Aviation Traders ATL.98 Carvair – c/n 9/27249

With BUAF/BAF from Jul 1963 to Apr 1979

Given Names – ‘Maasburg’ and ‘Fat Annie’

This aircraft was initially purchased by Aviation Traders as a C-54B from International Aircraft Services as N9326R on October 24th 1962 and arrived at Stansted five days later on a short ferry flight from Paris. The aircraft itself had been quite well cared for during much of its previous life and was considered to be in good order prior to undergoing its conversion. It is believed that this Carvair was initially destined for Interocean but she would ultimately, end up with BUAF. By the beginning of July 1963, she was ready for her first flight and as such was tested, flown to Southend for refinishing and then handed over to her new owner. She made her first proving flight on July 14th to Rotterdam and would continue to operate on the short hop, cross-Channel ferry flights for the rest of the season.

The following year would see her operating out of Lydd for the first time during March 1964, when she inaugurated the first of many flights toG-ASHZ BUAF Switzerland which eventually came to be known as the ‘deep penetration’ routes. However, with the summer season once more approaching, G-ASHZ would eventually return to SEN to be fitted out with a 33 seat/4 car cabin of the like that had been provided to Aer Lingus, before being put to work on the extremely busy, Ostend and on occasion, Rotterdam routes. For the rest of her BUAF service life, she would invariably spend the busier months on the shorter, cross-Channel services, while quieter periods would see her flying longer distance, car-ferry and cargo flights to the inner continent.

In October 1967 came the next name change and as a consequence of this, Hotel Zulu received a somewhat curious, intermediate BUAF/BAF colour scheme which involved nothing more than adding the word G-ASHZ BAF Inter‘Air Ferries’ to the British title, although HZ would be the only Carvair to receive such a ‘livery’. However, by early 1968, she had received the more familiar, two tone, ‘BUA style’ sandstone and blue cheat lines and proper BAF titling. By the early 70s, BAF had started using their Carvairs for an increased number of freight runs due to the slow, but clearly impending demise of the car-ferry services and by 1976, she was put up for sale although with no buyers waiting in the wings, she would instead spend the next couple of years being leased to various companies, going first to SOACO where she would spend the end of 1976 hauling construction materials back and forth across Gabon. By the beginning of 1977, she had been leased on to Trans World, returning to BAF in May for maintenance and the conversion to a pure freighter.

After her conversion had been completed in June, she was put to work on a number of ad-hoc charters which would include a cargo flight to Basle and aCarvair G-ASHZ livestock flight from East Midlands during July, plus cargo runs to Dusseldorf in August and Milan in September. The following year would also see her making a visit to Munich in April and from time to time, she was also seen at Gatwick during the early summer of 1978, from where she would transport race horses to Ireland and France. It was in the late summer that she would again depart on lease, this time to S.E Asia where she would fly in support of the Red Cross who were carrying out aid work in some of the region’s war torn areas. She finally returned to Southend in September and with little in the way of work to sustain her, she was withdrawn from service and stored without her engines.

In April 1979, Falcon Airways decided to purchase BAF’s two remaining Carvairs and HZ received the requisite pre-delivery maintenance and a paint job at Southend before somewhat erroneously being registered as N83FA. However, the day before her G-ASHZ USdeparture, the ‘3’ was replaced with a ‘9’ and ‘Fat Annie’ left Southend for the U.S. on June 3rd 1979 and in the very act of doing so, carried out the last ever flight from SEN by a Carvair. As far as her service in the U.S was concerned, she would fly until the mid-80s, after which she was withdrawn for more than a decade. Over the years she passed through the hands of many owners, before finally ending up with Gator Global Flying Service in Gainsville, Texas making her last flight in March 2008 before being stored. However, thankfully the weather in this part of the world is quite amenable as far as long term aircraft storage is concerned at it is hoped that she will eventually fly again. Indeed as of late-2015, a degree of work was carried out on the aircraft in an attempt to get her back into the air. You can follow her progress by joining the Facebook group below…


ATL.98 Carvair N89FA ‘Fat Annie’ Group


History of G-ASHZ

7/63 to 10/67

British United Air Ferries

10/67 to 6/79

British Air Ferries

6/79 to 3/80

Falcon Airways as N89FA

3/80 to 10/80

National Mercantile Bank of Dallas

10/80 to 1/81

Nasco Leasing Corp

1/81 to 12/82

National Mercantile Bank of Dallas

12/82 to 8/86

James R Blumenthal

8/86 to 3/87


3/87 to 2/01

Robert D McSwiggen

2/01 to 7/02

Avigon Inc

7/02 to 1/03

Alfred K Nippert Jr

1/03 to Present

Gator Global Flying Services

Currently undergoing maintenance at Gainesville, Texas to fly again during 2016 – This is one of only two Carvairs still left in existence along with c/n 21 – 9J-PAA which is stored in South Africa.


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Many thanks from the SAAD Admin Team.