If you have been to Tempelhof as often as we did, you already know an abandoned airplane is in the grass area next to one of the landing strips. We call it the abandoned Tempelhof Airplane, but its real name is N106TA if we can call this a name.
We have been going to Tempelhof as often as possible since we moved to Neukölln in 2012. We are not sure when we first spotted this airplane, but we can say that we didn’t really understand why it was there and why it was protected by a fence.
A couple of years passed, and we completely forgot about it. Eventually, we got a drone and decided to fly over it. At this time, our curiosity took over, and we decided to research why there was an abandoned airplane at Tempelhof.
But before we talk about something we just learned about, the regional airline called Tempelhof Airways.
A brief story of the Abandoned Tempelhof Airplane
Tempelhof Airways USA was a regional airline headquartered in Florida. It was based on Berlin Tempelhof Airport, which was still part of West Berlin. It existed from 1981 until Germany reunited, and the company found it unable to compete in a new market. All flights ceased at the end of October 1990, and the company was over.
Tempelhof Airways was founded by a Berliner who lived between Florida and Germany. During the days of occupation, West Berlin could only have operations by airlines of the occupied powers: France, Great Britain, and the United States.
In April 1982, the company started flying as an air taxi. In January 1985, scheduled flights began between Tempelhof and Paderborn. Most of these flights were used by employers of Nixdorf Computer, based in Paderborn. Later, there were flights to Augsburg, Dortmund, Luxembourg, and Braunschweig.
One of these flights leads to why N106TA is still at Tempelhof today. October 1987, the passenger aircraft skidded its way off the runway. The damage to the plane was repaired, but it remained prone to faults. This made N106TA unsafe, and it was decommissioned a few flights later.
The N106TA arrived at Berlin Tempelhof Airport in 1988 and has been there since then. It was first used by the fire brigade as a trainer aircraft for the rapid evacuation of passengers in emergencies. This is why the engines were removed, and the original brand colors of the Tempelhof Airways were removed and replaced with green.
This is how we discovered the past of the abandoned Tempelhof Airplane. Today, the N106TA is a part of the history of Berlin Tempelhof Airport. It has been preserved as a historical artifact of the 1980s aviation in West Berlin.
If you want to visit N106TA and take pictures, use the map below. And be respectful of its past, don’t climb the fence or damage the aircraft. Take your photographs and share its story with your friends; it’s everything the plane ever wanted.
Tempelhof Airplane N106TA: A Forgotten Aerial Relic Revealed
Tempelhofer Feld, 12101 Berlin