ZK-BGA Douglas DC-6
Tasman Empire Air
Lines had been formed in 1940 as New Zealand's overseas flag carrier.
operated flying boat services to Australia and throughout the South
Pacific. In 1954
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
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.