"Papa Lima" Revisited

Peter Lewis with Hunter 533 which, as XE614, was his personal aircraft in Aden forty-five years ago. The aircraft has been marked with Peter's call-sign PL in honour of his visit to QAM.


Peter Lewis in the cockpit of "Papa Lima"


On Saturday 15 November 2008, retired British pilot Peter Lewis made a sentimental visit to the Queensland Air Museum to renew acquaintances with Hunter 533 which he flew 45 years previously. Peter commanded the RAF's 1417 Fighter Reconnaissance Flight in Aden in 1963-64. With five aircraft and five pilots in the Flight, each pilot had the luxury of his own "personal" mount. The Hunters were further personalised with radio call-signs derived from the initials of the pilots. Thus, Hunter FR Mark 10, RAF serial XE614, became Peter's aeroplane with the call-sign "PL", or as Peter still calls her affectionately, "Papa Lima". Peter's Hunter went on to serve with the Republic of Singapore Air Force who renumbered the aeroplane as "533". Hunter 533 was retired in 1989 and it was eventually sold to businessman and philanthropist Greg Ackman who donated the Hunter to QAM in 2006. Although the Hunter still carries its Republic of Singapore Air Force markings, the call-sign "PL" was reapplied to the aeroplane in honour of the visit to QAM by Peter Lewis. After some time reminiscing alone in the cockpit, Peter declared himself "a happy man".


The History of Hunter "Papa Lima"

The Story of 1417 Flight in Aden 1963-64 (PDF)