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De Havilland DHA.3 Drover

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De Havilland DHA.3 Drover

Old 22nd Mar 2017, 22:58
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De Havilland DHA.3 Drover

Looking through my old photos and came across a photo of the Drover that was briefly at Southend with the Historical Aircraft Museum, VH-EAS (G-APXX never taken up).

Using a well known search engine it can be tracked up until mid 2015, when it might, or might not, have left South Wales to go to Gloucester. The 'might or might not' is because it seems, from the conversations on the Aviation Forum, it might have been offered to be re-homed without the knowledge of the owner!

Does anyone know where it is now, and what condition it is in?
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Old 22nd Mar 2017, 23:17
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I believe it's currently stored at Booker, but I've no idea what condition it's in.
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Old 23rd Mar 2017, 07:16
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There was a Drover in a T2 hangar on the east side of Henlow until that was demolished about 1992.
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Old 23rd Mar 2017, 07:53
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G-APXX at Booker, looking a bit sorry for itself:

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Old 23rd Mar 2017, 10:28
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Not the one I saw at Henlow which was all white colour. It was stored with a Comet 2 and the Bristol 173 twin rotor helicopter plus one or two other aircraft.
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Old 23rd Mar 2017, 10:52
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G-APXX was originally brought from Australia in 1962 by Keith Whyham of Air Navigation and Trading at Squires Gate. It sat in the back of the hangar there for at least 13 years. He lost interest in trying to restore it because (he said) it was difficult to find parts and the CAA equivalent at the time were making life difficult for him. Keith Whyham was killed in an accident in 2000. It seems that the aircraft has followed the name allocated to it and drifted around from place to place ever since.
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Old 23rd Mar 2017, 11:16
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Originally Posted by chevvron View Post
Not the one I saw at Henlow which was all white colour. It was stored with a Comet 2 and the Bristol 173 twin rotor helicopter plus one or two other aircraft.
I thought G-APXX was the only Drover ever imported into the UK ?

There were a couple of others allocated G- registrations, but AFAIK they never came here.
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Old 23rd Mar 2017, 12:25
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Originally Posted by DaveReidUK View Post
I thought G-APXX was the only Drover ever imported into the UK ?

There were a couple of others allocated G- registrations, but AFAIK they never came here.
So did I.

I think others were watching to see what happened, but because of the difficulties Keith Whyham experienced, they gave up. Whyham originally had the idea to use it for pleasure flights.
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Old 23rd Mar 2017, 12:35
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Originally Posted by barry lloyd
G-APXX was originally brought from Australia in 1962 by Keith Whyham of Air Navigation and Trading at Squires Gate
I stand to be corrected but wouldn't this have been his father, Russell? Keith would have been quite young in 1962.

Olympus (sent first solo on DHC-1 G-ARGG by Keith Whyham 5 June 1969).

Last edited by olympus; 23rd Mar 2017 at 12:36. Reason: Additional info.
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Old 23rd Mar 2017, 12:35
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If you are interested in the Drover you may also be interested in this recent publication
https://www.air-britain.co.uk/actboo...er.html#SID=13

G-APDK
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Old 23rd Mar 2017, 13:12
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Originally Posted by olympus View Post
I stand to be corrected but wouldn't this have been his father, Russell? Keith would have been quite young in 1962.

Olympus (sent first solo on DHC-1 G-ARGG by Keith Whyham 5 June 1969).
Possibly you're right Olympus. Keith Whyham was born in 1942.
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Old 23rd Mar 2017, 14:13
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Originally Posted by olympus View Post
I stand to be corrected but wouldn't this have been his father, Russell? Keith would have been quite young in 1962.
Courtesy of Geoff Goodall's excellent website:

"October 1958: Negotiations began for sale to Air Navigation and Trading Co Ltd, Blackpool. In 1.59 the company owner Mr. Russell L. Whyham applied to the Air Transport Licencing Board for a licence to commence a Blackpool-London airline service. It was reported that the company had instructed DHA in Sydney to modify a suitable Drover for airline use. When their route application was rejected, the Drover order was cancelled, however the import of a second Drover VH-EAS from Qantas did continue, finally delivered two years later to become G-APXX. It never flew in England."

De Havilland DHA-3 Drover - Production listing compiled by Geoff Goodall
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Old 23rd Mar 2017, 17:42
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It certainly was Russell Whyham who had the Drover. His hangar was an "Aladdin's cave" of oddities including a GA Cygnet, various Avro19s and an Aermacchi something or other (AL60?). I was regularly chased out his hangar despite being at school with his other son Chris. I believe he met an untimely end crashing in to a sewage farm in an early Beagle Pup.
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Old 23rd Mar 2017, 18:46
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Originally Posted by VictorGolf View Post
I believe he met an untimely end crashing in to a sewage farm in an early Beagle Pup.
Not a Pup, but an Auster (Cirrus Autocar G-ARDA). It crashed on takeoff from Blackpool Squire's Gate on 6th February 1966.

Whyham, the sole occupant, was fatally injured and died five days later.
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Old 23rd Mar 2017, 21:16
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Originally Posted by VictorGolf
It certainly was Russell Whyham who had the Drover. His hangar was an "Aladdin's cave" of oddities including a GA Cygnet, various Avro19s and an Aermacchi something or other (AL60?).
A.N.T. certainly did have a cornucopia of fairly uncommon types back in the day. I can remember, at various times, a Percival Pembroke/Prince type (which I never saw fly), a Miles Monarch, Miles Messenger and Gemini, assorted Chipmunks (I can remember G-AOJY, G-APPK in addition to G-ARGG on which I did most of my training) plus earlier, the DH84s G-ADDI and G-ACIT. My very first flight ever was in one of the DH84s; I wish I knew which one!

A fairly unusual Piper - a Cherokee Six G-AWCY - was also operated but this I think was after Russell died.

Last edited by olympus; 23rd Mar 2017 at 21:31.
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Old 23rd Mar 2017, 21:17
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Just to correct the information regarding the accident to G-ARDA. There were two occupants both of whom were killed. According to a statement made by Russell Whyham in hospital after the crash, the student had "rammed the trimmer like a mad thing" causing the plane to stall from a low height back onto the runway.
The reference to the Beagle Pup crash is probably that of G-AXIB on 16/5/70 which crashed onto the side of Queensway, the road which runs round the east side of the airfield.
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Old 23rd Mar 2017, 21:26
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Originally Posted by horatio B
The reference to the Beagle Pup crash is probably that of G-AXIB on 16/5/70 which crashed onto the side of Queensway, the road which runs round the east side of the airfield
This I think was the crash in which Bill Bateson was killed. When I first met him he was CFI of Blackpool and Fylde Aero Club which in those days was owned and operated by Air Navigation & Trading. At some point and for reasons unknown to me he became owner of Blackpool and Fylde Aero Club and Air Navigation and Trading established ANT Flying Club as a separate operation which continues to this day.

Last edited by olympus; 23rd Mar 2017 at 21:27. Reason: correction
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Old 23rd Mar 2017, 22:10
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You are correct about the crash, olympus. The transfer of ownership did indeed take place as you believe. I worked for Air UK at BLK between 1979-81, but my visits to ANT were purely of the social variety! Mr Bateson was often spoken of during that time, but I will say no more.
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Old 24th Mar 2017, 07:48
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Originally Posted by horatio_b View Post
Just to correct the information regarding the accident to G-ARDA. There were two occupants both of whom were killed. According to a statement made by Russell Whyham in hospital after the crash, the student had "rammed the trimmer like a mad thing" causing the plane to stall from a low height back onto the runway.
You are correct about the two fatalities. Some more info from the BoT's annual accidents report:

"Shortly after becoming airborne on a check flight, the aircraft was seen to "porpoise" and then dive steeply to the ground. The report on the investigation states that the accident resulted from misuse of the trimmer by the pilot-under-supervision, at a low altitude after take-off. It is also stated that it is likely that the steepness of the final dive, and failure to pull out in time, could have resulted from the additive effects of pushing against full nose-up trim and, at the same time, reversing the elevator trim to fully nose-down. Some negative 'g' would accompany the resulting downward pitch manoeuvre, and this would tend to confuse a pilot not expecting it. The rapidity of the final manoeuvre combined with the effects of negative 'g' probably did not permit the pilot-in-command to retrieve the situation in the time available."
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Old 24th Mar 2017, 10:24
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Originally Posted by DaveReidUK View Post
I thought G-APXX was the only Drover ever imported into the UK ?

There were a couple of others allocated G- registrations, but AFAIK they never came here.
If you are interested in the Drover you may also be interested in this recent publication
https://www.air-britain.co.uk/actboo...er.html#SID=13
If you cannot quite afford the 20.00 for the excellent AB book, there is an article in ABs Av World Autumn 2006 with a full production list.

20 aircraft were built (c/ns 5001 - 5020)
5003 was registered in the UK as G-ALLK in March 49 but ntu and was cancelled May 51.
5002 was registered in the UK as G-APPP in 59. The sale fell through and the a/c remained in Australia.
5014 was registered in the UK in Dec 60. Delivered through LPL docks in Sept 61. Squires Gate until May 67 then to Southend Mus. To Blackbushe then to Lasham. As stated above currently at Booker in poor condition.

5003 is appears to be the only Drover to have left the Antipodes and certainly the only one to have made it into the Northern hemisphere. Remarkably for such an obscure type 9 airframes survive (45% of the production run), in part or whole. It is possible two are in airworthy condition.

Last edited by Planemike; 24th Mar 2017 at 16:32.
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