BEECH P35 BONANZA VH-AWC C/N D7227

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

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)

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)

100 hourly inspection by Howard Aircraft Pty Ltd, Townsville. (Source: Log Book No. 1)

CofA renewal by Hawker de Havilland at Bankstown. Total Time: 597 hr 15 min. (Source: Log Book No. 1)

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)

Photographed at Bankstown, NSW. (Source: Kevin Murphy)

The log book records 5 hr 20 min and 3 landings on this date. (Source: Log Book No. 1)

100 hourly inspection by Hawker de Havilland at Bankstown, NSW. Total Time: 1695 hr 46 min. (Source: Log Book No. 1)

Maintenance Release issued by Rex Aviation (Qld) Pty Ltd at Longreach, QLD. (Source: Log Book No. 1)

100 hourly inspection by Hawker de Havilland, Archerfield. Total Time: 1994 hr 19 min, 2121 landings.
(Source: Log Book No. 1)

Registered to Hawker de Havilland, Archerfield, Qld.

Major inspection and 100 hourly by Hawker de Havilland at Archerfield. Total Time: 2364 hr 40 min. (Source: Log Book No. 1)

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.

Log Book No. 2 opened with 2463 hr 47 min brought forward. (Source: Log Book No. 2)

100 hourly by Hawker de Havilland at Bankstown. (Source: Log Book No. 2)

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)

100 hourly by Davey Air Services Pty Ltd at Dubbo. (Source: Log Book No. 2)

Photographed at Coonamble, NSW. At this time the aircraft was turquoise, white and black. (Source: John Hopton)

100 hourly by Davey Air Services Pty Ltd at Dubbo. Total Time: 2947 hr 30 min. (Source: Log Book No. 2)

Registered to Ron Muir / Port Macquarie Spares, Port Macquarie, NSW.

100 hourly by Navair Pty Ltd at Bankstown. (Source: Log Book No. 2)

Photographed at Bankstown, NSW. (Source: Nigel Daw)

Photographed at Parafield, SA. (Source: Nigel Daw)

Photographed at Broken Hill, NSW. (Source: Nigel Daw)

Damaged at Goulburn, NSW.

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)

Registered to Hawker de Havilland, Yagoona, NSW.

Registered to Grahame Jones, St Lucia, Qld.

100 hourly by Hawker de Havilland at Archerfield. Total Time: 3505 hr. (Source: Log Book No. 2)

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)

Noted at Archerfield competing in the Hinkler 1000 Air Race as Race Number 75 flown by E. Felmingham.
(Source: Richard Hitchins)

Photographed at Mount Isa, Qld. (Source: Nigel Daw)

Registered to Hawker de Havilland, Lidcombe, NSW.

Fitted with Continental IO-470-L converted to IO-470-N s/n 92391-6-L-RCN (Source: Engine Log Book No. 1)

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).

First flight in VH-AWC by Warren Burrows as part of his endorsement on the aeroplane. (Source: Log book of Warren Burrows)

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.

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)

Repairs completed by Anstey Rose Aircraft Engineers Pty Ltd at Rockhampton. Total Time: 5082 hr.
(Source: Log Book No. 2)

Flown from Archerfield to Maroochydore by Warren Burrows, his last flight in VH-AWC. (Source: Log book of Warren Burrows)

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)

Registered to Tabulana Pty Ltd, Armidale with a postal address at Guyra, NSW.

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)

Major inspection by New England Aerial Topdressing Pty Ltd, Armidale, NSW (trading as Superair). Total Time: 6039 hr. (Source: Log Book No. 2)

Registered to Papa Sierra Pty Ltd / Thomas Caldwell, Coffs Harbour, NSW.

Narco AT150 transponder installed and compass swung by Air Gold Coast Pty Ltd at Coolangatta. (Source: Log Book No. 2)

Major inspection by Coffs Aero Maintenance, Coffs Harbour. Total Time: 6340 hr. (Source: Log Book No. 2)

Photographed at Innisfail, Qld. (Source: David Thollar)

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)

Acquired by Guy Cahill. (Source: Correspondence with Guy Cahill)

Periodic inspection by Port Aero Servicing at Coffs Harbour. Total Time: 7100 hr. (Source: Log Book No. 2)

Registered to BC Opals (Guy Cahill), Bowraville, NSW.

Periodic inspection by Jacaranda Aviation Pty Ltd, Bankstown. Total Time: 7292 hr. (Source: Log Book No. 2)

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)

Last flight recorded on Maintenance Release (No 08387) 2 hr 5 min. (Source: Log Book No. 2)

Last Maintenance Release (No 08387) Total Time: 7458.1 hr. (Source: Log Book No. 2)

Periodic inspection by Davison Aviation Service at Coffs Harbour. Total Time: 7458.1 hr. (Source: Log Book No. 2)

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)

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.

Noted derelict at Coffs Harbour, NSW.

Registration cancelled in Part 47 purge of the Register.

Donated to QAM under the Cultural Gifts Program by Guy Cahill (BC Opals).

Trucked from Coffs Harbour to Brisbane by QAM.

Trucked from Brisbane to Caloundra by QAM.

Compiled by Ron Cuskelly
To view this page as it was designed please click HERE

Compiled By Ron Cuskelly

Remarks

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.

Issue: 09

DATE: 18 FEB 15

Added two images of the aircraft in service with the Brisbane Flying Group. Thanks to John Baxter and John & Valma Knox.

Issue: 08

DATE: 14 SEP 10

Significantly updated from the aircraft log books. Also added several anecdotes thanks to John Knox.

Issue: 07

DATE: 09 AUG 10

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.

Issue: 06

DATE: 21 NOV 07

Added references to the aircraft competing in two air races ex Archerfield in 1972/73. Thanks to Dick Hitchins.

Issue: 05

DATE: 17 MAY 07

\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.

Issue: 04

DATE: 03 MAY 07

Added two images thanks to John Hopton and Kevin Murphy.

Issue: 03

DATE: 30 APR 07

Added notes on the significance of the registration VH-AWC thanks to Rob MacIntosh. Added several sightings and images thanks to Nigel Daw.

Issue: 02

DATE: 25 APR 07

Original issue. Thanks to Tony Arbon.

Issue: 01

DATE: 18 APR 07

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