TAA was one of if not the first airline operator outside of Canada to operate the Twin Otter. Phil Allan as OC Light Aircraft in TAA and based at Melbourne (Ex New Guinea) was the first Airline pilot to be endorsed on the type in Australia and New Guinea. The first TAA Twotter (VH-TGR) was ferried from Melbourne by Phil Allan and Mal McDougall leaving Melbourne on 29th October 1966 and arriving Lae 31st October 1966. Phil Allen endorsed Mal McDougall as the second pilot to be on the type in TAA. Mal McDougall operated as a Check and Training Captain on DC3's and Twin Otters training and checking the initial group of TAA Twin Otter pilots which included Grahame (Fatty) Hawkins, Allan Searle and others. Mal McDougall wrote the first TAA Operating Manual for the type and trained and checked all pilots on the type until he left the type and trained & checked his replacement Alwyn Smith. The other DHC-6 at the time was VH-TGS.
The last time I flew a 180 would have been the Auckland Aero Club's BUF in 1962? Later flew a few 185's for Sir Dennis and if I recall correctly, another difference between types was that the C180 had a trimming tail plane, whilst the 185 had a trim tab?
Sharpie you are correct. The 180 was a beast on an aborted landing if properly trimmed, as I remember it took a lot of strength to hold the elevator after applying power, and then getting rid of two notches of flap and furiously winding forward trim. It was a real man's aircraft. Merpati were operating Twin Otters at the same time as TAA, as I was in the PT6 overhaul at the time. Merpati engines came to us in very good condition due operating in a benign environment, where the TAA engines were stuffed due corrosion courtesy of the short hops to Barrier Reef islands and non marinised engines. They came later as well as a compressor wash routine. I remember Phil Allen as one of natures gentlemen. I also got a seat on a demo flight on the Twin Otter in Melbourne with Phil and was a real STOL landing and take-off. I still maintain Twotters and still love them!!!
Can't help myself, but the C185 and the Float and Gross weight increased C180's (later models), had a larger dorsal fin than the normal C180's. Horizontal Stab and elevator is the same all round for both. 185.
Simbu Aviation owned it when I flew it in 87 and it was crashed fatally in about 93 not far from Kundiawa. Simbu had originally bought P2-MFX but it was ground looped at Mt Hagen during the endorsement of Simbu's first pilot and they then bought BAF - and hired a different pilot.
MFX was sitting in a shed in the Simbu Holdings compound, where we all lived, with its wings off in 87. It was eventually purchased by Mac Lee and I flew it a bit. MFX was sold after Mac was killed in his 402 near Kamina and was exported to Oz.
MFX's sister ship MFU was bought by Brian Bromley and returned to the air for use by his hunting/fishing lodge at Bensbach. I did a few hours or 20 in it at that time. It too was crashed, in the Western Provence, flipped upside down going off the end of a strip - I believe it was exported and is under restoration in Oz too.
All my pictures of BAF were destroyed by the volcanic eruptions in Rabaul collapsing my house in 1994.
Here is one of MFU during recovery of P2-DEQ/G-BTSM from a bingle at Arufi in the Western Province.
In around 2003/4 an expat CAAPNG airworthiness employee purchased same from Mac's estate and it was being restored in CAA hangar at POM in 05. There was only 4 left up there I recall in 05. P2-SEM at Wau, CCD later exported to Aus, MJL at Nadzab and MFX under restoration. Jim Casson had sold his ex Montfort 180 to Aus., and IDL had fatally crashed south of GKA.