N4522V. Boeing 747SP-09. c/n 22805-564.


 

With China Airlines continuing to experience increasing passenger numbers it decided to acquire a fourth B-747SP to add to its fleet. This order was announced in May 1981. The aircraft, the forty-third Boeing 747SP to be built, was the last passenger configured 747SP as the last two airframes were built as V.I.P. aircraft. It was rolled out of the Boeing plant at Everett, Washington on May 24, 1982 with Pratt & Whitney JT9D-7A engines.

 

Entered onto the United States Aircraft Register as N4522V it flew for the first time on June 10, 1982. The interior featured tapestry designs from the Ming Dynasty which symbolised good luck. Configured to seat 18 First Class, 32 Business and 231 Economy Class passengers it was accepted by Wilmington Trust Company at Paine Field on June 15 before being leased to China Airlines on June 29, 1982.

 

This aircraft made history on February 19, 1985 when it survived an amazing uncontrolled descent from its cruising altitude of 41,000 feet to just over 9,000 feet on a non-stop flight from Taipei to Los Angeles. Over the previous five days flight crews had experienced a loss of thrust in the number 4 engine during routine flights. However when this occurred on February 19 the aircraft's captain made a fatal error in judgement.

 

As the thrust decreased on the starboard side the aircraft's automatic pilot struggled to maintain its preprogrammed flight parameters. With the aircraft wanting to swing to starboard the autopilot was inputting control responses to maintain level flight. When the captain disconnected the autopilot to begin a manually controlled descent to a lower altitude, the aircraft immediately flick-rolled and pitched nose down. This manoeuvre was totally unexpected by the flight crew who had not realised that the aircraft had already assumed such a dangerous attitude before the autopilot's disconnection.

 

The flight crew immediately became disorientated, not only by the strange instrument readings confronting them but also by the fact that as they were flying in and between cloud layers, a discernable horizon was not visible. It was only when the aircraft descended into clear sky below the cloud base that the flight crew were able to regain visual orientation and arrest the uncontrolled descent.

 

With control responses being sluggish the captain elected to divert to San Francisco Airport for an emergency landing which was successfully accomplished. On inspection after landing it was found that the airframe had sustained extensive damage. The outboard main landing gears doors had been ripped off, the port outboard aileron was bent, approximately 15 feet of the left horizontal stabiliser including the outboard elevator had been torn off, approximately 10 feet of the right horizontal stabiliser and half of its elevator was missing and the A.P.U. in the tail had been torn from its mountings. Of the 274 persons on board only two received serious injuries requiring transfer to a hospital while another 10 required treatment to minor injuries. At the time of the accident the aircraft had only flown 10,193 hours. The aircraft was repaired at San Francisco Airport and returned to service on April 25, 1985.

 

It was leased to Mandarin Airlines on January 01, 1997. It was observed at Tokyo's Haneda Airport on February 02, 1997 in the full Mandarin livery. By October 1997 it was seen at Hong Kong in an all-white livery. This lease was terminated on December 31, 1997 and the aircraft returned to Sanwa Business Credit. It was then observed at Las Vegas on January 23, 1998 in the all-white livery and without titles. By April the aircraft had been placed in storage as Las Vegas with all engines sealed.

 

It remained stored until sold by Fleet Bank to Mr K. A. Paul, a christian preacher originally from India but now a naturalised American citizen on December 18, 2001. Through his foundation, Global Peace Ambassadors, funds were acquired to purchase this aircraft so that missions to various Third World countries could be flown to deliver aid to disaster areas and to people in need.

 

It was ferried Las Vegas - Amarillo - Harrisburg on April 02, 2002 to undergo maintenance by Stambaugh Air Service. When complete a new airworthiness certificate was issued on April 30, 2002 to Global Peace Initiative Inc. It was then ferried to Tucson, Arizona for further maintenance and refurbishment. It was test flown at Tucson on February 13, 2004 and declared operational by March 04, 2004.

 

During 2004 and 2005 various flight within the United States and to some overseas countries were undertaken. However on July 18, 2005 the F.A.A. suspended Global Peace Ambassadors's Operating Certificate, citing numerous problems with the aircraft. The aircraft was at that time parked up at Thunder Bay Airport, Canada.

 

It departed Thunder Bay on December 16, 2005 for Tijuiana, Mexico for servicing by Matrix, a heavy maintenance facility. It was observed parked at Tijuana in front of the Avolar hangar on December 17, 2006 with no evidence of any work having been carried out on it since it arrived. On February 01, 2007 the aircraft was advertised for immediate sale.

 

Over the next five years this aircraft has been moved around the Avolar hangar complex, sometimes it has even been pulled inside and the hangar doors closed. From all reports this aircraft seems to be progressively deteriorating and may never fly again. It was reported to be sitting outside the Avolar hangar on the north side of the airport on September 28, 2011 in a poor condition. This could be a consequence of the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability terminating the membership of Paul's organisation in 2005 for failing to meet the required financial accountability and governance standards required by all such organisations.

 


 

N4522V. China Airlines - in the standard livery at Amsterdam Airport, March 1984.
N4522V. China Airlines - in the standard livery at an unknown airport, August 1985.
N4522V. China Airlines - in the standard livery at an unknown airport, March 1987.
N4522V. China Airlines - in the standard livery, location and date unknown.

N4522V. Sanwa Business - in the all-white livery at Las Vegas Airport, January 1998.

N4522V. Global Peace Ambassadors - in the standard livery at Tucson Airport, December 2003.

N4522V. Global Peace Ambassadors - in the standard livery at Tucson Airport, January 2004.