DE HAVILLAND DOVE MKI VH-MAL C/N 04120

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QAM thanks David Bussey for funding the purchase of this aircraft.

Built at Hatfield by de Havilland Aircraft Co. Ltd.

Delivered to East African Airways Corporation as VP-KEJ and named "Swahili" later renamed "Masai".

Added to Kenya Register as VP-KEJ.

Registration application from Mandated Airlines Ltd., Lae, PNG.

Sold to MAL along with VP-KDG.

Ferried from Nairobi to Lae as VP-KEJ.

Arrived Lae from Darwin along with VP-KDG.

Both aircraft used for crew training in PNG still carrying VP marks prior issue of Australian CofA.

Australian CofA issued.

(Backdated) Added to register as VH-MAL. Aircraft to be used on supplemental services ex Port Moresby to connect with Trans Oceanic Airlines flying boat service ex Sydney. Named "Rai" in MAL service.

Fault in nosewheel latch prevented extension of nose- wheel until the co-pilot cut a hole in the cockpit floor and pushed wheel into down-locked position in flight. Aircraft grounded for repairs. See Axe Attack Revisited

Returned to service.

Application for conversion to 18 seater for carrying natives in inwards facing seats. Not approved.

Wingspar boom overhaul completed by Airlines (WA).

Total airframe time: 2287 hrs.

Ferried to Bankstown for CofA inspection.

Conversion to 18 seater approved after submission of better drawings.

Completion of inspection.

CofA suspended when wing skins found wrinkled.

Port engine failure after hole burnt in cylinder.

CofA renewed at Bankstown.

Delivered to Perth for Airlines (WA).

Change of ownership to Airlines (WA) Ltd. Perth WA. Reregistered VH-AWE same day.

Change of ownership to Southern Airlines Ltd. Essendon VIC. Reregistered VH-GVE same day.

Delivered to Essendon late in month.

The aircraft suffered undercarriage damage at Swan Hill while being flown by Joe Salfas. Soon after touch down there was a loud thump and the aircraft became airborne and when touching down the nose wheel collapsed. The pilot maintains that the Dove hit a ridge of dirt on the strip and that the groundsman graded the strip the next morning before it could be inspected by the authorities and consequently he was accused of making a heavy landing. According to his log book the incident happened on 17 April 1958. After temporary repairs using some dexion he flew the Dove back to Melbourne, solo, with the undercarriage down on 19 April. (Source: Joe Salfas' log book via Neil Follett)

To Rain Air Taxis, c/- Australian Aircraft Sales, Sydney. Operated by Executive Air Services from Bankstown although little flying was done.

Weighed at Essendon. Owner shown as Rain Air Taxis. Aircraft in 9 passenger configuration.

Owner shown as Australian Aircraft Sales.

Aircraft weighing summary shows owner as Executive Air Transport with maintenance by Fawcett Aviation Bankstown. 8 seat configuration. CofA (Class 1, private) valid to 12JUL71 issued to Marie Bennet, Woollara, NSW.

At CofA renewal for Executive Airways total time shown as 9,164 hours 25 mins. with only 16 hrs. 55 mins. since last renewal.

Sold to Chartwell Pty. Ltd. Gordon, NSW (Manager, Mr. D.S. McKellar)

Letter from Chartwell advising purchase and requesting change of registration to VH-DSM.

CofA still shows owner as Mrs. Bennett.

Reregistered VH-DSM to D.S. McKellar trading as Chartwell P/L

Chartered by Notley Aviation, Camden.

CofA renewed to Chartwell. Total time 9,175 hrs. 55 mins. with 10 hrs. 50 mins. since last renewal.

Request for change of registration category to Class 3, Charter.

Transfer of ownership to D.S.M. Holdings Pty. Ltd., Gordon, NSW. Aircraft based at Camden.

de Havilland, Bankstown found a 4 inch crack in left front lower spar boom which had been missed in previous x-ray inspection by another company.

Flown Camden-Bankstown by pilot Gray. (DCA files via G. Goodall)

Records to this date from 05NOV63 show a/c apparently flown only by D.S. McKellar.

Flown only 16 hrs. 55 mins. since 18OCT63.

Overhauled by Hawker de Havilland at Bankstown and repainted with dark blue in lieu of light blue.

Noted at Sydney (KSA) painted as VH-BCB. It was reported that the Australian representatives of Donald Campbell arranged to charter the aeroplane and reregister it VH-BDC (Bluebird Donald Campbell) for use in connection with his world land speed record attempt on Lake Eyre. However on his arrival, Campbell chose the Avis Aero Commander VH-AVT and the Dove charter fell through.

Repainted as VH-DSM in last week of May.

Still idle at Flight Facilities Sydney having only made a brief flight to Bankstown in early June.

Change of ownership to DSM Holdings, Sydney. Reported to be operating under the name Scenic Airways.

Chartered by the NSW Branch of the Aviation Historical Society of Aust. for a trip to RAAF Williamtown for an air display. Passengers included Chris O'Neill, Steve Gibson and Peter Ricketts. Cost was 5.0.0 return. Pilot was Doug McKellar.

Landed at Longreach with a nosewheel problem. (DCA files via G. Goodall)

Flown Mornington Island-Burketown (or Bourke?) by pilot McKellar. (DCA files via G. Goodall)

Flown Sydney-Forster. (DCA files via G. Goodall)

CofA renewal by Notley Aviation for Chartwell in charter category.

Flown Scone-Sydney. (DCA files via G. Goodall)

Flown Khancoban-Sydney by pilot McKellar. (DCA files via G. Goodall)

Flown Rockhampton-Brisbane by pilot Moss. (DCA files via G. Goodall)

Nosewheel tyre deflated on landing at Sydney. Pilot McKellar. (DCA files via G. Goodall)

Not flown until NOV67

Permit to fly issued for Harry Purvis to ferry a/c from Port Macquarie to Camden for major inspection and reweighing.

Photographed at Camden NSW in two tone blue and white colour scheme with Chartwell titles.

Flown Sydney-Port Macquarie by pilot K. Oram. (DCA files via G. Goodall)

Test flight at Camden.

To Nicholson's Air Service, P.O. Box 55, Toowong, Qld.

Change of ownership to Nicholson's Air Service Wee Waa, NSW.

Total hours 9,580.

Major inspection until OCT71

Reweighed by East-West Airlines, Tamworth.

CofA reissued for Nicholson's, Wee Waa.

Registration category changed from Class 3 (Charter) to Class 1 (Private).

Change of ownership to Swiftair Aviation Services Pty. Ltd., Lismore, NSW.

Owner shown as Roydit Pty. Ltd. trading as Swiftair Aviation Services.

Last flight (Lismore/Evans Head?). Total time 10,310 hrs. 40 min.

From JAN78 to OCT80 the aircraft was flown only by Cec Swift as pilot-in-command. (Source: Peter Swift, son of Cec Swift)

Aircraft stored at Evans Head.

Removed from the register w.e.f. 28SEP81.

Sold to Queensland Air Museum.

Arrived at Caloundra on trucks.

Painted in Mandated Airlines colours as VH-MAL "Rai".

Pilots' reunion at Caloundra. Present were Capt Jack Stammer and his wife Lillian. Capt Jim Perry and his wife Olga and Capt Ray Harris.

See: Axe Attack Revisited
Compiled by Ron Cuskelly
To view this page as it was designed please click HERE

Compiled By Ron Cuskelly

Remarks

Added an image of VH-DSM at Bankstown on 06MAY77.

Issue: 8

DATE: 16 FEB 20

Recorded the passing on 27 April of Sir Reginald Barnewall with the addition of a photo of Sir Reginald in the cockpit of the Dove.

Issue: 7

DATE: 03 MAY 18

Added a link to the story Axe Attack Revisited

Issue: 6

DATE: 05 NOV 13

Added details of an undercarriage incident on 17 April 1958 thanks to Joe Salfas, Ian Follett and Roger McDonald.

Issue: 5

DATE: 07 OCT 12

Added several references sourced from DCA files by Geoff Goodall. Also added several new images by Geoff Goodall.

Issue: 4

DATE: 04 APR 09

Added an image of Sir Reginald and Lady Maureen Barnewall with the Dove.

Issue: 3

DATE: 28 JUN 08

Added 25 new images. Also added confirmation from Cec Swift’s son, Peter, that his father was the only person to fly VH-DSM as pilot-in-command during the period JAN78 to OCT80.

Issue: 2

DATE: 25 JUN 08

Original issue

Issue: 1

DATE: 02 JAN 02

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