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Vh-gke

Old 15th May 2003, 20:28
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Location: Albany, West Australia
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Vh-gke

' A Piece of Aviation History'
Territory Airlines VH-GKE s/n 297

For Sale by Tender - Aviation Trader,May 2003 p24

How many of you were flicking thru the pages of AT when you spotted the yellow and blue livery of the original Junior's outfit?
Caught my eye straight away.

Never flew for them, but did actually fly in this aircraft with John Morton GK-MH in '62, and Max Parker MD-SDR in late '63.

Ah.....fond memories of the 60's and a way of flying life now gone forever.

If I had a spare 200k I'd find room for it right here.

cheers,
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Old 16th May 2003, 05:46
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I don't think that is the original VH-GKE from the early 60's. I have a feeling the C185 that is now GKE was VH-GKP (?) in the 1970's and in later days at GV (maybe late 70's) had spray gear attached. In the 80's it stood almost derelict at Goroka, alongside the piston Porter.

I suspect you may be thinking of a C170 or C180 with the same registration. The first C170 (VH-GKA?) was bought in 1956 before Junior bought GV from the widows of Jack Gray and Jim Smith, when TAL operated DH84 Dragons but only DH84 VH-AON was serviceable and continued to operate. That C170 must have been sold by 1962, as the first B55 Baron carried the GKA registration in 1962 (when a wheel fell off at Minj).

Also, the original colour scheme into the 60's was silver with blue engine cowlings. I asked Junior at one stage why he put the squashed cockroach colour scheme on VH-GKE when it was restored and he told me the C185's never wore the silver and blue colour scheme - indicating they arrived from the mid 60's at the earliest.

G.K. - you've flown VH-GKE it recent times - any comment?
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Old 16th May 2003, 07:15
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Torres
Reference to the Historic Civil Aircraft Register of Australia (published by Tony Arbon of AustAirData) confirms that the original VH-GKE was a Dornier Do-27 purchased in March 1961. It was not a success however, and was sold (and re-registered) in Australia. The next VH-GKE was in fact the C-185 in question (c/n 297), and was initially re-registered P2-GKE after independence and then became P2-SEP. It operated as such until about 1982 when Bernie Flanagan last flew it, and then it sat under a tree in GKA until the rebuild commenced in the early 90's.
I understand Ankles ferried it to CNS where the rebuild was completed.
RV6
200 grand.....................I'm sure the family would love you for it, but surely they are dreaming!
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Old 16th May 2003, 07:20
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GKE

I was in Hagen from early '61, and I remember that TAL did have a 170, plus a couple 180's, but for sure I flew back from the 61 Goroka Show in a silver/unpainted 185 flown by Colin Hey, (just recently retired from power flying here at Beverley Soaring Society). I thought that was reg GKB, but it might have been a 180??

Whether that 185 became GKE I certainly don't know. At the time, TAL was growing so fast that possibly not even Junior knew which was which.

The paint came later with "prosperity"??
cheers,
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Old 16th May 2003, 07:48
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Exclamation

Having had a long chat to Roger at Avalon [who was flying it for Guy at the time], and there's absolutely no doubt that it's the mid-'60's VH-GKE in almost the same colour scheme.

I have a delighful slide stuck away in history's file somewhere of her sitting at Omkalai after a major inspection and re-paint around mid-'69.

Sadly the spare $200k [??] isn't there for me either!

G'day
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Old 16th May 2003, 11:41
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Goroka 1971 blue and yellow scheme with screaming shite-hawk on tail.
Picture taken by Gavin Dennis R.I.P.
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Old 16th May 2003, 18:12
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Knulp ,

And would the rego be -CMW??

G'day
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Old 16th May 2003, 18:30
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I still say 200k is way, way over the top for this old tart. Neither she nor her stablemates were "over-equipped", and they have seen lots of rough strips and heavy loads.
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Old 17th May 2003, 05:05
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Unhappy

Yeah CMW or GKI I think..point is they was all painted the same in '70s.

200k ...my god.

Ooops..not 100% correct,they got painted again in the early 70's to the grey and orange(?) scheme

Last edited by Knulp; 17th May 2003 at 08:30.
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Old 19th May 2003, 08:42
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Yeah, you're right, I'm wrong. GKE became SEP, not GKP! It had a Sorrenson pump and spray booms installed, but the rig was not really successful and the aircraft was not used in the ag role after the C188 arrived.

At one stage Junior wanted to put SEP on a pole at Goroka Airport! I wonder how many hours that aircraft has on it now?

"VH-GKE was a Dornier Do-27 purchased in March 1961" Junior was influenced by Biship Leo Arkfeldt in Wewak. The D0-27 was a failure.

Most of the registrations changed around the late 1970's to the SE_ (single engine), GK_ (twin piston), IS_ (Bongo vans) and RD_ (twin turbine) as by that time we had various registrations from Wewak Air Services (?) C402 SAB, C206 KRO etc, ****** MK_ series, TAA TG_ series. I did the listing of new registrations and Keith Devers did the registration and documentation changes with DCA.

The last Dragon, VH-AON left in August 1958, flown to Australia by Dick Cresswell. A Fox Moth survived in the Goroka hangar until the early 1960's, but never flew and ended up on the Goroka tip (along with a rather famous Meschersmitt - the three wheel car, not Helli's 109!)

--------------------------------------------------------------

Oh, dear, PPRuNe censorship! The ****** above is M A C A I R, a Paua New Guinea air charter company which was based in Lae until taken over by Talair in 1976. The ****** does not relate in any way to a company in Australia with a similar name, which seems to be very sensitive about being named in PPRuNe!

Last edited by Torres; 20th May 2003 at 08:14.
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Old 19th May 2003, 11:24
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How would someone get the nickname "ankles" bestowed upon them?
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Old 19th May 2003, 15:50
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Well it is a long story..............but at one stage someone suggested that he was lower than a #$%^. It was not really an accurate assessment, (in fact quite the opposite), but the name stuck.

He was actually an excellent check and training pilot, especially on the 185, Turbo Porter and Twin Otter, and anyone who did a Baron endorsement with him and experienced one of his dramatic Vmca demonstrations (at a safe height I hasten to add) did not forget the lesson in a hurry. Very important when the strips we were operating out of often required liftoff below Vmca.

As far as I am aware he is still in PNG, flying helicopters plus his personal 185, plus engineering. A very talented man.
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Old 20th May 2003, 08:17
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Is IDL now flying helicopters? With Pacific?
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Old 20th May 2003, 09:50
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Red face


and anyone who did a Baron endorsement with him and experienced one of his dramatic Vmca demonstrations
Heehee... recover from the snap roll...that little trick goes way back to [email protected] days.
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Old 20th May 2003, 13:43
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Flew in VH-GKE, a Dornier Do-27, out of Kundiawa as a teenage passenger in or about Jan 1962. Got me hooked on the idea of flying as a career.

Bastards!!

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Old 20th May 2003, 15:22
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As a matter of interest, who stole Kulp's picture of himself and a Territory Airlines C185, above?
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Old 27th May 2003, 13:12
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Red face

It fell off cos I'm too cheap to buy space at fototime.
I found a pix of phil Bennets seatbelted barstool in the Bird if ya want to see it.
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Old 27th May 2003, 15:21
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Cool

Yup. Love to see that one. Remember it well. Don't remember it at the Bird of Parasite, think it was only at the Goroka Aero Club?

Probably the most amazing thing about Phil was that he passed away, totally sober. He was a good guy, brilliant engineer, knew him for many years. His time in the Pacific dated back to Megapode Airways (forerunner to Solair).

I remember the night he "ran up" his Thorpe 18, chained to a pine tree at Goroka........... His blue Fiat spent more time in the barrat outside the Goroka Aero Club, than it did on the road. Quiet guy, never spoke much until his first drink - then he wouldn't shut up reciting The Man From Snowy River, Shakespear and many other classics.

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Old 28th May 2003, 05:04
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Talking

Yup deffo at he Bird of Paralyse this would be 75/6 time.
I'll have to blank out the gents face in it before i can post it.
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Old 28th May 2003, 12:47
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Knulp

Must have migrated that chair as I do recall spying it at the dero as Torres says
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