G-CSZB

Viscount G-CSZB

Vickers 804 Viscount – c/n 248

With BAF/BWA from Nov 1983 – Oct 1998

Given Name – ‘Viscount Scotland’

Another ‘anomaly’ in the BAF Viscount fleet was 804 series Viscount G-CSZB, which was easily distinguishable from most of the other Viscounts duepre-baf-visc-g-cszb to her larger, radar nose cone which was part of the specification requested by Transair, who had initially purchased the aircraft from new. By late 1983, this aircraft had been standing at both Stansted and Exeter respectively for almost 3 years after an attempt to find a buyer for her had failed and as such, BAF took the opportunity to acquire her for their fleet. She was eventually given a number of checks and then ferried back to Southend on November 3rd 1983 where she would undergo an overhaul before being leased to Euroair for six months, returning back at Southend again during May 1984.

baf-visc-g-cszbAs far as her service life with BAF and British World was concerned, she would spend most of it flying the Scottish oil routes between Aberdeen and Sumburgh. The year before, the route’s previous contractor – Alidair – had gone into administration and as part of the BAF buyout of associate airline Guernsey Airways came the contract for this route. Two, older 700 series aircraft were initially used to provide these services but they were quickly replaced with the superior 800 series variant owned by BAF. These aircraft were much loved by the oil workers who considered them a safe and stable platform, even when flying into the often wet and blustery airport of Sumburgh.

While her early years with BAF saw her flying I.T. services to Dusseldorf during 1985, from Leeds/Bradford in 1986 and on the Glasgow-Jersey routebaf-visc-g-cszb-british during 1987, the rest of her time would be spent at Aberdeen. Other Viscounts would invariably join her in these northern climes but would often only spend a short period of time in Scotland before returning north again. However, Zulu Bravo would return back to Southend every now and then for a well earned rest, some well deserved maintenance and in 1987, the new ‘British’ titles that BAF was applying to its aircraft. However, as the end of the ’80s drew to a close and with ever more Viscounts reaching the end of their useful service lives which warranted their removal from service, ZB found herself becoming more heavily involved with BAF’s day to day activities.

Some time during 1990, she was adorned in the last BAF livery and by May 1991, she found herself baf-g-cszb-3rd-rwboperating numerous charters, some of which included the replacement of ferry services to Jersey on 25th, while on the 27th she flew a passenger charter to Ostend. Such operations would continue on and off and at the end of the year, she was again employed for a Christmas shopping trip to Rotterdam on December 10th. By this time however, Zulu Bravo was due for checks and flew a small number of British Airways flights between Aberdeen and Sumburgh/Kirkwall, before returning to Southend on January 8th. Fast forwarding to April 1993, she would end up being one of the few remaining Viscounts to be transferred over to the reformed British World. However, nothing would change as far as the contract in the north was concerned.

Indeed, while ZB would fly on for another 3-1/2 years, she would never receive the new ‘Leaping Lion’ livery and simply retained the old BAF scheme with new British World titles applied to the aircraft. She soldiered on until 1996 when finally, the Viscounts started being replaced by more modern ATRs, a change that almost caused a riot amongst the oil workers who much preferred the heavier and more stable Viscount. Nevertheless, the end would finally come on June 29th 1996 when Zulu Bravo made her last ever flight to the island and did a final run and break just above the runway before doing another circuit of the airport after departing Sumburgh for the very last time. She then returned to Aberdeen where she sat idle for another month before returning to Southend.

However, this would not mean the end of operations for this Viscount and at the beginning of August she had her passenger interior removed and was fitted out to undertake cargo services for Parcel Force. Unlike the other Viscounts that were currently operating this service, she was never painted in the post office red livery, no doubt due to the length of the contract which would only last until the middle of October. Her last flight would come on the 15th when she was ferried from Coventry back to Southend after having flown a service from Edinburgh the previous night. She was summarily towed to the end of the old 15/33 runways where she sat for two years before finally being scrapped, although the nose of the aircraft was spared.

Many thanks to John S. for submitting a correction for this page.

 

History of G-CSZB

9/57 to 7/60

Transair as G-AOXU

7/60 to 12/62

TFR to British United

12/62 to 1/67

L.O.T. Polish Airlines as SP-LVC (Conv to V.807)

1/67 to 7/75

New Zealand National Airways as ZK-NAI

7/75 to 5/78

Pearl Air as VQ-GAB

5/78 to 7/82

Southern International Air Transport as G-CSZB

8/82 to 11/83

Philstone International (Stored at Exeter)

11/83 to 10/98

BAF/BWA

Fate

WFU 10/96 – B/U at SEN 10/98

Cockpit saved and still extant at East Midlands Aeropark

 

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