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Piper Navajo/Chieftain in Australia

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Piper Navajo/Chieftain in Australia

Old 15th Nov 2012, 08:31
  #21 (permalink)  
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Would VH-CYV have been registered from VH-DZZ....two bladed?
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Old 15th Nov 2012, 10:03
  #22 (permalink)  
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By the way the price of those Chieftains including delivery and certification was around $100,000 AUD.
According to this site, that $100,000 in 1968 would now be worth about $1,084,972.68
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Old 15th Nov 2012, 12:47
  #23 (permalink)  

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Horatio me old

'twas so. A bit over USD100k then probably $1M now.

Ours were delivered with 2 blades subsequently changed to 3.

MMA were still flying DC3 and the early F27. Both of which we could mix it with on the Perth NW routes. Technically we were not allowed to operate more than twice a month over an RPT route. Doing it almost daily with 3 Navajo and a C402 was a bit of a trick.

Operational control was in effect and the DCA had a room full of clerks checking out flight plans. When it got too hot we would simply ask the miners and oil and gas people to have a quiet chat to the Government or simply ignore them and plan via somewhere enroute

I can still see the mustachioed red faced old MMA Capt berating us for daring to share the same cloudspace with his airliner in IMC with only a SINGLE pilot.

The standard IFR equipment and radar were many generations in front of what they were flying.
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Old 15th Nov 2012, 20:19
  #24 (permalink)  
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N9008Y became VH-PDM, and PNL was reg on 06.02.1968, PNK on 01.12.1967, MCX on 13.08.1974, RDA on 26.07.1973, RDL on 15.05.1974. And VH-DZZ did go to VH-CYV on 26.11.1998.. That RFDS reg is a typo, it should be VH-MWC. VH-WGF may be the 'oldest' PA31-350 in Aust, but not the first registered.
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Old 16th Nov 2012, 04:03
  #25 (permalink)  
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There was also an old two bladed Navajo around that time as well. Never seen a two blader before. Must have been a late 60's model, old piper paint scheme. Don't recall the rego of that one.
PDN was a two blader when I first saw it. Couldn't figure out what sounded different about it in the circuit compared to other Navajos until it taxied in & shut down.

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Old 16th Nov 2012, 05:55
  #26 (permalink)  

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We bought PDN used in the late 60's too long ago to remember the exact date or whether it 2 bladers on. It joined RTO and RTN both new. i seem to recall that we eventually made them all 3 bladers as the NW strip were murder on the props.


In their day they were the ducks nuts.

Last I saw RTO was a very tired fuse laying up against a fence at YMEN, dunni what happened to RTN. I see PDN still soldiers on. They were a great private owners aircraft and properly cared for probably still are, just make sure the elevator springs and bob weights are secure.

Dont know where the photos from those days are but I found RTG an Aztec on google whilst rumaging around. It was one of 25 aircraft we operated thruout WA, C411. C402, 3 x Islanders, sundry C206 and C210, Drover FDS, Aztecs, Commanche 260, coupla Super Cubs for mustering, a Twin Commanche oh and I nearly forgot the 3 Doves bought from the RNZAF Queens Flight disassembled in boxes for $15,000 the lot and reassembled by some of own engineers who had done their apprenticeship in building them in the UK. I think gentleman Duncan Cumming our Chief Pilot had actually flown them when he was in the RNZAF.

Despite the Cubs being a brilliant mustering aircraft they weren't a brilliant choice for the NW, the livestock had a sweet tooth for the esters in the fabric, which also wasn't as tolerant to scrub as ali.



DE HAVILLAND DROVER VH-FDS in which Harry O'Neil gets a mention. The disadvantages of a tailwheel on a busy primary airport were demonstrated when one of the more 'adventurous" pilots tried to mate it with an airline huffer cart.

Its all too long ago, time to go pick up the grandkids from play skool.

Gotta give credit to;

Ed Coates Aircraft Photographs just found it and a great archive it is, although some of the facts might not be completely accurate, the pics are great and brought back some mostly fond and some not so memories. the Terminal in the back was built by Murchison sadly now pretty derelict after all these years.

I guess you might find one of your old darlings there.
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Old 16th Nov 2012, 08:08
  #27 (permalink)  
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How do you find the history of a particular call sign??
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Old 16th Nov 2012, 09:29
  #28 (permalink)  
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We bought PDN used in the late 60's too long ago to remember the exact date or whether it 2 bladers on.
I first saw it in the 90's & she was a two blader then, & it wasn't until probably well into the 2000's that I saw it with a three bladed prop.

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Old 19th Nov 2012, 02:42
  #29 (permalink)  
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VH-PDN is still in Darwin, operated by AV8 although it looks more like its being used for spares at the moment.

VH-CYV is with AV8, number 18 off the Piper line. Got a few hours in that girls and prob still flew better than some later models.
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Old 19th Nov 2012, 15:23
  #30 (permalink)  
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CYV be sittin' mighty pretty at th' moment, what with tha' wheel clamp on an' th' maintenance release bein' held tighter than Davey Jones' Locker by the scurvy landlubbers from the Bank...

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Old 28th Aug 2013, 21:54
  #31 (permalink)  
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Cropped from the photo thread.
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Old 29th Aug 2013, 21:50
  #32 (permalink)  
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In the seventies Australian Air Charters of Moorabbin had two Navajos with two bladed props. VH-RTO and VH-MBY. On the 3rd of November 1976 I had to perform a wheels up landing on the grass emergency strip due to a jammed gear door. Shut one down and levelled off the prop with the starter (not game to do it to both). So, one prop undamaged and one curled up like a banana. The undamaged one had ten hours left and the busted up one, was brand new. Story of my life, decision wise.
I liked the two blade props, and agree they were faster. Had slightly more of a growl and supposedly more vibration but it was hard to tell. MBY was subsequently fitted with three bladed props.
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Old 30th Aug 2013, 09:34
  #33 (permalink)  
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I was there that day at YMMB and saw it... nicely done!!
Got to fly MBY a few times too...
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Old 30th Aug 2013, 13:17
  #34 (permalink)  
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Wow. ,Amy memories with some regos, here.

VH-DAP: I did my PA31 endorsement on this one. I understand that it crashed into the ocean off the coast of NSW killing 3 on board.it was doing target towing for the RAN at the time.

PDN: I worked for Bob Courtenay in the '80s and did many charters in this. Bob and Gary built up a pretty good little company. They had many regular clients such as Enrst and Whiney and Webster's. The 2 blade props run smooth if you used 2400 RPM instead of 2200-easier to synchronise too!

WGI: I flew about 50 hours in this one at Flinders Island Airlines. It never flew straight as it had been landed gear up at some stage. The last time hat I saw WGI was as a burnt wreck in a paddock just south of the RWY 32 threshold in Launy. I had popped out of the cloud at about 400' on the ILS one early morning and there she was in an area of brunt grass and surrounded by police and emergency services vehicles. 6 young men from a football club had been killed in an accident just a few hours before. It is a vision that will haunt me forever.

MCX was a clapped out heap of manure when FIA operated it, mostly to KI or on the "paper run" for the Herald and Weekly Times (EN/ML - Bendigo- Swan Hill- Mildura- Ouyen- En/ML). FIA had that contract for over 40 years. The "paper run was also done at various times using C206s, Ansons (!) and Beech 18 VHS-FIA. My primary recollection of MCX was that it stank of crayfish. Badly. Really badly.
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Old 30th Aug 2013, 20:53
  #35 (permalink)  
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Late 70's I operated VH RTN PA31-310 S/N PA31-13 out of Jandakot on Reg 203 ops for Avior Airlines - had 3 bladed props then.
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Old 30th Aug 2013, 23:16
  #36 (permalink)  
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Many years ago a story was told that the PA31 demontration pilot was fond of showing potentil buyers how the Navajo could be barrell rolled.
Several orders were taken I was told - as long as it was not that aircraft.
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Old 31st Aug 2013, 10:49
  #37 (permalink)  
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Location: Tamworth,NSW
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The info on VH-TXD is incorrect, it was actually imported by the late Ray Melville of Tamworth who sold it to Tasmania . It was at the time the only Chieftain in the country with full de-ice which is what made it attractive to the Tasmanian s. I also had the pleasure of having a drive and landing from the right seat whilst it was still on the'' N'' register.
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Old 1st Sep 2013, 07:22
  #38 (permalink)  
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AWW, is another PA-31 been around a while.
I think it was with Flinders Island Airlines for a while in the mid 80's.
I heard the callsign on centre a few days ago.
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Old 10th Nov 2013, 20:26
  #39 (permalink)  
Join Date: Apr 2002
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How many times have you told that story George? I also flew those aircraft and am still flying old Navajos occasionally on survey in my old age. One is a 2 blade version that has very few hours (logged anyway) on the airframe and was in the desert in the US for years.
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Old 11th Nov 2013, 04:10
  #40 (permalink)  
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Melbourne, Victoria
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I just did a jolly around the city / bay in MEL last week in VH-RUH - A very tidy '77 model PA31-350 and still goes like a train (fast n straight!)....

Hats off to Blue Demon at YMMB for keeping her in such nice order
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