CESSNA 336 SKYMASTER VH-CMY
MSN
336-0005

 

 


N1705Z
   
    Registered as N1705Z.
29MAY63
  Arrived in Darwin on its delivery flight. (Source: AHSA Journal, June 1963)
05JUN63
  The aircraft was demonstrated at Adelaide Airport and made several flights to Parafield. (Source: South Australian Air Journal)
08JUN63
  Arrived at Bankstown as N1705Z. (Source: AHSA Journal, June 1963)
VH-RLW
   
06JAN64
  Registered to Rex Aviation Pty Ltd, Bankstown as VH-RLW.
    "Transporting drums of fuel in Cessna 185s was no longer practicable. In mid-1963, Dave Robertson (Aerial Tours) had arranged for a demonstration tour of the first Cessna 336 push-pull twin to come to PNG. The aeroplane attracted a lot of interest, and Dennis Buchanan (Territory Airlines) was quick to recognise its potential. He placed an order for three 336s, the first to be delivered in early 1964. Bryan McCook (Chief Pilot, Territory Airlines) recalls:

We were the first to order the 336, followed by Ansett. We hired the demonstrator from Rex Aviation until the first of ours arrived. I was not overjoyed with the 336, as I had some doubts about its take-off ability at places like Wonenara. I had taken the demonstrator aircraft, VH-RLW, in there a few times, but its take-off performance left a lot to be desired. The engines, though apparently turning out full power for the elevation, just didn't seem to be right. They were fuel-injected, and the first of their kind in New Guinea. I was relieved when after several complaints from me, Dennis and Gerry Boag, our Goroka manager, packed the machine back to Sydney, post-haste, with the reminder that as its performance wasn't up to specs, the hire fees on it would probably not be paid, and the order for further 336s possibly cancelled. Well, Rex quickly got on to inspecting it, and found the cause of the trouble to be in the injectors - wrong size or adjustment. All instrument indications were as if maximum power was being developed, which was not the case, and we had in fact been flying that machine on about 70 per cent power for take-off. I picked up our first 336, VH-GKY, in April, 1964, and flew it to Goroka with Dennis as passenger. It was quite a different aeroplane to old RLW, and would obviously meet our requirements well."
(Source: James Sinclair, Balus Vol. II pp. 83-84)
    "Says Dave Robertson (Aerial Tours):

Then I introduced the Cessna 336 push-pull. I found them very good. There was a lot of prejudice against them, but they were a good aeroplane for the types of strips we had, particularly short strips. Had no assymetrics, a pretty good ground performance, sort of super single engined 'plane. No engineering or operational problems, in my own experience.

The Cessna 336 was an oddity amongst light twin-engined aircraft, and few New Guinea pilots liked it. A twin-engined, high-winged monoplane, the 336 was designed to overcome the principal problem that private pilots of limited experience faced with twins of conventional design - thrust asymmetry in the event of engine failure. The 336 was not commercially successful, and was soon replaced with the 337, which had retractable gear and a better performance. This proved more acceptable, but the aeroplane was never popular in PNG. The odd configuration did not appeal to passengers, and it was certainly a noisy beast in which to fly."
(Source: James Sinclair, Balus Vol. II pp. 55-56)
    "Dave Robertson's C336 was VH-RYX. He soon found that the fuselage configuration made the loading of long items of freight difficult. It will be remembered that Dave Robertson was one of the rare breed of engineer-pilots, and he also held the Cessna franchise for Papua. He began to ponder on ways of overcoming the problem:

I went down to Rex at Bankstown with a bright idea. I said to the chief engineer, 'What if we reconstruct the rear of the fuselage, so that we can swing it aside, open up the complete back of the aircraft?' They thought it a terrific idea. Could it be done, was the next thing. Hadn't been done anywhere else. So we got a design engineer, and he designed it. The rear of the fuselage, with engine, just swung aside. Where we made the mistake was, we put the modification in a 336. The 337 had just come out, with more performance and retractable gear. That would have been the 'plane to convert. The one we converted was sold to Ansett.

The converted 336 was VH-CMY. It was registered by ANSETT-MAL in June, 1965, and was based in the Sepik District. The conversion had cost 2,500, bringing the total cost of the aeroplane to 23,500. The swinging rear was secured by a manually-operated hydraulic lock, and the modification reduced the normal payload by only 18 kilograms. CMY was able to take five passengers, plus pilot, and swallowed 408.2 kilograms of long, awkward freight with ease. All things considered, it is surprising that this was the only 336 or 337 to be so modified." (Source: James Sinclair, Balus Vol. II pp. 55-56)
    The modification was performed by Aerostructures Ltd. and took four months.
12JUN65
  Photographed at Bankstown painted in ANSETT-M.A.L. livery as VH-CMY with modifications seemingly complete.
22JUN65
  Registered to ANSETT-M.A.L. as VH-RLW.
VH-CMY
   
22JUN65
  Registered (same day) to ANSETT-M.A.L. as VH-CMY.
03JUL65
  Photographed at Bankstown painted in ANSETT-M.A.L. livery as VH-CMY with modifications seemingly complete.
07JUL65
  Photographed at Bankstown painted in ANSETT-M.A.L. livery as VH-CMY with modifications seemingly complete.
16JUL65
  Arrived at Lae, PNG via Daru and Goroka. Flying time: 13 hours 43 minutes. (Source: New Guinea Times Courier 22JUL65)
OCT68
  Sold to Territory Airlines for $6,500 after the closure of ANSETT-MAL Light Aircraft Division.
(Source: James Sinclair, Balus Vol. II p. 102)
04OCT68
  Registered to Territory Airlines Ltd.
20SEP71
  Flown for the first time by Ain Kiiver who many years later became a member of QAM. Ain was then with Territory Airlines based in Mendi in the Southern Highlands. On this day he flew seven sectors in the aircraft and many more thereafter. (Source: Log book of Ain Kiiver)
25MAR72
  Flown from Goroka to Omkalai and return by Ain Kiiver. This was his last flight in the aircraft. (Source: Log book of Ain Kiiver)
10JUN72
  Sold to Sacred Heart Missionaries, Kavieng, PNG.
14AUG74
  Struck off the Australian Register.
P2-CMY
   
14AUG74
  Registered P2-CMY.
20NOV77
  Struck off the PNG Register.
VH-CMY
   
05JAN78
  Registered VH-CMY to RC & CJ Lanham, Tugun, QLD.
    Registered to TC Air of Annandale, NSW.
10MAR99
  Struck off Register.
19MAY03
  "Gold Coast Airport Ltd has advised that it intends to sell an abandoned Cessna 336, former registration VH-CMY, if the plane's owner does not come forward by June 20. An airport spokesman said yesterday the plane had been on the tarmac for at least five years and racked up about $25,000 in unpaid fees and charges. But all efforts to contact the owner had failed, she said."
(Source: Courier-Mail, Brisbane 19MAY03)
01APR04
  Aircraft offered for silent auction sale by the Gold Coast Airport.
14APR04
  Aircraft inspected by QAM at Coolangatta.
21APR04
  Nominal bid submitted by QAM.
30APR04
  Tenders closed. QAM were subsequently advised that its tender was unsuccessful.
09MAY06
  Moved to the Fire Service training area at Gold Coast Airport.
29MAY09
  QAM again expressed interest in acquiring the aircraft.
24JUN09
  Inspected by QAM and Coolangatta Airport Rescue and Fire Fighting (ARFF) agreed in principle to exchange the aircraft for something similar.
04AUG09
  Coolangatta AARF officially agreed to exchange VH-CMY for the airframe of Cessna 402 VH-RJH.
11-12DEC09
  The aircraft was dismantled at Coolangatta in preparation for transportation to QAM at Caloundra.
30DEC09
  The aircraft departed Coolangatta by road for Caloundra.
14AUG10
  The rear engine was swung open for the first time in many years. This feature will be preserved in the restored aircraft.
JUL12
  Static restoration completed.

 

Compiled by Ron Cuskelly

 



 


ISSUE
DATE
REMARKS
9
22JUL12
Added two images of the newly restored aircraft.
8
01FEB11
Added a photo of the aircraft arriving at Bankstown on its delivery flight. Also added details of the delivery flight all thanks to Roger McDonald.
7
07JAN11
Added a newspaper cutting with a photo showing the rear engine swung aside. Also added details of the delivery flight to PNG on 16JUL65.
6
16AUG10
Added two images of the rear engine swung aside during restoration work. Also recorded that the aircraft was flown in PNG by QAM member Ain Kiiver.
5
12FEB10
Added a pre-delivery colour image of the aircraft in ANSETT-MAL colours and an image of the aircraft in Paradise Airways colours. Thanks to Dave Eyre.
4
07JAN10
Added an image of the Cessna 402 airframe which was exchanged for VH-CMY.
3
31DEC09
Added an image of the aircraft in Territory Airlines colours thanks to Dennis Gray.
2
30DEC09
Aircraft was moved to QAM Caloundra.
1
17JUN09
Original issue. Unless shown otherwise, this chronology was sourced from Ansett historian Fred Niven.