VH-TFH. Fokker F.27-7023 Friendship . c/n 10176.
Delivery flight - Brian Jackson.
The T.A.A. delivery crew for this aircraft was: Captains Ron Hume, Trevor Corbet and TAA F27 Maintenance Specialist Brian Jackson.
The aircraft was modified at Woensdrecht in the South of Holland. The main modification was the insertion of a new fuselage section between the cockpit section and the centre section to incorporate a large cargo door. It was an exercise by Fokker to check the feasibility of modifying other F27 aircraft as freighters. The people involved had never worked on F27s before and it was delivered late.
To save time the test flight was the delivery flight from Woensdrecht to Amsterdam with the three TAA crew aboard but due to traffic very little was actually checked. Fokker only used one pilot and an engineer as crew.
This aircraft still had Dart 6 engines up rated to 514s. There was to my knowledge no increase in fuel capacity. On arrival in Melbourne there were a lot of defects to be fixed although nothing major.
The delivery flight was delayed on start up at Athens due to a shorting ignition lead on number two engine. The crew elected to go via Beirut rather than the planned Damascus incase of more problems as there were better facilities at Beirut. After take-off from Beirut, on contacting Damascus, we were advised we would have to land even though we had a permit to overfly! No doubt because the crew had to pay a bribe to get a new flight plan from Damascus. Our unshedueled landing at Damascus was enforced by fighter jets zooming at us and as we landed we noticed large guns following us down the runway. I suppose this was for practise only and there was no real intent involved.
The aircraft was further delayed for a day due to me having food poisoning! To make up some time we were told in Darwin the company had sent another crew to Alice Springs to take the aircraft on to Melbourne and the crew had the choice of staying at Alice Springs on continuing deadhead to Melbourne.
Capt Hume elected to stay in Alice and the other two stayed on board. Some time after take-off I fell asleep only to be woken up by the new Captain in a panic to say we had no domestic HF which is a requirement through the centre of Australia as all VHF was shut down. I suggested he use the international HF as we were on an international flight, which he did but he elected to divert to Adelaide for domestic HF to be fitted.
Am not actually sure if he needed it for the Adelaide - Melbourne leg of the delivery flight.