VH-BGO

Type: Avro 652A Anson Mk 1
MSN: Nil
Previous Identities: W2591

History:

41 Built by A.V. Roe & Co Ltd at Newton Heath, U.K. for the RAF as W2591. Delivered to Australia for the Empire Air Training Scheme.
28AUG41 Taken on charge by the RAAF as W2591. Received at No 1 Aircraft Depot, Laverton, Vic on same day.
22OCT41 Assembled at 1AD.
02NOV41 Received at the General Reconnaissance School at Laverton ex 1AD.
28DEC41 Received at No 2 Air Observers School at Mount Gambier, SA ex GRS.
08DEC43 Received at No 3 AOS, Port Pirie, SA ex 2AOS.
20MAR44 Issued to Ansett Airways, Essendon for overhaul ex 3AOS.
30OCT44 Received at 1AD, Laverton ex Ansett Airways.
16NOV44 Received at No 6 Service Flying Training School, Mallala, Vic ex 1AD.
18FEB46 Received at Care and Maintenance Unit, Nhill, Vic ex CMU, Mallala.
02SEP46 Received at Point Cook Store ex CMU Nhill.
14NOV47 Sold by Commonwealth Disposals Commission to Adastra Airways Pty Ltd, Sydney.
30DEC47 Registration application from Adastra Airways Pty Ltd, Sydney.
16JAN48 Issued to purchaser.
05MAY48 CofA issued and added to the Register as VH-BGO. Fitted for aerial survey with 4 seats.
10MAY48 Ferried from Mascot to Benalla by Joe Linfoot and Tom Carpenter (2 hrs 40 mins). (Source: Tom Carpenter's log book)
11MAY48 Attempted photography by Joe Linfoot and Tom Carpenter (10 mins). (Source: Tom Carpenter's log book)
25MAY48 Attempted photography by Joe Linfoot and Tom Carpenter (1 hr 15 mins). (Source: Tom Carpenter's log book)
02JUN48 Photography by Joe Linfoot and Tom Carpenter (4 hr 35 mins). (Source: Tom Carpenter's log book)
05JUN48 Destroyed in a hangar fire at Nhill along with Ansons VH-BES and VH-BET.

The following account of the fire is extracted from Tom Carpenter's memoirs:

On 5th June 1948, we were based at Nhill in Victoria, but as the weather was not suitable for aerial survey work, Johnny Howard and I decided to go to Hamilton in John's Tiger Moth VH-AVV for a football match and stay the night. Mid afternoon, the police located us at the football ground with the news that our survey aircraft had been totally destroyed by fire in the hangar at Nhill. We immediately headed back to Nhill and into a strong north wind late in the afternoon, but found that our ground speed was down to about 55 miles per hour. Soon it got dark, but that did not worry us, because Nhill aerodrome being on the Adelaide-Melbourne air route had a revolving beacon above its tower. Eventually the light was seen but not where we expected it - we were about 30 miles off course. At last we were in the circuit area and saw the flare path that had been laid for us - but again things went wrong. Those days only big aerodromes had electric flare path lights, smaller aerodromes had tins filled with rags soaked in petrol and oil. This night the wind was so strong that the flares kept blowing out. John Howard flew the return flight and said he dropped the aircraft from about 10 feet above the ground on landing, but I don't remember it happening. I was too busy watching the flares blowing out and the two men who caught our wing tips as we hit the ground.

Briefly the story was that another Avro Anson which had been converted into a passenger carrying aircraft - similar to those used by East-West Airlines and Butler Airways for many years, had been parked in our hangar and joined by its sister aircraft shortly after John Howard and I had left for Hamilton. Joe Linfoot's story was that he was still on the aerodrome and removed our aircraft to allow the new arrival to park in the back of our hangar for storage. Our aircraft was returned to the hangar and the doors locked. The owner and pilot were about to be driven to town in our car when the owner said he had left something in his aircraft and requested the keys to the hangar. Joe said that he and his two passengers had just arrived in town from parking the visiting aircraft when he saw a cloud of smoke out towards the aerodrome. After depositing his passengers at the hotel he drove back to the airport to see smoke pouring from our hangar. Despite the heat he was able to open a small side door to see both stored aircraft ablaze and the nose area of our aircraft just starting to burn.
23JUN48 Struck off the Register.


Issue Date Remarks
2 18SEP05
Added detail of VH-BGO's brief service from Tom Carpenter's log book and memoirs. Thanks to Cay Carpenter.
1 23FEB03
Original Issue. Thanks to Geoff Goodall


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