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The Biafra War And The Airliners Involved!  
User currently offlineCV990 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Posted (13 years 9 months 3 weeks 1 day 3 hours ago) and read 2273 times:


Hi!

I come to this topic to know if any of you still remember that time between 1968 and 1970 and the airliners involved. I was still a young boy but I do recall listening my father talking about that and about the airliners left in our country. As you know Portugal was a base for those operations so in the end some airplanes were left in Lisbon and Faro. I remember well one of them a L1049G ex: Lufthansa 5T-TAK that stayed in Lisbon until 1981, I even had the chance to visit inside. Latter the cockpit was preserved and it is now on display in the TAP Museum. Another one that was in Lisbon was 5N07G an L1049C ex: Air France. I do recall looking to a L1049 when I was young but I don't know if this was 5T-TAK or the other one, it was parked beside Runway 18/36.
At Faro I remember seeing 3 airliners parked and stored there, one was N18101 ex: Luftwafe C-47 Dakota, another was a L649A ex: Western 5N86H and I saw both when I visited Faro Airport in 1973 and finnally the last one an L1049G ex: CS-TLA re-registred 5N83H, this latter was used as a restaurant and only this year was broken-up.
Now if you have information related to other airliners involved in this event please let me know!
Regards!

8 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineNa From Germany, joined Dec 1999, 10709 posts, RR: 9
Reply 1, posted (13 years 9 months 3 weeks 1 day 2 hours ago) and read 2245 times:

There were a lot of Boeing B377 Stratocuisers/C-97 Stratofreighters supporting the aid-campaign for Biafra. For example one C-97 registered N52727 and operated by Joint Church Aid, a former USAF aircraft.

User currently offlineSR3496 From Switzerland, joined May 2000, 792 posts, RR: 20
Reply 2, posted (13 years 9 months 3 weeks 21 hours ago) and read 2232 times:

At the airport of São Tomé are two Constellations parked, no they are not parked, they are standing in the grass. I don't know the registrations, but I was told that these aircrafts stand there since the Biafra war in 1969.

User currently offlinePrebennorholm From Denmark, joined Mar 2000, 6431 posts, RR: 54
Reply 3, posted (13 years 9 months 3 weeks 21 hours ago) and read 2226 times:

At least one Danish Sterling Airways DC-6B joined the Joint Church Aid for a period of time.
Then there is the totally different story - this Swedish adventurer who made a few attack planes out of small two seat single engined planes, MFI-15s from Malmoe Flyg Industri. And fought the war on the Biafra rebel side. Does anybody remember his name?
Did he ever come back? I simply don't remember, but I think that he disappeared somehow down there.
Best regards, Preben Norholm



Always keep your number of landings equal to your number of take-offs, Preben Norholm
User currently offlineCV990 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 4, posted (13 years 9 months 3 weeks 19 hours ago) and read 2209 times:


Hi Preben!

The name of that adventurer was Count Gustav Von Rosen, he was like we would say now a "Robin Hood" of modern times.
Regards!


User currently offlineCeilidh From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 5, posted (13 years 9 months 3 weeks 18 hours ago) and read 2207 times:

Another very well known aviator that was operating down there was Arngimur Johannsson, the former Managing Director of Air Atlanta Icelandic. (Actually, there were a very large number of Icelanders that flew for Biafra!) There was a reunion of both 'rebel' pilots and those of the Federal Air Force held some time back at the House of Commons in London - I'll try and track down the site and post the photo of those concerned here.

User currently offlinePrebennorholm From Denmark, joined Mar 2000, 6431 posts, RR: 54
Reply 6, posted (13 years 9 months 3 weeks 16 hours ago) and read 2206 times:

Ceilidh wrote:
-------------------------------
Another very well known aviator that was operating down there was Arngimur Johannsson, the former Managing Director of Air Atlanta Icelandic. (Actually, there were a very large number of Icelanders that flew for Biafra!) There was a reunion of both 'rebel' pilots and those of the Federal Air Force held some time back at the House of Commons in London - I'll try and track down the site and post the photo of those concerned here.
--------------------------------

Ceilidh, is it really so? I had no idea that Arngrimur had "worked" in Biafra or anything like that. Do you know any details?
Either summer '97 or '98 I happened to visit Arngrimur in his small hangar at Mossfellsbaer just north of Reykjavik where he keeps his Pitts Special. A local friend of mine was building a scale model of his Pitts. Arngrimur told me that he had been in the States to buy "a few" 747s, and then he had collected the Pitts as change...!!! (It was before he sold Air Atlanta Icelandic).
He was sitting in his sofa in the hangar and running his airline company with his cell phone. He told me that "we" have five Tristars, four 747s and a few 737s. "We" was Arngrimur and his wife. Asked about the exact number of 737s he said that his wife would know. "Wife is running operations, I am only an airliner captain whom operations send out in the world when there is work to be done or when I get in the way in the kitchen". The "kitchen" was the operations office.
When some 5-6-7 years ago they initiated a huge business in Saudi Arabia, then his wife Thora Gudmundsdottir went alone to Saudi Arabia to negotiate the contracts. In a country where no women is allowed even to drive a car this shall have been quite an interesting experience. But she came home to the little shed in Mossfellsbaer (the kitchen) with the signed contracts in her handbag.
Women have always been strong in Iceland. At that time their president was Mrs. Vigdis Finnbogadottir.
That Pitts is by far the most beautiful plane I have ever seen. And the hangar: I really didn't know if I had to take off my shoes before entering. It was clean as a hospital. On the floor where the Pitss might have released a drop of oil there were small bowls to pick it up. But the bowls were empty - that Pitts did not leak any oil.
I was aware that I was talking to a most extraordinary person in aviation, but I had no idea that he as a young man had been involved in Biafra. And he certainly didn't tell me anything about his merits down there. But I am not at all surprised that he was pall with Swedish Count Gustav von Rosen.
Tel me more, tell me more!!!
Best regards, Preben Norholm



Always keep your number of landings equal to your number of take-offs, Preben Norholm
User currently offlineCV990 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 7, posted (13 years 9 months 3 weeks 16 hours ago) and read 2204 times:


Hi!

What you say it's quite interesting because from what i know not many icelanders apear doing these flights, one was Lofto Johanssen that flew some times in a DC-6A TF-FRA and another was flight engineer Hordur Eiriksson in DC-6B TF-AAE, so it would be lovely to ear from other icelanders involved and what aircrafts did they flew with!
regards!


User currently offlineCeilidh From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 8, posted (13 years 9 months 3 weeks 5 hours ago) and read 2186 times:

Preben, I was involved on the sidelines of Air Atlanta back in 1990 (my company did their payroll) and as a result I got to know Arngrimur, Thora and their family pretty well. I first came across him when he had a 707 under the name of Air Arctic which I looked at leasing for our Nigerian registered cargo company - it was the Nigerian connection that caused him to tell me about some of his Biafran days. According to him, there was a large contingent of Icelandic adventurers down there and certainly quite a few TF registered aircraft as well. I'll research it and post what I come up with.

Actually, if it hasn't been done already, I think it would make an excellent subject for a book!


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