NZ3552 was a C-47B-45-DK that saw RNZAF service from August 1945.
Transferred to NAC in July 1952, it had flown 3288hrs at that time.
Slowly upgraded to DC-3C standards at Palmerston North, it came on line as ZK-BBJ Piripiri
in June 1953.ZK-BBJ newly finished in National Airways Corporation colours at Paraparaumu June 1953
In October 1954 ZK-BBJ had a wheels-up at Paraparaumu.
There appears to be little damage evident to the propellors, so it seems unlikely that the engines were running at the time of the incident.
I can't find any reports on the event. It looks like it may have been an inadvertent undercarriage retraction while the aircraft was parked, but any further information would be welcome.
ZK-BBJ at Paraparaumu airfield, October 1954
ZK-BBJ was put back into the air again after this event
and later appeared refinished in white-top coloursAt Rongotai December 1962
In 1964 ZK-BBJ entered the Corporation's Christchurch workshops, to emerge in March as Skyliner Gisborne
.ZK-BBJ as Skyliner 'Gisborne' at Auckland International 28Nov1967
After operating its final NAC service on 20Aug1970, ZK-BBJ was leased to Luggate Game Packers Ltd. from the 31st of that month and employed by their Alpine Helicopters Ltd. subsidiary as a venison freighter until 13Oct1971ZK-BBJ in Alpine Helicopters colours 21Apr1971
Returning to NAC at Christchurch (hopefully with the interior thoroughly cleaned) ZK-BBJ was bought by Fieldair Ltd., Gisborne, converted to agricultural configuration, and transferred into their name on 29May1972.ZK-BBJ operating in Fieldair livery Milson February 1975
The aircraft moved through various Fieldair company changes, becoming registered to Fieldair Holdings (Central) Ltd., Palmerston North on 18Nov1980 and to Fieldair Holdings Ltd., Palmerston North on 30Mar1984 but was stored for the period Oct1979-7Dec1984. Re-entering service, ZK-BBJ carried out NZ's last DC-3 topdressing sortie from Gisborne 5May1987 flown by Bruce Thompson.
Flown back to Palmerston North, ZK-BBJ was then converted to a freight role, being transferred to Fieldair Freight Ltd. on 18Feb1988 and operating alongside ZK-AWP.ZK-BBJ in early Fieldair freight colours at Milson
ZK-BBJ in Feildair Freight colours at Rongotai 1989On finals at Rongotai April 1991
Feildair Freight eventually lost the parcel contract to Airwork, and closed down in 1993. ZK-BBJ was sold to North Shore Helicopters Ltd. of Dairy Flat, Auckland 19Apr1993 and was operated by David Morris of Morris Catering.
Morris, who ran a catering business in Auckland, had gained United Nations contracts to supply food to UN personnel in Cambodia. He took ZK-BBJ to Cambodia (along with DC-3 ZK-AMR) for use in fulfilling these contracts. ZK-BBJ departed New Zealand on 21Apr1993.
When the Cambodian contract ran out, Morris Catering shifted operations to Africa for similar operations in Kenya and Somalia.
The aircraft were parked up at Mombassa airport in Kenya during some sort of a dispute in 1994, and before this could be resolved David Morris was killed.
Morris had arrived in war-torn Mogadishu in 1992 with his two sons and an $83 million contract with the United Nations to feed 29,000 peacekeepers. They had won the contract on the back of their successful work for the UN mission in Cambodia. But Somalia quickly turned into a nightmare for the Morris family.
First Morris's 21-year-old son, Tyson, was shot dead in a fight with Somali bandits along with two other staff. Then David Morris was kidnapped twice and held for ransom. Shortly before the UN pulled out of Somalia in April 1995 he was captured again and this time murdered, apparently by Islamic militants.
ZK-BBJ never moved again, and is reported as still parked at Mombassa. The New Zealand registration was cancelled on 14Sep1994.