ZK-BGA   Douglas DC-6            (c/n   43126)

                                           Tasman Empire Air Lines had been formed in 1940 as New Zealand's overseas flag carrier.
                                           Initially it operated flying boat services to Australia and throughout the South Pacific.  In 1954
                                           TEAL upgraded its fleet by acquiring three ex British Commonwealth Pacific Air Lines Douglas
                                           DC-6s.   ZK-BGA (originally allocated ZK-BFA) was the first and was named 'Aotearoa III'
                                           It was originally VH-BPF.   The gorgeous shot above is from the Ben Dannecker collection
                                           (via Geoff Goodall) probably at Essendon, as was my own B&W one below taken after TEAL
                                           service was expanded there in 1954.  In 1961 the DC-6 was sold to the RNZAF to serve with
                                           40 Sqn as NZ3631.      In 1968 it went to Laos as XW-DKJ with Lao United Airlines, and
                                           was later re-registered XW-TDJ.  It wound up with Royal Air Laos from 1969, as XW-PEH,
                                           and was lost in a crash in a swamp near Tegal, Central Java, Indonesia on 1 February 1971.