This is a copy of a letter received from Serge Lecordier, an Atuona resident and
a friend of Jacques Brel
"JOJO" is a
Beechcraft Twin-Bonanza model D50 built in 1956 (in Wichita Kansas
assembly plants) with airframe serial number DH-5.
She accomodates eight travelers
, three on the front seats, the two pilots being on the left and center, and 3+2
passengers in the rear comparment.
Powered by two 6 cylinders
Lycoming GO 480 engines with reduction gearbox and compressors, developping 295
HP each, At
160 kts IAS cruise speed, they burn 27 gallons/hour, tanks capacity : 180
The carburetors are equiped
with barometric compensators to automatically set the mixture as the altitude
trace we found comes from Roy M Jones from Texas who is the last US owner of
I, Roy M. Jones, found this Beechcraft Twin Bonanza N4950B
at a small airport about 50 miles east of Austin, Texas in the mid-70’s. I do
not remember the date. I contacted the owner and we made a deal on the aircraft.
I remember bring it to my airport in San Marcos, Texas. I ran a small airport
Lowman Field just south of San Marcos, Texas on the east side of I-35 highway
which runs through San Antonio, Texas via Austin, Texas to Dallas, Texas and on
to Oklahoma. At the time I had several other Twin Bonanzas, so to tell you about
the fights that I made in 50B, I don’t remember them. I have some photos that I
took of the aircraft at my airport when I first got it. I do not remember much
special about 50B except that it had both doors on her, the door over the wing
and the Swearingen airstair door on the right rear behind the flap. It also had
a couch on the left side of the cabin and two seats on the right side of the
cabin. There was also a box seat aft the couch which had seat belts. The pilot,
co-pilot and right front seat making three seats in the front. This seating
arrangement was able to seat Eight (8) persons, which made this aircraft
different from the the other Twin Bonanzas because they only seat about Six (6)
We flew 50B around the area some, had the radios worked
on, and a friend at a small airport in Beaumont, Texas used it some. I took 50B
to Mena, Arkansas to the Gooder Brothers, who stripped the paint and interior
and repainted Red/Gold on white and redid the interior in Red/Gold which you see
in the video.
I do remember after the paint and interior was done, my
friend had it again in Beaumout, Texas, and a group of people where to use it to
go to Colorado for a week, infact it had all seats filled. Eight (8) person.
They were departing the Beaumont airport, and on climb out the right propeller
came off the aircraft. They returned to the airport with no problems other than
the right engine had came apart. They found the propeller in a field in the area
they had lost it.
We rebuilt the engine and got an new propeller installed
and was in the air again. I do not remember the transaction very well, I think
that a friend who was a aircraft dealer in South Carolina sold the aircraft to
Jacques Brel, for me. I remember that it went overseas to some island.
Here are some of the photos when I bought 50B and the other ones are after I
had it painted and interiored.
Roy M Jones, Texas
Lecordier also told us what happened to JOJO once she arrived at Tahiti.
Twin Bonanza was imported from
the USA in october 1975, where she was registered as N4950B (confirmation not
found) by Tahiti Air Tour service, TATS owner Mr Michel BRUN
, on behalf of a young private pilot. She will be used to transport farm
and sea food from the owner's enterprise to the Papeete market under the
French registration F-ODBU.
On Nov. 30, 1976, Madly Bamy,
Brel's girlfriend, buys the airplane.
another blog ( http://tahitinui.blog.lemonde.fr/2007/01/28/jojo-lavion-de-jacques-brel )
the author refering to this page, adds some important details :
On Nov. 30, 1976, Madly Bamy,
Brel's girlfriend, buys the airplane which Brel will chisten 'Jojo' for his best
(deceased) friend Georges Pasquier. Further to many technical difficulties, Brel
will finally obtain the flight certificates for his plane. He will use her
for his own trips, but also for many humanitarian flights such as medical
transfers until 1978. He had the aircraft equiped for that purpose, with things
such as a red rotating beacon. Whatever the weather be, like theAeropostale
he will fly against the violent pacific storms. He will also take risks by fair
weather to land on Ua Pou island which has a very dangerous rough and inclined
runway, with no markings and hills on one end and on both sides. You may not
miss your landing, no "go around" is allowed. "I get nervous every time I land or
take off at Ua Pou" says Brel. The marquisians will soon get acquainted with the
chance of having those weekly flights which brings them mail, medecines, books
and take no charge passengers.
On July 7, 1978, Jacques goes back to Paris for medical care. Jojo will be
flown back to Tahiti by another pilot, Jean François LEJEUNE.
On Nov.6 1978, shorly after Jacques' decease, Madly sells
the plane to the "Tahiti Pearls" company owned by Mr Robert Wan. He will have
her repainted to the blue, white and red French colors.
On the left, Jojo between 1992 and 2003 with the
paintings (unknown photographer)
About three years later, Mr Wan will sells the plane
to Mr Yves Tchen Pan (on Jan. 18,1982) who will fly her for "Tuamotu Pearls"
from Hikueru. To my knowledge, she was repainted in white with Jacques' original
Ci-contre, « Jojo » sur l’aérodrome d’HAO en 1982
Photo provenant du site www.airliners.net
Mr Tchen Pan will create
"Air Océania" (no more working), that's
where the Twin Bonanza will end her air life.
After a last flight on Oct.25, 1988,
she will be parked in a hangar first, then outside. (on Tahiti FaaaAirport)
the end of 1992, she is turned over to the airport firemen for an exercise.
As I was chairman of Atuona's Tourism Office, I negociated
to save "Jojo" from the fire and will be heard by Mr Mottard, Faaa airport CEO
who will there initiate a long solidarity chain driving some Brel's
unconditionnal fans until October 3, 2003.
In a second
letter Serge explain how, with Bernard
Bonzom, they have decided to rebuild "Jojo"
a matter of fact, Jojo's restoration was planned in the Hanakee hotel as, in
2001, I met with Bernard Bonzom, a Dassault engineer. He let me hope that he
could convince his hierarchy. Very shortly, I received a mail from Bernard, he
had made it, now, the project had to be organized....., more than one year
before I welcomed them, there were three of them, Bermard, Joêl, Serge, from
Dassault, coming as volunteers to rebuild "Jojo". There were also several local
volunteers with me to help in the shop.
points out :
conclude, when Jacques asked Madly to buy the aircraft, she was painted to the
French colors. Further to some modifications such as installing a red rotating
beacon, Brel will have her repainted to the Belgian colors Yellow, black
and red. (
Ndlr : Today, we know
in fact, it's Roy M Jones who is responsible for the colors Jojo wore when owned
by Jacques Brel ). This is the color scheme we
used in September 2003 for her last ever flight eight feet above
On the left Copyright Sylvain Girardot
dessous de Rangiroa)
Fyi : The
rules for a flight Marqueese-Tahiti requise a report every 30 minutes and also
when crossing 12, 13 and 14° South parallels. The flight level used was FLMost
common winds are from hdg 060 t o 080, 10 to 15 Kts. Th direct flight with Jojo
was an average 4hrs45 min. A little longer for the return flght (downwinds)
Jacques used to land in Rangiroa for refuelling.
I hope this is the information
your were looking for and remain available for any further information.J'espère
avoir répondu à votre attente, restant à votre disposition pour plus de
Thanks Serge, the fans of « Jacques Brel the flyer » will be grateful
Not to forget
Olivier from Atuona "Sainte Anne"
college who forwarded my message to you.
also to the members of PegaseTv forum who helped in my serach