BEECH P35 BONANZA VH-AWC
MSN D7227

 

 

 

QAM thanks Guy Cahill for this aircraft which was donated through the Australian Government’s Cultural Gifts Program.

 


02OCT63
  Aircraft assembled and test flown (40 min) by de Havilland Aircraft, Bankstown, NSW. Log Book No. 1 opened with 8 hr "transfered from tachometer". Aircraft had been received crated with Export Certificate No. E.60541. Fitted with Continental IO-470-N s/n CS95701-3-N (Source: Log Book No. 1)
03OCT63
  Registered VH-AWC to Queensland Primary Producers Co-operative Society, Longreach, Qld. The aircraft was brand new and one of 467 P35s built.
   

The registration VH-AWC was derived from the initials of Alan Walter Campbell O.B.E., C.M.G. (1880-1972) who founded the Queensland Primary Producers' Co-operative Association Ltd. in 1920, coincidentally the same year that QANTAS was founded. By this time Alan Campbell's business acumen was already widely recognised so the founders of QANTAS were quick to enlist his help in setting up the new company. Sir Hudson Fysh records in his history of QANTAS:

"Looking back over the 45 years since Qantas first came into being, one's mind instinctively returns to the lounge of the Gresham Hotel, Brisbane, during the Exhibition Week of August 1920, the year that the Prince of Wales visited Brisbane. Fergus McMaster and Ainslie Templeton Western Queensland graziers, McGinness and myself returned war pilots, and Alan Campbell of the Queensland Primary Producers to assist us with business advice, sat at that now historic glass-topped round table with pencils and paper poised. The outcome was the registration on 16th November 1920 of The Queensland and Northern Territory Aerial Services Ltd."

Subsequently the Qantas board appointed Alan Campbell "main secretary pro tem". At a meeting of the board on 23 February 1933 it was Alan Campbell who moved that Qantas should associate itself with Imperial Airways to operate air services between Australia and England.

(Fysh, Sir Hudson 1965 Qantas Rising, Angus and Robertson, p.97)

 

10FEB64
  100 hourly inspection by Howard Aircraft Pty Ltd, Townsville. (Source: Log Book No. 1)
30SEP64
  CofA renewal by Hawker de Havilland at Bankstown. Total Time: 597 hr 15 min. (Source: Log Book No. 1)
05JUL65
  CofA renewal by Hawker de Havilland at Bankstown. Total Time: 1071 hr. (Source: Log Book No. 1)
    During its time with Queensland Primary Producers, the log book was frequently certified by Fred Bird (Lic. No. 1861)
(Source: Log Book No. 1)
22NOV66
  Photographed at Bankstown, NSW. (Source: Kevin Murphy)
22NOV66
  The log book records 5 hr 20 min and 3 landings on this date. (Source: Log Book No. 1)
26NOV66
  100 hourly inspection by Hawker de Havilland at Bankstown, NSW. Total Time: 1695 hr 46 min. (Source: Log Book No. 1)
13MAR67
  Maintenance Release issued by Rex Aviation (Qld) Pty Ltd at Longreach, QLD. (Source: Log Book No. 1)
02AUG67
  100 hourly inspection by Hawker de Havilland, Archerfield. Total Time: 1994 hr 19 min, 2121 landings.
(Source: Log Book No. 1)
04SEP67
  Registered to Hawker de Havilland, Archerfield, Qld.
09JUL68
  Major inspection and 100 hourly by Hawker de Havilland at Archerfield. Total Time: 2364 hr 40 min. (Source: Log Book No. 1)
21AUG68
  Registered to Dr. Alan Willis, Corryong, Vic. During 1968, Dr. Willis moved to Coonamble as the town doctor, leaving his family in Corryong so that his children could complete the year's schooling.
04SEP68
  Log Book No. 2 opened with 2463 hr 47 min brought forward. (Source: Log Book No. 2)
04OCT68
  100 hourly by Hawker de Havilland at Bankstown. (Source: Log Book No. 2)
05DEC68
  Alan Willis and Ken Mewburn flew VH-AWC from Coonamble to Corryong so that Alan Willis could return with his family by road. Ken Mewburn ferried VH-AWC back to Coonamble. (Source: Ken Mewburn - QAM member, Nov 07)
23JUL69
  100 hourly by Davey Air Services Pty Ltd at Dubbo. (Source: Log Book No. 2)
07OCT69
  Photographed at Coonamble, NSW. At this time the aircraft was turquoise, white and black. (Source: John Hopton)
22JUL70
  100 hourly by Davey Air Services Pty Ltd at Dubbo. Total Time: 2947 hr 30 min. (Source: Log Book No. 2)
14NOV70
  Registered to Ron Muir / Port Macquarie Spares, Port Macquarie, NSW.
29JAN71
  100 hourly by Navair Pty Ltd at Bankstown. (Source: Log Book No. 2)
10FEB71
  Photographed at Bankstown, NSW. (Source: Nigel Daw)
17APR71
  Photographed at Parafield, SA. (Source: Nigel Daw)
02OCT71
  Photographed at Broken Hill, NSW. (Source: Nigel Daw)
06DEC71
  Damaged at Goulburn, NSW.
24FEB72
  100 hourly and "major airframe repairs" by Navair Pty Ltd at Bankstown. (Nature of work suggests a nosewheel collapse) Total Time: 3405 hr. (Source: Log Book No. 2)
22MAR72
  Registered to Hawker de Havilland, Yagoona, NSW.
23JUN72
  Registered to Grahame Jones, St Lucia, Qld.
30JUN72
  100 hourly by Hawker de Havilland at Archerfield. Total Time: 3505 hr. (Source: Log Book No. 2)
OCT72
  Noted at Archerfield competing in the Retailer's Warana Air Race as Race Number 23 flown by E. Felmingham. At this time the aircraft carried "Border Plumbing" titles. (Source: Richard Hitchins)
OCT73
  Noted at Archerfield competing in the Hinkler 1000 Air Race as Race Number 75 flown by E. Felmingham.
(Source: Richard Hitchins)
03AUG74
  Photographed at Mount Isa, Qld. (Source: Nigel Daw)
09SEP74
  Registered to Hawker de Havilland, Lidcombe, NSW.
09DEC74
  Fitted with Continental IO-470-L converted to IO-470-N s/n 92391-6-L-RCN (Source: Engine Log Book No. 1)
13FEB75
  Registered to Brisbane Flying Group, Kelvin Grove, Qld.
    Brisbane Flying Group Pty Ltd (BFG) was a company established to provide low cost flying for pilots. VH-AWC was placed on the Sunland Aviation line and made available for charter operations with Sunland pilots when group members were not wanting the aircraft. VH-AWC was affectionately known as “Ave a Whiskey Charlie”. (Source: Warren Burrows, Maintenance and Security Director of BFG)
    One well known member of the Brisbane Flying Group was Brisbane radio announcer John Knox. John recalls many happy hours flying VH-AWC with his wife Val who was treasurer of the group. In addition to the more familiar "Ave a Whiskey Charlie", the aeroplane was also known for a time as the "Flying Crocodile". This name resulted from the efforts of several well-meaning group members who thought that they could save money for the club by painting the aeroplane themselves. Unfortunately, the second coat was applied before the first coat had cured and the paint took on the cracked appearance of crocodile skin! (This misadventure probably had its culmination in the February 1976 repaint mentioned below).

John also recalls one noteworthy flight from Archerfield to Tuncurry (Forster) with Senator Neville Bonner as a passenger. (Neville Bonner was Australia's first Aboriginal Senator). Shortly after departure from Archerfield, the storm window flew open and John had to effect an temporary repair with a shoelace borrowed from the good Senator! They returned to Archerfield immediately where the storm window was quickly repaired. (Log Book No 2 records on 27JUL76 "DV window repaired" so this may refer to the incident in question).
12APR75
  First flight in VH-AWC by Warren Burrows as part of his endorsement on the aeroplane. (Source: Log book of Warren Burrows)
18FEB76
  The aircraft was completely dismantled including the removal of both tailplanes. Although the aircraft was paint stripped by the owners, the rest of the work was performed by Curley Air Maintenance at Archerfield. The aircraft was repainted in the following colours:
Berger Autothane EK5533 Glacier White
Dulux Enamel 393.12204 Indy Orange
(Source: Log Book No. 2)
Photos indicate that in 1975 the wings were painted orange but other photos show that the wings were painted white. It was probably during this repaint (replacing the "crocodile" paint job referred to above) that the wings were painted white.
01NOV76
  Damaged at Rockhampton, Qld. when the undercarriage collapsed after landing. It is surmised that the pilot mistakenly selected wheels up instead of flaps up after landing. A bump in the taxiway caused the undercarriage to collapse, the propellor struck the ground and the engine was extensively damaged. The aircraft was out of service for several months. (Source: Warren Burrows)
28JUL77
  Repairs completed by Anstey Rose Aircraft Engineers Pty Ltd at Rockhampton. Total Time: 5082 hr.
(Source: Log Book No. 2)
27APR79
  Flown from Archerfield to Maroochydore by Warren Burrows, his last flight in VH-AWC. (Source: Log book of Warren Burrows)
11MAY79
  100 hourly by Hawker Pacific at Archerfield. Total Time: 5780 hr. During its time with the Brisbane Flying Group, VH-AWC was maintained by Hawker de Havilland (later Hawker Pacific) at Archerfield. (Source: Log Book No. 2)
22JUN79
  Registered to Tabulana Pty Ltd, Armidale with a postal address at Guyra, NSW.
02NOV79
  Periodic inspection by New England Aerial Topdressing Pty Ltd, Armidale, NSW (trading as Superair). Both exhaust stacks were repaired by East-West Airlines at Tamworth. Total Time: 5870 hr 20 min. (Source: Log Book No. 2)
24DEC80
  Major inspection by New England Aerial Topdressing Pty Ltd, Armidale, NSW (trading as Superair). Total Time: 6039 hr. (Source: Log Book No. 2)
22MAR81
  Registered to Papa Sierra Pty Ltd / Thomas Caldwell, Coffs Harbour, NSW.
05JUN81
  Narco AT150 transponder installed and compass swung by Air Gold Coast Pty Ltd at Coolangatta. (Source: Log Book No. 2)
10JAN84
  Major inspection by Coffs Aero Maintenance, Coffs Harbour. Total Time: 6340 hr. (Source: Log Book No. 2)
08FEB86
  Photographed at Innisfail, Qld. (Source: David Thollar)
02MAR90
  Major inspection by Coffs Aero Maintenance, Coffs Harbour. Aircraft was stripped and repainted.
US Paint Polyurethane Moon Dust
EuroCryl VWL54Y Aqua Blau
EuroCryl Incredible Black
Total Time: 6902 hr. (Source: Log Book No. 2)
02FEB92
  Acquired by Guy Cahill. (Source: Correspondence with Guy Cahill)
10APR92
  Periodic inspection by Port Aero Servicing at Coffs Harbour. Total Time: 7100 hr. (Source: Log Book No. 2)
01JUN92
  Registered to BC Opals (Guy Cahill), Bowraville, NSW.
16APR94
  Periodic inspection by Jacaranda Aviation Pty Ltd, Bankstown. Total Time: 7292 hr. (Source: Log Book No. 2)
20MAR95
  Skin repairs and pilot's windscreen replaced. "All major hail dents dressed or filled as required" by Airag Aviation Services Pty Ltd at Bankstown. (Source: Log Book No. 2)
22JUL96
  Last flight recorded on Maintenance Release (No 08387) 2 hr 5 min. (Source: Log Book No. 2)
29JUL96
  Last Maintenance Release (No 08387) Total Time: 7458.1 hr. (Source: Log Book No. 2)
22AUG96
  Periodic inspection by Davison Aviation Service at Coffs Harbour. Total Time: 7458.1 hr. (Source: Log Book No. 2)
23JAN97
  Battery replaced by Davison Aviation Service at Coffs Harbour. This is the last entry in the log book with no increase in total time beyond 7458.1 hr. (Source: Log Book No. 2)
97
  Although it is not recorded in the log book, the aircraft was written off in a ground incident at Coffs Harbour, probably not long after the battery was replaced on 23JAN97. It is reported that the aeroplane rolled over a substantial drop at the side of the strip incurring serious damage.
NOV02
  Noted derelict at Coffs Harbour, NSW.
27JUN06
  Registration cancelled in Part 47 purge of the Register.
08FEB07
  Donated to QAM under the Cultural Gifts Program by Guy Cahill (BC Opals).
17APR07
  Trucked from Coffs Harbour to Brisbane by QAM.
19APR07
  Trucked from Brisbane to Caloundra by QAM.

 

Compiled by Ron Cuskelly

 



 


ISSUE
DATE
REMARKS
9
18FEB15
Clarified the colour of the wings after the repaint in February 1976. Also added another image of the aircraft while with the Brisbane Flying Group.
8
14SEP10
Added two images of the aircraft in service with the Brisbane Flying Group. Thanks to John Baxter and John & Valma Knox.
7
09AUG10
Significantly updated from the aircraft log books. Also added several anecdotes thanks to John Knox.
6
21NOV07
Added information on use by Dr Alan Willis at Corryong and Coonamble thanks to QAM member, Ken Mewburn, who flew the aircraft during this period.
5
17MAY07
Added references to the aircraft competing in two air races ex Archerfield in 1972/73. Thanks to Dick Hitchins.
4
03MAY07
Warren Burrows has provided more information on the Brisbane Flying Group's use of the aircraft. Also added a 1986 photo thanks to David Thollar.
3
30APR07
Added two images thanks to John Hopton and Kevin Murphy.
2
25APR07
Added notes on the significance of the registration VH-AWC thanks to Rob MacIntosh. Added several sightings and images thanks to Nigel Daw.
1
18APR07
Original issue. Thanks to Tony Arbon.