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G-AWAW restoration update

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G-AWAW restoration update

Old 17th Sep 2020, 00:32
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G-AWAW restoration update

Hello and so sorry for the tardiness (10 years after we loaded her in a container to America!) of this long overdue update! I would like to thank again all who came to help us and try to give an update. I am not a pilot so please be patient with me!

There is a website, G-AWAW.org for anyone who is interested. This is managed by AW's current guardian/caretaker who is an AP mechanic in Texas.

Not much has happened since the plane arrived in America. She has been moved from Florida to Texas. The restoration task turned out to be quite a formidable one but the aircraft is being preserved. The plane requires extensive repairs to be made airworthy again, including several hundred hours of metal work. She would need a new engine and a left wing strut. Other things too. I don't think a final decision has been made yet on whether to make the aircraft a static display or return her to full airworthiness but all are in agreement that the history should be preserved as the only (as far as we know) Cessna 150 to fly from England to Australia. For those who may not know, G-AWAW was flown by Janette Schönburg from England to Australia to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Amy Johnson's flight.) Whether AW will be restored to airworthiness again will depend on what resources are available and what kind of purpose she will have. The mechanic says airworthiness is technically possible and the parts are available but it will be a formidable task and expense. So in a holding pattern there. He has cleaned all the pieces and got them ready for further work.

Another thing I am hoping to do is help to reconstruct some of her history and perhaps piece together in part the lost log books. I thought a possible way to do that might be by appealing to anyone here who may have flown G-AWAW and might be willing to send me the dates and the names, places and any stories or memories you have of the plane. I will put all this on the computer and send that on to Texas so that we can preserve that part of the history too.
Thank you so much again to all who helped!
Jennifer in Norway
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Old 17th Sep 2020, 21:53
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Join Date: Jul 2018
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Jennifer,

Thanks for the post. I was unaware of this episode of aviation history and am now much the wiser. I'm also impressed that someone has decided to preserve a less obvious artifact in this way. Sadly I can't help with any history, though I'm sure I must have seen 'AW back in the day. Good luck in your efforts!
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Old 18th Sep 2020, 00:59
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I failed to mention in my first post that Jan's flight in G-AWAW was made in 1980. The plane later became an interactive Flight Lab exhibit at the British Science Museum in London. Coincidentally this was placed in near proximity of Amy Johnson's plane Jasper so that was rather neat.
When the members of the Cessna 150-152 Club in America heard that G-AWAW was to be scrapped (it was Jan who alerted me to this), we passed the hat in the club and managed to raise enough to load her o to a container to America. We had fantastic assistance from the museum director and his staff at Wroughton in Wiltshire (AW was stored in an enormous cavernous hangar at the former WW2 bomber base there) and from a small handful of volynteers from here at PPRuNe who had read about the planned rescue in another post. I think that must have been in a different forum...perhaps I have posted this in the wrong place? I want to thank those gentlemen again- we could not have managed it without the assistance we received from people in England who gave so generously of their time to help us.
I for my part am hoping that G-AWAW will fly again one day...a sort of resurrection story. It may not have the mystique and glory of a Spitfire, Lancaster or Hurricane, but there is something very inspiring about an ordinary, rather shy person making a rather extraordinary flight in so weak an aircraft. Alot went wrong on that flight, so that is when it became a test of character and perseverance and dogged persistence to slog on through, finish the race and cross the line, even though there would be little fanfare or glory for having done so. She wrote a book about it called She Who Dares Succeeds. Rather like life. I thought she was a very courageous lady ... a sort of everyman's hero because she didn't give up but saw it through. I have tried to remember her Never Say Die example in my own life when the chips have been down and one has wanted to give up. So for me personally, both plane and pilot are worthy of being remembered, the pilot for her sterling personal qualities when things went against her, and the plane because that is a pretty amazing feat for a humble trainer!
Jennifer in Norway
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Old 18th Sep 2020, 18:17
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Thanks for the story Jennifer. I've just ordered the book. Good luck with the project. Keep the PPRuNe community informed.
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Old 18th Sep 2020, 18:49
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Originally Posted by Herod View Post
Thanks for the story Jennifer. I've just ordered the book. Good luck with the project. Keep the PPRuNe community informed.
Astonishingly, it seems that Jan's flight to Australia is not well known. I first read of it in Michael Arman's book about the Cessna 150-152 "Owning, Buying and Flying the Cessna 150-152". He had a section at the end on noteworthy flights with the type. Mike is a great admirer of the type and was a pivotal person in the rescue of G-AWAW, organising and managing the logistics of the effort stateside.
Jennifer in Norway
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Old 9th Oct 2020, 08:19
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Finished reading the book. Quite a story. Amy Johnson's trip, although in many ways harder, was easier in that many places she overflew probably hadn't seen an aeroplane, let alone established the bureaucracy for overflight and landing rights. It seems Janette's flight was bedevilled with these sort of problems. Nice to see the aeroplane will, hopefully, be fully restored.
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