VH-GVI. de Havilland DH-114-1B Heron. c/n 14012.


This aircraft was ordered new by New Zealand National Airways Corporartion - 1952

Built at the de Havilland plant at Chester

Accepted by NZNAC at Chester - April 22, 1953

Entered onto the New Zealand Aircraft Register as ZK-BBN - ?

Registered to New Zealand National Airways Corporation, Wellington, New Zealand

Aircraft was named 'Matuhi' (New Zealand Bush Wren)

Used as the back-up Heron during the Royal Tour of New Zealand 1953 - 1954

Withdrawn from use and placed in storage - July 31, 1957

Sold to Southern Airlines - January 20, 1958

Cancelled from the New Zealand Aircraft Register - January 22, 1958

Test flown at Christchurch as 'VH-GVI' by Captain J. Salfas - January 22, 1958

Departed Christchurch on the ferry flight to Australia - January 29, 1958

Arrived Melbourne (Essendon) on completion of the ferry flight - February 01, 1958

Ferry route: Christchurch - Auckland - Norfolk Island - Coffs Harbour - Sydney - Melbourne

Underwent modification work at Melbourne (Essendon) Airport before entering service

Entered onto the Australian Aircraft Register as VH-GVI - March 04, 1958

Registered to Southern Airlines Ltd

Operated first revenue service Melbourne (Essendon) - Bairnsdale - Melbourne (Essendon) - March 04 - 05, 1958

Aircraft was named 'Queen of the Islands' at naming ceremony on Flinders Island

The operating licence of Southern Airlines was sold to A.T.I. (Operations) Pty Ltd - December 22, 1958

This aircraft was not owned or operated by Ansett Transport Industries (Operations) Pty Ltd

Sold to Qantas Airways Ltd - January 05, 1959

Registered to Qantas Airways Ltd, Sydney

Sold to Fiji Airways Ltd - February 24, 1959

Cancelled from the Australian Aircraft Register - August 10, 1959

Entered onto the Fijian Aircraft Register as VQ-FAX - August 10, 1959

Aircraft was badly damaged whilst landing at Suva Airport - November 09, 1966

As extensive corrosion was found in the aircraft's structure it was deemed uneconomical to repair

Scrapped and the remains donated to the Airport Fire Services as a training aide



VH-GVI. Southern - in the standard livery at Christchurch Airport, January 29, 1958.

(V. C. Browne Copyright Image 1920-683.)

VH-GVI. Southern - in the standard livery at Christchurch Airport, January 29, 1958.

(V. C. Browne Copyright Image 1920-684.)

VH-GVI. Southern - 'Queen of the Islands' in the standard livery at an unknown airport, date unknown.

(R. N. Smith Collection Copyright Image 1920-208.)