Piper PA-31 Navajo
in Royal Bahamas Defence Force service

History

Owned by the Air Wing / Royal Bahamas Defence Force but operated by the Royal Bahamas Police Force. These aircraft are actually Colemill Panther conversions with updrated engines, 4-bladed propellers and winglets.


Individual Details

Serial c/no. Prev. Identity Delivered Fate/Notes
RBPF-1 31-8212034 HK-2939P 1993  
RBPF-2 n/a   1998  


Pictures

None at present.

More Information

References

  • World Air Forces Directory 2004/2005 (Ian Carroll)

Other Sources

To be added.

Partenavia P-68C Observer
in Royal Bahamas Defence Force service

History

Used by the Air Wing / Royal Bahamas Defence Force.


Individual Details

Serial c/no. Prev. Identity Delivered Fate/Notes
6C-CDF 449/C   2.2009  


Pictures

None at present.

More Information

References

  • World Air Forces Directory 2009/2010 (Ian Carroll)

Other Sources

To be added.

Beech Super King Air 350
in Royal Bahamas Defence Force service

History

Used by the Air Wing / Royal Bahamas Defence Force.


Individual Details

Serial c/no. Prev. Identity Delivered Fate/Notes
C6-BDF/03 FL-95 N8145E, DF-103/C 2004  


Pictures

None at present.

More Information

References

  • World Air Forces Directory 2006/2007 (Ian Carroll)

Other Sources

To be added.

Cessna 421
in Royal Bahamas Defence Force service

History

Used by the Air Wing / Royal Bahamas Defence Force.


Individual Details

Serial c/no. Prev. Identity Delivered Fate/Notes
DF-1001/A 421-1206 N26587 1988 crashed at Lake Killarney on 17.1.2002


Pictures

None at present.

More Information

References

  • World Air Forces Directory 2002/2003 (Ian Carroll)

Other Sources

To be added.

Cessna 404 Titan
in Royal Bahamas Defence Force service

History

Used by the Air Wing / Royal Bahamas Defence Force.


Individual Details

Serial c/no. Prev. Identity Delivered Fate/Notes
DF-1002/B 404-0437 N2679U 1991 wfu 2008


Pictures

None at present.

More Information

References

  • World Air Forces Directory 2002/2003 (Ian Carroll)

Other Sources

To be added.

Cessna 208B Grand Caravan
in Royal Bahamas Defence Force service

History

Used by the Air Wing / Royal Bahamas Defence Force.


Individual Details

Serial c/no. Prev. Identity Delivered Fate/Notes
C6-AWO 208B-2084 N4086W 2007  


Pictures

None at present.

More Information

References

  • World Air Forces Directory 2006/2007 (Ian Carroll)

Other Sources

To be added.

Aero Commander 500S
in Royal Bahamas Defence Force service

History

Used by the Air Wing / Royal Bahamas Defence Force.


Individual Details

Serial c/no. Prev. Identity Delivered Fate/Notes
C6-BEP 3096 N49NP 1976 sold 1.1990 as N39GW
C6-BDF 3099 N52NP 1976 sold 1.1990 as N38GW
C6-BEM 3103 N29NP 1976 sold 1.1990 as N37GW


Pictures

None at present.

More Information

References

  • World Air Forces Directory 2004/2005 (Ian Carroll)

Other Sources

To be added.

Bahamas

Country Profile

The Country

Geography

The Bahamas is an archipelago of approximately 700 flat, lowlying islands in the western Atlantic Ocean. It is located between 72° to 79° western geographic longitude and 21° to 27° northern geographic latitude and extends from eighty kilometers east of Florida to eighty kilometers northeast of Cuba. In addition to the United States and Cuba, neighbors of the Bahamas include Haiti and the Turks and Caicos Islands; both are located to the southeast of the Bahamas.

The Tropic of Cancer runs through the middle of the archipelago, passing across the lower part of Great Exuma Island and the upper part of Long Island. Although the total area of the archipelago is 13,939 square kilometers (5380 square miles), the islands are sprawled over an area of approximately 259,000 square kilometers.

The islands are surface projections of two oceanic banks, the Little Bahama Bank and the Great Bahama Bank. The highest point is only sixty-three meters above sea level on Cat Island; the island of New Providence, where the capital city of Nassau (77°22′ W and 25°03′ N) is located, reaches a maximum elevation of only thirty-seven meters.

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National History

Summary Narrative History

Timeline – Key Dates in Bahamas History

Further National Information

BBC News Profile: Bahamas
World Travel Guide – Caribbean – The Bahamas
wikipedia: Bahamas
wikipedia: History of the Bahamas
Library of Congress / Area Handbook Series / The Bahamas
Bahamas Guide

Aviation

Text to be added on the development of aviation in Bahamas.

Markings

Civil Aircraft Registrations

The registration prefix ‘VP-B’ was used from 1929 until 1973; eg: VP-BAA to BZZ.
The registration prefix ‘C6-‘ is used from 1973 to present;  eg: C6-??? to ???.

An all-time Civil Rotorcraft Register of Bahamas listing is here.

Aircraft Operators

Military Air Arms

Defence Aviation (Royal Bahamas Defence Force, Air Wing)

Central Government Agencies

Government Aviation – VIP transport is provided by commercial operators

Public Service Aviation

Medical Aviation – Air Ambulance Services Ltd
Police Aviation (Royal Bahamas Police Force Air Support Services)

Commercial Aviation

Bahamasair

wikipedia: Airlines of the Bahamas
The World’s Airlines: Bahamas

Private Aviation

To be added.

Industry

Aircraft Manufacturers

None at present

Aircraft Maintenance/Repair Depots

None known.

Airfields

Civil Airports & Airfields

Civil Airports and Airfields Listing
Airports in Bahamas

Military Air Bases & Airfields

Military Air Bases Listing

On Show

Aviation Museums

None at present

Airshow Dates:
Key Airshow Dates

More Information

Aviation-Related Magazines

None at present

Aviation Bibliography

Central American and Caribbean Air Forces (Daniel Hagedorn)

Military Balance (IISS)

World Air Forces Directory (Ian Carroll)

Web Links

To be added

Bahamas National History

Before the arrival of Christopher Columbus in 1492, most of the Caribbean was peopled by three types, or groups, of inhabitants: the Ciboney or Guanahuatebey, the Taino or Arawak, and the Caribs. The cultural distinctions among the three groups are not great; the single greatest differentiating factor appears to be their respective dates of arrival in the region. The Ciboney seem to have arrived first and were found in parts of Cuba and the Bahamas.

The Bahamas also bears the distinction of being the first of the Caribbean islands discovered by Columbus in 1492 on his first transatlantic voyage in search of a new route to India. Several islands in the Bahamas have been named as Columbus’s first landing site in the Caribbean, but until very recently, Watling Island was the most widely accepted location; in 1926 it was renamed San Salvador, the name bestowed by Columbus himself. In 1986, however, after an extensive five-year investigation, a National Geographic Society team announced that Samana Cay, a small isolated island in the far eastern Bahamas, was the most probable location of Columbus’s first landfall.

Upon his arrival, Columbus encountered natives known as Ciboney or Guanahuatebey, related to the Arawak Indians. Within a quarter of a century, however, the Ciboney had been decimated, the result of diseases brought by the Europeans and of having been forced to work in the mines of Hispaniola (the island containing present-day Haiti and the Dominican Republic). For the next century, the Bahamas was a forgotten colony. Attention was focused instead on the mineral wealth of the other Caribbean islands.

The first permanent settlement was not established until 1649, when Puritans from the English colony of Bermuda founded Eleuthera, which in Greek means "place of freedom." The colonists, known as Eleutheran Adventurers, set out to establish a colony where they could practice their religion freely, as in the colonies settled by the Pilgrims in New England. In 1666 other English settlers established a colony on New Providence and founded Charlestown, which was renamed Nassau in 1697. Throughout the seventeenth century, the islands served as a favorite base for pirates, but the era of piracy came to a close in 1718, when Woodes Rodgers became governour of The Bahamas, and commerce was restored to the settlement.

During the American War of Independence (1775-1783) the islands were occupied by american troops of John Paul Jones. In 1782 The Bahamas were a Spanish colony for just one year. British loyalists and their slaves arrived from the mainland colonies in the wake of the British defeat in the American Revolution. In the 1780s, the population of New Providence tripled, and the first substantial settlement was made on Great Abaco Island. Cotton plantations were established as the southern life of the North American mainland colonies was reproduced in the Bahamas. However, the Abolition of Slavery Act of 1833 and the termination of post-abolition apprenticeships and indentured servanthood in 1838 marked the end of slavery in the Bahamas. The Bahamian economy prospered during the United States Civil War, as Nassau served as an important base for blockade-running by the Confederate States. The war’s end, however, set in motion an economic tailspin that lasted for the next half-century. Little economic development occurred other than in the areas of sponging, pineapple cultivation, and tourism.

The passage of the Volstead Act (Prohibition Act) by the United States in 1919 was a bonanza for the Bahamas. The islands served as a base for United States prohibition runners, and the port of Nassau became congested once again. The introduction of commercial aircraft in the 1930s enabled the Bahamas tourism sector to develop as a mainstay of the nation’s economy. The development of tourism helped mitigate the combined impact of the United States repeal of prohibition in 1933 and a marine disease in 1938 that devastated the sponging industry. During World War II, the Bahamas prospered as Britain established two air force bases on the islands; the Royal Air Force set up a bomber base to ferry new airplanes to European combat zones and to operate a training school for flight and antisubmarine operations in the Caribbean.

After World War II, the Bahamas developed economically and politically. The nation began to exploit its tourism sector more fully; by the end of the 1940s, tourism had become the principal business. In the 1960s, the nation also developed into an international finance center because of taxation and foreign capital movement legislation in the United States and Western Europe. In 1998 tourism, with about 5 million visitors each year, and banking remained the two most important economic sectors in the Bahamas.

The Bahamas also underwent a major political transformation in the postwar era. The first political parties and trade union federations were founded in the 1950s. In 1964, after more than two centuries of British colonial rule, constitutional changes were negotiated at a conference in London; a new constitution replaced the nation’s old representative government with a premier (the preindependence title for prime minister) and a cabinet. In 1967 a bicameral legislature was established, and the first independent government was elected. Full internal self-government was achieved with the signing of the 1969 constitution; and the name of the colony was officially changed to the Commonwealth of the Bahamas. A final constitutional conference was held in 1972, paving the way for national independence. On July 10, 1973, the new independence Constitution was presented to Lynden O. Pindling, who was Prime Minister five times, by Prince Charles on behalf of Queen Elizabeth II; with that, the Bahamas became a sovereign independent nation.

Post-independence politics in the Bahamas have been dominated by (later Sir) Lynden Pindling, who had first been elected to the premiership as head of the Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) in 1967. The PLP, with Pindling as its head, was returned to office at each of five subsequent elections, despite increasingly numerous and detailed allegations of corruption and involvement in drug trafficking against Pindling and some of his associates. All were vehemently and repeatedly denied by Pindling. Pressure from the USA (which has leased two military bases on the islands since the 1950s) forced the government to introduce more stringent measures against drug trafficking, including changes to the islands’ banking secrecy laws. The damage to Pindling’s reputation and the islands’ poor economic performance during the early 1990s led to the PLP’s rejection by the electorate at the August 1992 polls. The new premier was the leader of the long-time opposition Free National Movement (FNM), Hubert Ingraham. Once a minister under Pindling, Ingraham had resigned in 1984. Ingraham was re-elected in 1997. However, at the most recent poll in May 2002, the PLP resumed control of the government with an overwhelming majority in the House of Assembly. The current premier is Perry Christie, another veteran Bahamanian politcian and former colleague of Pindling. Pindling retired from politics after his 1992 defeat. He died in August 2000.

References: