SAPA Paris

Operated from 1959 to c.1965

Main Base – Le Bourget

Founder/Director – Jacques Peguret

SAPA Paris started out as Societe Anonyme de Prospection Aeroportee, a French associate company of Hunting Aerosurveys. In fact, its two Percival Princes would be procured directly from the Hunting fleet which sold both G-AMLW and G-ALRY to SAPA in March 1959, although both would ultimately find themselves temporarily being returned to Hunting to be re-adorned in their British registrations for both short and extended periods. F-BJAI spent the spring of 1960 and the early part of 1968 with Hunting, while F-BJAJ returned for the summer of 1960, October 1962 to January 1964, March to October 1964 and February 1965 to May 1967 when she was finally withdrawn from service.

Quite naturally as the name suggests, SAPA Paris engaged in aerial survey work in Europe and Africa with the first joint operation witnessing its two aircraft heading off to Uganda in July 1961 where they were temporarily registered as VP-KRN and VP-KNN respectively. By the end of the year, their French registrations had been restored and they resumed their work in West Africa before heading back to Southern European and Atlantic climes. SAPA then subsequently carried out numerous magnetic and gravimetric surveys from bases in South Europe that covered the Mediterranean, African bases which covered the Atlantic and the large continental lakes, Saudi Arabia which became a temporary base for Red Sea surveys and the Comoros Islands & Madagascar which in turn became bases for operations over the Indian Ocean.

By 1964, F-BJAI had become heavily involved in work around the U.K. and it would seem that it was not long after this that the SAPA name fell out of use although this aircraft would venture into SEN from time to time usually with Jacques Peguret still at the helm. While SAPA’s numerous surveying exploits may have evoked the imagination of even the most mundane of would be explorers, much like their associate airline, visits to SEN were unfortunately somewhat less exciting. Most arrivals occurred as a result of customs clearance either on visits to either Hunting or Elstree for maintenance or on their subsequent outbound returns to France/Africa.


SAPA Paris fleet from 1959 to 1965

Percival Prince

F-BJAI – 3/59 to 3/68

Sold to College of Aeronautics – WFU 5/68

F-BJAJ – 3/59 to 5/67

WFU and scrapped at Leavesden


Recorded SEN Movements for SAPA Paris Aircraft


1959 Visit


1961 Visit


1962 Visits

29/3 – 17/4 – 25/4 – 28/4 – 21/6

1963 Visits

25/4 – 4/5

1964 Visit


1965 Visits

21/1 – 27/3


1962 Visit



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