Bay of Plenty Branch Meeting. '‘Flying DC3's in PNG and with ANSETT AUSTRALIA"

When: 1 March 2019
Speaker: Russell Corney.
Subject: Flying DC3's in PNG and with ANSETT AUSTRALIA

Special thanks to Mike Feisst for chairing the meeting and to Wally Gee for introducing the speaker. Russell is a volunteer with Classic Flyers and where Wally Gee identified him as the speaker for the Branch meeting. Captain R J (Russell) Corney gave us a presentation of his flying career from October
1964 through to June 2004. In that time he went from a student pilot at Whakatane to flying in Papua New Guinea and finished his career flying twin engine commercial jets.

Russell seemed to be one of those people who were in the right place at the right time and whose career seemed to slot together. Whilst still instructing in the Bay of Plenty he received a phone call from a pilot friend in Papua New Guinea who told him the Ansett were recruiting pilots to fly DC 3’s. Russell applied and within a short time was sitting in the right hand seat of a DC 3 and learning the ropes. His photos showed some of the airstrips (airports) that were used on these services and every now and then some of the problems that befell some of the fleet. Russell accumulated around 5,000 hours on the DC 3 in his time. He was also flying DH Caribou (ZK-BFC) and Electra’s during this time. He was for a time the DC 3 Fleet Captain for Air Niugini.

Following the replacement of the DC 3’s with F-27 Friendships Russell became the Fleet Captain for the F-27-200 also for Air Niugini. He rose to the position of Training Captain before a move to Australia to fly DC 9.

Following a period here he moved onto Airbus aircraft with Ansett and then Air Pacific.
Russell had produced a great visual representation of his aviation career with appropriate badges and signage of the various airlines that he had flown for during his time and this was a popular piece that was admired by those present.

Russell’s tapestry of his cap badges and wings from the various airlines he flew with,
including :

1965 – 1970 Ansett – MAL
1970 – 1973 Ansett Airlines of PNG
1973 – 1974 Air Niugini
1974 – 1989 Ansett Australia
1991 - 1993 Compass Airlines
1993 – 1994 TET Airways (India)
1994 – 2004 Air Pacific (Fiji)

Prepared by Mike Feisst who also contributed the photos.

Copyright © RAeS New Zealand Division, All Rights Reserved