Not sure I would be that much help. I flew it a few times on my days off for then owner, Brian Bromley (Bensbach Lodge), in the early 90s - it was an ex MAF machine - Brian had it worked on in Australia (by his son?) before bringing it back to PNG - it was flipped upside down over running a strip in the Western Province (Morehead?) - re exported to Australia and that is about it.
Pic taken at Arufi rescuing P2-DEQ
Is MFU back in the air?
Last edited by Chimbu chuckles; 14th Jun 2010 at 08:24.
Hey there, I thought you might be interested to know the current status of MFU. It is currently at Lismore NSW where restoration has just started with Aero Enterprise. I expect it to be completed in 12-18 months. If I can work out how to insert or copy some pictures, I show you.
Have you ever seen any articles on MAF operation's in PNG ? How many MF registered C180/185 were up there over time. I know from one ex-MAF pilot that by end of 1984, there was 4 remaining 185's: MFF, MFU, MFW and MFX, with MFF being the oldest. MFU last log book entry was 25 August 1990 when operated by Brian and Jillian Bromley (Tonda Trading) at Bensbach Lodge. He purchased it around August 1987 and I'm told never got to take it home straight away as he/his pilot pranged it doing a type check with MAF prior to delivery. It had 9404 TT on it by 1990 and whilst having work done on the fuselage following the accident CC refer's to at Moorehead, it has been in storage via several owners until 6 July, when I picked it up and took it to Lismore. This week should see it standing on it's leg's again ... very exciting.
For anyone wondering where MFU was parked in the PNG pictures above, they were taken by a ex-MAF pilot at Bunapas, a strip along the Ramu River in Madang Province.
I had another ex-MAF/Catholic Church (Fr Jeromy Flynn) 185 which was P2-BAM which I restored and operated at Moree NSW for years. It was sold in 1989 and is now in Invercargil NZ, where I saw it a couple of years ago. It had over 10,000 TT talking to the Kiwi owner. At the time I bought BAM, Fr Flynn offered me the 2 185's he had, BAM and BAF for $10k ! I bought BAM for $6k and thought "why the heck would I want 2 of them !".
I'm collecting and recording as much info on MFU I can find, so would appreciate any pictures you guy's have upstairs, or any recollections of flying the plane in your day/day life. Apart from Avionics, I'm thinking of presenting it back in original MAF colours (Tiger Yellow), but may also do it up as a personal aircraft. Does anyone know where I could locate a Cessna Cargo Pod for her ?
Last edited by Skywagon1915; 25th Jul 2010 at 21:41.
Reason: Insert picture
MFX was purchased by Simbu aviation and ground looped at Mt Hagen during endorsement training of Simbu's first pilot. Simbu Holdings then bought BAF and MFX was in one of the sheds in the Simbu Holdings compound (right opposite my house) when I started there a couple of years later - BAF being my first PNG command. MFX was purchased some years later by Mac Lee and is now being restored in Australia too.
From my list:- P2-AWM, 185-0551, from 11.02.1975 to 05.11.1984, to VH-AWM P2-MFA, 185-0699, from 01.05.1974 to 02.12.1975, to P2-BAF P2-MFB, 185-0762, from 25.07.1974 to 23.02.1976, to VH-MFB P2-MFF, 185-0934, from 02.05.1974 to 25.10.1976, to VH-MFF, then back P2-MFF from 28.01.1977 to 29.09.1982, damaged (no details available) P2-MFS, 18501780, from 15.05.1974 to 02.12.1975 to P2-BAM P2-MFU, 18501915, from 02.05.1974 to ????, to VH-OWZ P2-MFW, 18501991, from 02.05.1974 to ????, damaged 26.04.1983. reported to Australia by 18.11.1983, no further details available. P2-MFX, 18502146, from 01.05.1974 to ????, to VH-MFX P2-WET, 185-0497, from 01.05.1974 to 20.07.1976, crashed (water Bird) The dates I have listed, to the best of my knowledge, are service dates with MAF. I read where MAF started Bougainville Air Services, but do not have an exact date, was prior to the a/c being re-reg as P2-BA., and the date the business was sold is also required, if anybody can help.
If you visit the MAF Australia web site, you can order a 'free' book about PNG ops, very good read.
Question, wings still with P2-MFU, was this a/c not actually flown or airworthy as VH-OWZ ? VH-OWZ cancelled from the rgister on 14 July!
Last edited by AussieO2; 26th Jul 2010 at 05:05.
Reason: extra info
MAF sold the commercial operation of the airline on Bougainville to Bougainville Development Corporation.I flew for them in 1976 and Bougainville Air Services was already under the control of BDC.The 2 185's were P2-BAF and BAM.
01915 has been stored in one fashion or another since 1990 when it pranged operated by Bensbach Lodge. I'm not aware of it flying in any form or rego since then. The Aust rego MFU was still available in June 2010 and I have since reserved it to put back on the aircraft when flyable, probably 2011/12. I think MFU has been available for allocation for some considerable time, I recall.
I can't relate what the OWZ reference is. Unless that was reserved by a prior owner for it but never used ?
Placed on the PNG register 2 May 1974 stacks up good, as the log books have a ref saying the P2-MFU designation by April 1976.