National Commuter Airways

SH330 G-BJFK

Based at Southend from Oct 1986 to Oct 1989

Founder/Director – Unknown

At the end of 1986, National Airways moved its base and centre of operations from Luton to Southend where it had been operating from since 1983. However, its history actually goes back to 1980 and Elstree Airport from where it initially ran charters and air taxis services from a small base there. By 1986, theKing Air G-OEMS NCA airline had grown dramatically and was now operating several types which included Beech King Air/Super King Air and Embraer Bandeirante aircraft. By the middle of 1987, National had added ‘Commuter’ to its name and was flying a twice daily service between Southend and Brussels with a King Air in partnership with SABENA. The Bandeirantes on the other hand were reserved mostly for nightly cargo flights and postal services which eventually serviced a number of large, European cities such as Belfast, Copenhagen and Milan, while one was leased to Swiss airline Farner Aviation to fly freight between Basle and Brussels. Routes were later expanded during 1988 to include twice daily flights to Jersey and Guernsey, although larger aircraft would be used on this service, namely leased Short 330 equipment.

Sadly though, much like Channel Airways before it, National would become one of the few Southend airlines to suffer a fatal crash when King Air G-WSJE took off from SEN on 12th September 1987 bound for Italy with a load of newspapers. The aircraft subsequently suffered engine failure and crashed just 3 miles from the end of the runway (more details can be found on the ‘Prangs’ page). Bandit G-EIIO NCAAnother accident occurred one month later when G-MDJI which was on sub-lease to a third party, made a controlled flight into terrain at Chevin Ridge near Otley in South Yorkshire killing the pilot. However, National’s troubles were not to end here and on Jan 25th 1988, G-BNAT departed from Southend via Stansted and crashed at East Midlands, the incident being attributed to a stall on approach in poor visibility which destroyed the King Air and claimed the life of yet another pilot. If things couldn’t get any worse, King Air G-BLNA was serious damaged during a storm at Shannon at the beginning of 1988 although this time there were thankfully no injuries and the aircraft was eventually repaired. By late 1989, NCA was facing a severe downturn in its financial fortunes and by October the airline was wound up with its operations being transferred to Regionair.

 

National Commuter Airways fleet while based at SEN

Beech 90 King Air

G-BKAK – 7/83 to 4/90

Sold in the U.S. as N7128J

G-BKZW – ?/?? to 4/90

Sold in the U.S. as N7138E

G-BLNA – 3/84 to 4/90

Sold to Dodson Aviation Inc as N7138C

G-BMEF – 9/85 to 4/90

Sold in the U.S. as N7128H

G-BMXO – 8/86 to 10/89

Sold in the U.S. as N840SW

G-BMZD – 10/86 to 3/97

Sold in the U.S. as N888GN

G-BNAT – 4/86 to 1/88

Destroyed in crash at East Midlands Airport 25/1/88

Beech 200 Super King Air

G-HIGG – 9/84 to 9/89

Sold to Dodson Aviation Inc. as N65171

G-MDJI – 2/87 to 10/87

Crashed in Otley, South Yorkshire

G-OEMS – 12/86 to 5/89

Sold to Darta Aero Charter as F-GHOC

G-WSJE – 10/86 to 9/87

Crashed into MAC’s Garage Rayleigh, Essex 12/9/87

Embraer Bandeirante

G-BHJY – 8/87 to 5/88

Leased from Alexandra Aviation

G-BNIX – 4/87 to 6/90

Sold to Streamline Aviation

G-BNOC – 9/87 to 1/91

Leased from Fairflight Charters to 8/88 – Sold to Tech Air (Cambridge) Ltd 1/91 but WFU at SEN – Fuselage removed by road 11/01 as G-LOOT

G-CLAW – 7/88 to 1/91

Sold to Tech Air (Cambridge) Ltd

G-DATA – 9/87 to 12/89

Leased from Fairflight Charters/Navigations PLC – Re-reg as G-EIIO 2/88

G-MOBL – 9/87 to 12/90

Leased from Fairflight Charters/Navigations PLC

G-POST – 10/88 to 3/89

Leased from 9/87 to 11/87 – Purchased 10/88 – TFR to Navco Aviation

Short 330

G-BHHU – 11/88 to 5/89

Leased from Fairflight Charters

G-BJFK – 7/87 to 4/89

Leased from Spacegrand Aviation/Fairflight Leasing

G-METP – 9/87 to 10/89

Leased from Navigations PLC

Short 360

G-OCIA – 3/89 to 10/89

Transferred to Regionair as G-REGN

D.H.C.6 Twin Otter

G-BFGP – 11/87 to 7/89

Leased from Spacegrand Aviation Services

 

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