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Piper PA-31-310 Navajo
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Piper PA31T2 Cheyenne IIXL
PH-AST Piper PA-31-350 Chieftain c/n 31-7752046 - FAST Airways Holland - Groningen Airport Eelde - 26 May 1977 Groningen Airport Eelde (GRQ)

The Piper PA-31-310 Navajo is a six-seat all-metal low-wing twin-engine business aircraft. The Piper Aircraft Corporation developed the PA-31 Navajo in the early 1960s. The first prototype PA-31 flew first on 30 September 1964. The production model PA-31-310, powered by two 230kW turbo-charged Lycoming TIO-540-A1A engines, entered production in 1967. The model PA-31-310 was developed further and in 1971 model PA-31-310 Navajo B entered production, in 1974 followed by the PA-31-310 Navajo C. Production of the PA-31-310 ended in 1983. In 1971, development of a stretched version of the Navajo with a maximum seating for 10 passengers began and this design was introduced as Piper PA-31-350 Navajo Chieftain in 1973. The PA-31-350 Navajo Chieftain (later renamed Chieftain) is powered by two 260kW Lycoming TIO-540-J2BD turbo-charged engines. Deliveries of the PA-31-350 Chieftain began in 1974. 1827 Piper PA-31-350 Chieftain were built. Production ended in 1984, wit a total of 3942 PA-31s in various models built, including 1827 Piper PA-31-350 Chieftain airframes. The ICAO Aircraft Type Designator for both the Piper PA-31-350 Chieftain is PA31.

Fast-Eelde bv, "Frisian Air Service Transport" was founded in 1977. Their first aircraft, the Navajo Chieftain PH-AST, ex N63722, was registered on 7 March 1977. The first commercial flight out of Groningen Airport Eelde in the Netherlands by Fast-Eelde bv was made on 14 April 1977. Their Navajo Chieftain PH-AST flew to Odense in Denmark. On 16 March 1981, the company was renamed Fast Airways Holland bv. Over the years the fleet increased to four Piper PA-31 Navajo's. In January 1984, Fast Airways Holland bv had to end it's activities when the well known Dutch financier Mr. Maup Caransa took back his interest in Fast Airways and sold the aircraft to Rijnmond Air Services. Without aircraft but with the contract to fly the regular service Groningen-Rotterdam on behalf of the PTT a new company: Quick Airways bv was established. Quick Airways started its operations in 1984. As Fast Airways did, they flew the regular service Groningen-Rotterdam, first with leased aircraft.

On 4 March 1977, Piper PA-31-350 Chieftain s/n 31-7752046 was registered N63722 with Globe Aero in the USA. The same day registration N63722 was cancelled as exported to the Netherlands. On 7 March 1977, the Piper Navajo Chieftain was registered PH-AST with Netherlands European Air Services BV, Rotterdam. On 20 October 1977, FAST-Eelde BV, Eelde, was registered as owner. On 16 March 1981, the registered owner name changed to FAST Airways Holland BV. Chieftain PH-AST was registered with Rijnmond Air Services BV, Rotterdam, on 25 January 1984. XP Airlines BV, Beek, became the registered owner of the 1977-built Piper on 27 December 1985. The aircraft returned to Rijnmond Air Services BV and was registered on 30 June 1989. After the CofA expired on 17 June 2002, registration PH-AST was cancelled on 2 December 2003. The airframe was transferred to Panther Aviation BV on 1 October 2007. In April 2008, the fuselage of the PH-AST was seen in bad condition at Edmonton-Villeneuve Airport (CZVL) in Canada.

page last updated: 26-11-2021
Copyright © Jack Wolbrink, Emmen, the Netherlands

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