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British Airlines of the Past

G-AVJB Vickers Viscount 815 of Kestrel International
London Gatwick - March 1972

G-AVJB Vickers Viscount 815 of Kestrel International at London Gatwick (LGW) - March 1972 © Caz Caswell 1972

Photographic Copyright Caz Caswell © 1972-2008

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This picture can also be found in
1970's London Gatwick (LGW - EGKK) Part 1 here: G-AVJB Vickers Viscount 815 of Kestrel International

Douglas Holland Writes:
Very Brief Notes on Kestrel International Airways     G-AVJB History     External Links

Very Brief Notes on Kestrel International Airways
Kestrel International Airways only operated for a very short time. I think it was formed in late 1971 and operated from March to October 1972.

If my supposition is correct then Caz'es Picture taken in March 1972 must be one of the earliest of Kestrel International Airways.

History of Vickers Viscount 815 c/n 375 G-AVJB    Sourced from: Vickers Viscount Network see Link
Regarding G-AVJB, this Vickers Viscount 815 c/n 375 was built for Pakistan International Airways on the basis of a long term lease and first flew on the 14th August 1959. The Aircraft joining the PIA Fleet on the 31st of the same month. Ownership of the Aircraft was 'technically' changed to Hawker Siddeley Aviation in 1964, but the Lease to PIA continued, until the Aircraft was returned to Hawker Siddeley Aviation on the 15th March 1966 and was immediately put into storage at Prestwick.

On the 21st March 1967 the Aircraft registration was changed from AP-AJF and brought onto the British register as G-AVJB. On the 4th July 1967 the Aircraft was purchased by British Midland Airways. Under BMA Ownership G-AVJB had and interesting career.

After operating on BMA routes for nearly a year and half, in November 1968 the Aircraft was wet-leased to Nigeria Airways (BMA Flight Deck Crew), other than visits to the UK for Maintenance this wet-leas continued until October 1969, when the Aircraft returned to the UK and reverted to Operating BMA Routes.

On the 1st March 1972 BMA thought they had seen the last of G-AVJB when it was sold to Kestrel International Airways.
They were wrong, as when Kestrel collapsed, BMA repossessed the Aircraft on the 1st November 1972.

The Aircraft did not return to service until the 18th January 1973 and operated as part of the BMA Fleet for a year. On the 14th January 1974 it went on a two week lease to Site Aviation. Once again it operated as part of the BMA Fleet, until leased out again to British Airways from 31st March until the 18th June 1976. G-AVJB 'stop-go' career with BMA was finally coming to an end.

On the 21st December 1976 G-AVJB was sold to Intra Airways, which became Jersey European. During its time with Intra/JEA G-AVJB spent an unusually large amount of time in Storage, the last time being on the 23rd November 1979 when ferried to Bournemouth

Whilst in store the Aircraft was sold to Field Aviation on 23rd January 1980. Its next flight was to East Midlands for a repaint prior to being leased to Jersey European for the Summer. The lease ran from April to November 1980, when the Aircraft was ferried to Exeter for storage. Its next flight was just a change of storage location as on the 17 December 1980 it was ferried to East Midlands. It never flew again whilst in Fields Aviation Ownership.

On the 30th September 1981 G-AVJB was bought by British Air Ferries and after servicing and repaint, with the company name Jane (Not to be confused with Carvair 'Plain Jane'), the Aircraft entered BAF Service on 23rd October 1981.

After two years of service G-AVJB was once again placed in storage on the 6th October 1983. It was not until the 15t May 1986 that G-AVJB flew again, when it was ferried to Southend with the undercarriage locked down! In October 1986, the Aircraft was painted in Air Baltic Livery and given a test flight, the last as G-AVJB.

On the 3rd November the Aircraft became SE-IVY with Air Baltic with whom it served until the 28th April 1999, except for a short lease back with BAF in March 1989. In January 1990 the Aircraft was sold to High Chapperal Wild West Theme Park in Sweden as a pole mounted attraction. Sometime in 1996 fire seriously damaged the Aircraft and it believed it was scrapped shortly after.

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