Boeing 707-331
in Republic of Fiji Military Forces service

History

One Boeing 707-331 obtained on lease from Aeroamerica. Used to transport Fijian United Nations peacekeeping forces to Lebanon. Diverted to Kuala Lumpur Airport on 3 October 1979 with engine trouble and parked. Subsequently impounded by Malaysian Civil Aviation Department. The aircraft operated in Pakistan International Airlines colours, with small Royal Fiji Military Forces titles near the front passenger door.


Individual Details

Serial c/no. Prev. Identity Delivered Fate/Notes
N705PA 17686 N705PA Aug 1979 wfu 3 Oct 1979 after engine fault


Pictures

None at present.

More Information

References

Other Sources

To be added.

Republic of Fiji Military Forces

Operator Profile

History

Narrative Summary

The Fiji Defence Force (FDF) was first established in 1920, under New Zealand admnistration. After World War Two spread to the Pacific region, the United States trained Fijian soldiers. In 1942 the FDF became known as the Fiji Military Forces (FMF). Units of the FMF subsequently saw action in the Solomon Islands campaign and served with great distinction.

Fiji gained independence in 1970 but the FMF remained a land-based force. In 1973 the prefix ‘Royal’ was granted by the Queen, changing the title to Royal Fiji Military Forces (RFMF). In 1975 a Fijian Navy was established. Fijian troops contributed significantly to the UN peacekeeping force in Lebanon – UNIFIL – from 1978 onwards. A civilian Boeing 707 was leased in August 1979 to transport troops to Lebanon from Fiji. It operated with Royal Fiji Military Forces titles, but had to be withdrawn from use after a couple of months due to engine trouble.

In 1987 a second military coup by the RFMF deposed the existing government. A republic was declared and the country was expelled from the Commonwealth. The name was changed to Republic of Fiji Military Forces, retaining the same acronym RFMF.

An Air Wing for the RFMF was established in 1987, with the promise of the donation of two helicopters from France. The first helicopter arrived in Fiji late the following year. The RFMF Air Wing was often simply called the Fiji Air Wing. Both helicopters were ill-used and one was lost to a in-flight fire in 1994. The surviving helicopter was sold at the end of 1997 and the Air Wing disbanded.

In 1997, Fiji was able to return to the Commonwealth and the ‘R’ was dropped altogether from RFMF, the armed forces simply being called the Fiji Military Forces. However, in the continuing political turmoil since 1997, it seems that at some date the armed forces again readopted the title Republic of Fiji Military Forces.

Key Dates

1920 Fiji Defence Force first established.
1942 FDF renamed Fiji Military Forces.
1973 FMF renamed Royal Fiji Military Forces.
1987 Fiji Air Wing formally established.
late 1987 RFMF renamed Republic of Fiji Military Forces.
Dec 1988 First RFMF helicopter arrives.
1997 Air Wing disbanded.
1997 RFMF renamed Fiji Military Forces.
?? FMF renamed Republic of Fiji Military Forces.

Current Status

The Air Wing was disbanded in 1997.

Future Plans

No plans known.


Markings

National Insignia

RFMF aircraft are reported to have carried the national flag as a fin flash. It not known if any service titles were carried.

Aircraft Serial Numbers

Aircraft operating with the RFMF carried Fijian civil registrations in the DQ-FGx range reserved for government aircraft, e.g. Ecureuil 2 DQ-FGH.

Unit/Base Codes

Coding system not used.


Aircraft

Aircraft Designations

None – Manufacturers designations used

Current Aircraft Inventory

Not applicable.

All-Time Aircraft Used List

Aircraft Type Quantity Service Entry Out of Service Origin
Aerospatiale AS.355F-2 Ecureuil 2 1 1988 1997 France
Aerospatiale AS 365N2 Dauphin 1 1992 1994 France
Boeing 707-331 1 1979 1979 leased

Aircraft NOT Used

Several websites mention the use of a “Harbin Y-11” by Republic of Fiji Military Forces. The Y-11 was never used outside of China. These reports probably arise from confusion the the Y-12s operated by Air Fiji. Air Fiji ceased operations in 2009.

Aircraft Losses and Incidents

See individual aircraft types.

Organisation

Main Headquarters

Republic of Fiji Military Forces, Strategic Command, Maddocks Road, Suva City, Fiji.

Organisational Structure

No subordinate units.

Current Unit Assignments

No subordinate units.

Historical Unit Assignments

Not applicable.

All-Time Flying Units List

Not applicable.

Air Bases

Current Air Bases

Not applicable.

All-Time Air Bases Used List

The helicopters were based at Nausori International Airport, Suva.


More Information

Books

None known.

Magazines

To be added

Websites

wikipedia: Republic of Fiji Military Forces
RFMF Official website

Any photographs illustrating this operator would be welcome.

 

Aerospatiale AS 365N2 Dauphin
in Republic of Fiji Military Forces service

History

One AS 365N2 Dauphin 2 supplied by France as military aid in March 1992, (some sources say in 1989). Used for Transport and Liaison duties. Caught fire off the coast of Fiji in July 1994 and crashed – fortunately with no loss of life.


Individual Details

Serial c/no. Prev. Identity Delivered Fate/Notes
DQ-FGD 6427 F-WTNP Mar 1992 w/o 10 July 1994, reg’n canx Oct 1994


Pictures

None at present.

More Information

References

Other Sources

To be added.

Aerospatiale AS 355F-2 Ecureuil 2
in Republic of Fiji Military Forces service

History

One AS 355F-2 Ecureuil 2 supplied by France as military aid in December 1988, (some sources say in 1991). Used for Transport and Liaison duties. Leased out to commercial use from Jun 1997 and then sold abroad Dec 1997.


Individual Details

Serial c/no. Prev. Identity Delivered Fate/Notes
DQ-FGH 5378 F-WYMT Dec 1988 wfu Jun 1997, to F-GTVE Dec 1997


Pictures


Ecureuil 2 DQ-FGH (photo, Phil Hawks via Greg Kozak)


More Information

References

Other Sources

To be added.

MBB BK 117

in Emergency Helicopter Services Fiji Use

History

One Japanese-built BK 117A-4 obtained under contract from HELiPRO Fiji. Shipped from Auckland in July 2012, and had arrived in Fiji and been test flown by 1 OCtober 2012. It entered service with EHS Fiji in early December 2012. Used for EMS and Search & Rescue duties.


Individual Details

Serial c/no. Prev. Identity Delivered Fate/Notes
ZK-HYO 1016 JA9699 Dec 2012  


Pictures

None at present.

More Information

References

Other Sources

To be added.

Emergency Helicopter Services Fiji

Operator Profile

History

Narrative Summary

Emergency Helicopter Services Fiji was first established in 2012, established to provide the Fijian and tourist population with a professional Medevac and Search & Rescue service. The helicopter began operations in early December 2012.

Key Dates

2012 Emergency Helicopter Services Ltd first established.
December 2012 First helicopter delivered – MBB BK117.
11 November 2014 Contractor HELiPRO is closed down.

Current Status

EHS Fiji appears to be still operating, despite the fact that contracted helicopter operator HELiPRO went into receivership in November 2014 and has now closed down its entire New Zealand operation.

Future Plans

No plans known. A new helicopter operator to replace HELiPRO is likely to be required.


Markings

Special Markings

The EHS Fiji helicopter operates in the standard overall red colour scheme of HELiPRO.

Aircraft Serial Numbers

The EHS Fiji helicopter currently operates in Fiji under its New Zealand registration. It is not clear if it will be issued with a new DQ-registration eventually.

Unit/Base Codes

Coding system not used.


Aircraft

Aircraft Designations

None – Manufacturers designations used

Current Aircraft Inventory

Aircraft Type Total Del’d Total Active Still on Order Role
MBB BK 117 1 1 0 EMS/Search & Rescue

All-Time Aircraft Used List

Aircraft Type Quantity Service Entry Out of Service Origin
MBB BK 117 1 2012 current contractor

Aircraft NOT Used

No false reports known.

Aircraft Losses and Incidents

None known.

Organisation

Main Headquarters

Emergency Helicopter Services Ltd, Suva, Fiji.

Organisational Structure

No subordinate units.

Current Unit Assignments

No subordinate units.

Historical Unit Assignments

Not applicable.

All-Time Flying Units List

Not applicable.

Air Bases

Current Air Bases

The helicopter is based at Suva Airport.

All-Time Air Bases Used List

As above.


More Information

Books

None known.

Magazines

To be added

Websites

  • Facebook: Emergency Helicopter Services Fiji
  • Emergency Helicopter Services
  • The Fiji Times Online
    Any photographs illustrating this operator would be welcome.

     

  • Fiji

    Country Profile

    The Country

    Geography

    Fiji is an island nation in the South Pacific. It has maritime borders with Vanuatu to the west, France’s New Caledonia to the south west, Tonga to the south, Wallis and Fortuna to the east and Tuvalu to the north. Fiji consists of 106 inhabited and 220 uninhabited islands. The two largest islands are Viti Levu and Vanua Levu, and 87% of the population live there.

    The islands are volcanic in origin and covered with tropical rain forest and savannah, with coral reefs around the coast. The highest volcano, Mount Tomanivi reaches 1,324 m (4,341 ft). The volcanic soil is very good for crops.

    Fiji has a total land area of 18,274 sq km (7,056 sq miles) and had a population of 858,000 in 2012. The main ethnic groups are Fijian 56.8%, Indian 37.5%, Part European 1.3%, European 0.4%, Chinese 0.6% and others 3.5%. The capital city is Suva, on Viti Levu island.

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    National History

    Summary Narrative History

    Timeline – Key Dates in Fiji History

    Further National Information

    BBC News Profile: Fiji
    wikipedia: Fiji
    wikipedia: History of Fiji

    Aviation

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

    Markings

    Civil Aircraft Registrations

    Fiji civil aircraft initially used the prefix VQ-Fxx 1929-1971, but switched to DQ-xxx in 1971.

    Fiji Aircraft Register
    An all-time Civil Rotorcraft Register of Fiji listing is here.
    Golden Years: Fiji

    Aircraft Operators

    Military Air Arms

    Defence Aviation (Republic of Fiji Military Forces – Air Wing) [1987-1997]

    Central Government Agencies

    Government Aviation – VIP transport is provided by Fiji Airways.

    Public Service Aviation

    Medical Aviation (Emergency Helicopter Services Fiji)
    Police Aviation (Fiji Police Force) – no aviation unit

    Commercial Aviation

    Air Fiji [1967-2009]
    Fiji Airways
    Island Hoppers

    wikipedia: Airlines of Fiji
    The World’s Airlines: Fiji

    Private Aviation

    To be added

    Industry

    Aircraft Manufacturers

    None at present.

    Aircraft Maintenance/Repair Depots

    None known.

    Airfields

    Civil Airports & Airfields

    Airports in Fiji

    Military Air Bases & Airfields

    Military Air Bases Listing – to be added.

    On Show

    Aviation Museums

    None at present

    Airshow Dates

    Key Airshow Dates

    More Information

    Aviation-Related Magazines

    Magazines Guide for Fiji

    Aviation Bibliography

    To be added

    Web Links

    To be added.

    Pacific Skies

    Aviation-related Magazines Guide

    ‘Pacific Skies’ was launched in 2012 as a replacement for the now defunct ‘South Pacific Aviation’. It is jointly produced by the Association of South Pacific Airlines (ASPA) and the Secretariat of the Pacific community (SPC). Its main role is to promote the commercial aviation sector in the islands of the South Pacific. Members of ASPA will be able to use the magazine as a platform for sharing their experiences and best practices in the industry.

    Further information: Launch Announcement

    South Pacific Aviation

    Aviation-related Magazines Guide

    Published on behalf of the Fiji-based organisation Association of South Pacific Airlines (ASPA). Quarterly magazine intended as a voice for communicating and promoting air travel to and between the South Pacific islands. Volume 6 No.1 was published in 2003. The magazine ceased publishing in 2006.