fletcher EMB.
As told by Terry Higgins who was loading Andy on the day.

Retired after 20 years of topdressing, BYF sits with bits missing.        © Peter Lewis

Now down at Silverstream (Wellington) undergoing restoration 22nd July 1982       © Dave Paull

10 years later sitting at Ohakea  1992      © GAPS Museum

Now at Gisborne 2007        © G. Mills

Under cover at the GAPS Museum Gisborne 2008        © G Mills

BYF at GAPS Museum Gisborne 5th February 2009        © G. Mills

BYF at GAPS Museum Gisborne 5th February 2009        © G. Mills
Long time James pilot Les Marshall at right who took part in the Tiger Rally that day in his Ryan.

The cockpit of BYF 5th February 2009        © Graeme Mills
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