De Havilland D.H.104 1B Dove – c/n 04098

With Channel from Feb 1957 to Aug 1961

If there was one relatively bad ‘Dove egg’ in the Channel basket then it would have to have been Zulu Whiskey which racked up more than her fair share of accidents and incidents while she was with Channel, although admittedly these would only occur during the latter half of her stint with the airline. She initially arrived at Southend on February 16th 1957 and like the other Doves, was sent for conversion to 1B standard. Her first revenue flight came on April 5th with an uneventful flight to Rotterdam and much of the rest of the year would be spent flying both this route and the Ostend/Channel Island/Le Touquet services with the odd feeder route thrown in for good measure too. Zulu Whiskey was generally kept flying during the winter months, again on the Rotterdam service and she continued to operate all the aforementioned services up until the spring of 1959.

Indeed, it was 1959 that witnessed Zulu Whiskey’s fall from grace aeronautically speaking. On May 23rd, she was making an approach to Ipswich on a feeder service from Southend. She touched down on the grass runway and almost immediately, the nose gear collapsed. Thankfully, nobody was injured and the moderately soft grass surface did very little in the way of damage to the aircraft. Come June, she was back in the air again and on the 19th & 20th she would operate a night charter between St Mawgan and Gatwick. However, less than a month later on July 11th, she was operating another feeder flight on the new Sandown service when one of the engines had to be shut down, forcing her to make an emergency landing there.

Much of the rest of the 1959 season would see ZW back on the Portsmouth routes to Paris and the Channel Islands and as the winter approached, she would once more operate the Rotterdam service. However, with the arrival of Channel’s DC-3s at the beginning of 1960, the remaining Doves would find themselves being more increasingly demoted to the Ipswich and Rochester feeders, although Zulu Whiskey would still make the odd trip on the old Portsmouth routes when passenger number were on the low side. With the onset of July, her removal from service was imminent and she made her final trip between Ipswich and Southend on the 19th. She was then stored at Southend until the following August when she finally went the same way as G-APAG which had also been purchased by B.L.R. Pocock for operations in Libya.


History of G-AOZW

?/?? to 2/57

West African Airways as VR-NET

2/57 to 8/61

EAFS/Channel Airways as G-AOZW (WFU 6/60)

8/61 to ?/67

B.L.R Pocock, Portsmouth

?/67 to 9/70

Air Bush Operators Ltd, Biggin Hill


WFU at Biggin Hill 9/70 – Further info unknown but likely scrapped


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