01 May 2012

Southwest Jetʻs N727CF

The May edition of "HNL RareBirds Classic" takes us back to August 2000, with Southwest Jetʻs 727-22, N727CF (c/n 18323, l/n 136). The Boeing tri-jet is seen above on the South Ramp, with a now-retired ANA 747-281 across the field on the North Ramp Hardstands.

18323 was originally delivered to United Airlines as N7031U in April 1965. It spent over 13 years with UAL, before it was sold to Korean Airlines as HL7337, in August 1978. ATASCO Leasing was the next owner, purchasing the 727, and registering it as N1187Z in September 1985. Four months later, it was sold to World Airways (with the same registration), then sold to Air Atlanta [CRB] another four months later. After Air Atlantaʻs demise, it went to Ladeco Airlines (Chile) [UC/LCO] as CC-CIW in August 1987. ATASCO Leasing re-purchased the 727 in July 1992, and registered as N863SY. Three months later, 18323's interior was converted into a VIP transport as VR-BMC. Southwest Jet then purchased it in February 1999. Executive Jet Services (Democratic Republic of the Congo) was the next buyer to use the 727-22 as a VIP transport around Africa and Europe. It was registered as 3D-BOC (Swaziland) and S9-DBM (Sao Tomé & Principe), and wore the same livery as N727CF. In February 2010, Hewa Bora Airways [EO/ALX] (Democratic Republic of the Congo) purchased the jet, and converted back to a passenger (C12Y139) configuration, and registered as 9Q-COP. Sadly, this airliner and its passengers and crew were lost in a crash at FKI (Kisangani-Bangoka, DRC) on 08 July 2011, as it tried to land in bad weather.

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