VH-MIN


Type: Douglas C-47A-25-DK
MSN: 13459
Previous Identities: 42-93536
KG647
G-AIAZ
KG647
VH-SMI


Note: This aircraft never served with Adastra but as an Australian survey DC-3 its story deserves to be told somewhere.

 

 


History:

29MAY44   Handed over to the USAAF 42-93536. (Source: 1)
04JUN44   Delivered to the RAF at Montreal as KG647. (Source: 1)
12JUN44   Arrived in the UK. (Source: 1)
02OCT44   Issued to No 575 Sqn. (Source: 1)
29SEP45   Issued to No 1680 Flight. (Source: 1)
03APR46   Leased to BOAC as G-AIAZ. (Source: 1)
31JUL46   Returned to No 22 Maintenance Unit, Silloth as KG647. (Source: 1)
OCT46   Sold to John Fairfax & Sons, Sydney. (Source: 2)
09DEC46   Registered VH-SMI to Sydney Morning Herald. CofR 1125. (Source: 4)
14FEB47   Arrived at Mascot. (Source: 2)
16APR47   Ownership changed to John Fairfax & Sons Pty Ltd. (Source: 2)
11JUN47   CofA application. (Source: 2)
    DCA file refers to SMI being fitted with a dropping chute capable of taking 1500 lb of newspapers in bundles in a single drop. (Source: 2)
08JUL47   First entry: CofA issue overhaul completed. (Source: 2)
09JUL47   Test flown. (Source: 2)
10JUL47   Newspaper delivery run 5 hr 35 mins. Then almost daily runs averaging 5.5 hours each day until 1949, then once every 3 or 4 days. (Source: 2)
25MAY52   Last SMH flight "Prepared for long-term storage". (Source: 2)
27MAY52   Struck-off Register as withdrawn from service. (Source: 2)
12SEP52   Re-added Register: John Fairfax & Sons Pty Ltd. (Source: 2)
02MAR53   Withdrawn from service. (Source: 2)
MAR53   Note in DCA file says SMI & Hudsons SML & SMM were all expertly stored at Camden and maintained in excellent condition. (Source: 2)
18MAR53   Struck-off Register as withdrawn from service. (Source: 2)
    To VH-MIN. (Source: 2)
10NOV53   Inspection at TAA Essendon. (Source: 2)
20NOV54   Test flown Essendon as VH-MIN. (Source: 2)
01DEC54   Registered VH-MIN to Bureau of Mineral Resources, Melbourne. CofR 2318. (Source: 4)
    TAA provided flight crew, engineering and full airworthiness responsibility. (Source: 7)
JAN55   Hobart, Essendon, Hamilton, Essendon, Broken Hill. (Source: 2)
12JAN55   To 14JAN55 Sth West Tasmania and King Island (Project #131) 625 Kms. (Source: 3)
01FEB55   To 15MAR55 Broken Hill NSW (Project #118) 7,700 kms. (Source: 3)
APR55   Based Essendon. (Source: 2)
26APR55   To 03AUG55 Wodgina-Marble Bar WA (#144) 22,300 kms. (Source: 3)
26APR55   Essendon-Parafield. (Source: 2)
28APR55   Parafield-Katherine. (Source: 2)
02MAY55   Guildford-Geraldton-Pt Hedland-Geraldton-Guildford. (Source: 2)
09MAY55   Based Guildford until 27JUL55. (Source: 2)
55   Mid (?) 1955 Wilgie Mia WA (#143) 625 kms. (Source: 3)
55   Mid (?) 1955 Lake Dundas WA (#126) 188 kms. (Source: 3)
28JUL55   Kalgoorlie. (Source: 2)
02AUG55   Ceduna. (Source: 2)
03AUG55   Essendon. (Source: 2)
06SEP55   Brisbane. (Source: 2)
12SEP55   To 31OCT55 Chillagoe-Einasleigh-Gilberton Qld (with VH-GVC) (#119) 17,840 kms. (Source: 3)
13SEP55   Cairns. (Source: 2)
03OCT55   To 04OCT55 Cloncurry-Mt Isa Qld (#121) 1,000 kms. (Source: 3)
04OCT55   Mount Isa then Cairns, Townsville. (Source: 2)
30OCT55   Mascot. (Source: 2)
10MAY56   To 11MAY56 Nowa Nowa Vic (#159) 1,025 kms. (Source: 3)
21MAY56   Cranbourne- Carrum Downs Vic (#149) 560 kms. (Source: 3)
01JUN56   To 11SEP56 Carnarvon Basin (Rough Range, Barrabiddy, Gascoyne, Freycinet WA) (#147) 41,730 kms. (Source: 3)
24SEP56   To 12OCT56 Southern Cross WA (#161) 11,000 kms. (Possible errors in dates. See following). (Source: 3)
21SEP56   To 12OCT56 Carnarvon Basin (Corkscrew Well, Redcliffe) WA (#165) 34,140 kms. (Source: 3)
27FEB57   To 03OCT57 Perth Basin WA (#176) 50,540 kms. (Source: 3)
MAR57   Guildford then based Busselton until APR57. (Source: 2)
APR57   Based Guildford until JUN57. (Source: 2)
21JUN57   To 22JUN57 (#167) 625 kms. (Source: 3)
JUL57   Essendon. (Source: 2)
AUG57   Carnarvon until NOV57. (Source: 2)
JAN58   Overhaul at Essendon. (Source: 2)
08MAY58   To 16MAY58 Inverell-Tinha-Stannifer-Elsmore NSW (#188) 2,960 kms. (Source: 3)
21MAY58   To 29MAY58 Great Artesian Basin Qld (#187) 7,200 kms. (Source: 3)
23JUN58   To 09SEP58 Bonaparte Gulf Basin WA & NT (#183) 26,320 kms. (Source: 3)
15SEP58   To 20SEP58 Chillagoe- Mungana Area Qld (#186) 2,480 kms. (Source: 3)
10APR59   To 05MAY59 Eyre Peninsula (Nth) SA (#199) 15,120 kms. (Source: 3)
27MAY59   To 28JUL59 Boorabbin-Norseman WA (#197) 22,100 kms. (Source: 3)
14AUG59   To 10NOV59 Carnarvon Basin (Nth and Sth Areas) WA (#198) 37,360 kms. (Source: 3)
22JAN60   To 24MAR60 Burra Area SA (#205) 12,000 kms. (Source: 3)
05APR60   To 05MAY60 Forbes, West Wyalong NSW (#207) 15,100 kms. (Source: 3)
13MAY60   To 31MAY60 Bourke NSW (#206) 11,250 kms. (Source: 3)
15JUN60   To 14OCT60 [?] Tennant Creek NT (#222) 22,900 kms. (Source: 3)
60   Mid [?] 1960 Halls Creek WA (#208) 28,240 kms. (Source: 3)
22OCT60   To 23OCT60 Rawlinson Range- Young Range WA & NT (#219) 1,575 kms. (Source: 3)
23OCT60   To 25OCT60 Mann Area WA (#213) 2,015 kms. (Source: 3)
26OCT60   To 30NOV60 Lake Johnston WA (#210) 10,400 kms. (Source: 3)
31OCT60   To 30NOV60 Ravensthorpe WA (#220) 3,200 kms. (Source: 3)
06FEB61   To 22FEB61 Chowilla SA (#228) 7,800 kms. (Source: 3)
08MAR61   To 12APR61 Childara- Gairdner SA (#227) 23,800 kms. (Source: 3)
01MAY61   To 01AUG61 Carnarvon Basin (Onslow-Yarraloola) WA (#225) 24,700 kms. (Source: 3)
01MAY61   To 01AUG61 Carnarvon Basin (Geraldton- Yalgoo) WA (#226) 19,200 kms. (Source: 3)
18AUG61   To 06OCT61 Bowen Basin Qld (#223) 21,000 kms. (Source: 3)
23NOV61   To 12DEC61 Narromine NSW (#231) 17,300 kms. (Source: 3)
23NOV61   To 12DEC61[?] Bathurst NSW (#230) 8,800 kms. (Source: 3)
03MAR62   To 30APR62 Andamooka, Torrens SA (#234) 20,550 kms. (Source: 3)
07MAY62   To 24MAY62 Curnamona SA (#241) 10,960 kms. (Source: 3)
09JUN62   To 07AUG62 Tanami, The Granites NT (#255) 24,345 kms. (Source: 3)
20AUG62   To 30NOV62 Bowen Basin Qld (#238) 41,520 kms. (Source: 3)
24JUL63   To 23AUG63 Bowen Basin Qld (#262) 13,535 kms. (Source: 3)
30AUG63   To 17DEC63 Georgina Basin NT (#270) 42,870 kms. (Source: 3)
03APR64   To 31AUG64 Georgina Basin NT & Qld (#284) 91,040 kms. (Source: 3)
01SEP64   To 30SEP64 McArthur River Area NT (#287) 250 [?] kms. (Source: 3)
02OCT64   To 02DEC64 Leonora- Menzies WA (#288) 24,130 kms. (Source: 3)
03MAR65   To 29APR65 Orroroo, Parachilna SA (#314) 22,820 kms. (Source: 3)
25MAY65   To 25OCT65 Amadeus Basin NT (#301) 53,650 kms. (Source: 3)
26NOV65   To 28JAN66 Goulburn NSW (with VH-BMG) (#310) 10,990 kms. (Source: 3)
05FEB66   To 27MAR66 High Level Tasmania (#329) 5,150 kms. (Source: 3)
13APR66   To 04JUN66 Central SA (#319) 22,120 kms. (Source: 3)
16JUN66   To 19AUG66 Laverton, Edjudina WA (#323) 23,840 kms. (Source: 3)
16AUG66   To 16AUG66 Merredin- Perth WA (#324) 1,920 kms. (Source: 3)
06SEP66   To 12SEP66 Sydney Basin (western part) NSW (#327) 1,630 kms. (Source: 3)
26APR67   To 13JUL67 Sir Samuel, Duketon WA (#342) 23,100 kms. (Source: 3)
29JUL67   To 21OCT67 Musgrave Block SA (#338) 30,860 kms. (Source: 3)
01NOV67   To 23NOV67 Herberton Qld (#337) 2,355 kms. (Source: 3)
28MAR68   To 18JUN68 Central Great Artesian Basin Qld (#346) 35,790 kms. (Source: 3)
20JUL68   To 03OCT68 Sandstone, Youanmi WA (#354) 18,890 kms. (Source: 3)
04NOV68   To 05NOV68 [?] Gosses Bluff NT (#351) 640 kms. (Source: 3)
07OCT68   To 16JUL69 Byro-Belele, Murgoo-Cue, Yalgoo-Kirkalocka WA (#371) 50,400 kms. (Source: 3)
22AUG69   To 18NOV69 Southern Cape York Qld (#367) 27,745 kms. (Source: 3)
06APR70   To 26AUG70 Eucla Basin (Cook, Oldea, Barton) SA (#375) 28,860 kms. (Source: 3)
08DEC70   Last flight, withdrawn from service. (Source: 2)
-   Ferried Tamworth-Canberra. (Source: 2)
13MAY72   Ferried Canberra-Tamworth. (Source: 2)
06JUL72   Registered to Keith Singh, Tamworth, NSW. (Source: 4)
12JUL72   Test flown Tamworth: Owner in logs as Airfast Helicopter Utilities Pty Ltd, Sydney. (Source: 2)
20JUL72   Registered to Helicopter Utilities, Mascot, NSW. (Source: 4)
17OCT72   Registered to Airfast Helicopter Utilities, Mascot, NSW. (Source: 4)
01AUG74   Registered to Connair, Alice Springs, NT. (Source: 4)
18JUN80   Registered to Northern Airlines (Operations), Alice Springs, NT. (Source: 4)
05FEB81   Registered to Setair, Melbourne, Vic. (Source: 4)
In Setair service the aircraft was named "Karen".
11AUG83   Registered to Rebel Air, Mascot, NSW. (Source: 4)
Australian Log Book 1 quotes VH-SMI "serial number 13459". (Source: 2)
01FEB84   Registered to Wan-See, Hamilton, NSW. (Source: 4)
03FEB84   Withdrawn from use for minor overhaul. (Source: 4)
24FEB84   Restored to Wan-See. (Source: 4)
08DEC88   Registered to Koomeela Australia, Maitland, NSW. (Source: 4)
10JUN94   Registered to South Pacific Airmotive, Connells Point, NSW. (Source: 4)
01MAY98   Registered to Dakota National Air (Australia), Bankstown, NSW. (Source: 4)
16FEB04   Discovery Air Tours (formerly Dakota National Air) went into administration. (Source: 5)
25JUN04   As of this date Discovery Air Tours were still operating with three DC-3s including VH-MIN. (Source: 5)
10OCT04   By this date, VH-MIN was stored at the Australian Aviation Museum at Bankstown along with several other DC-3s from the Discovery Air Tours fleet. (Source: 5).
25MAR09   The Discovery Air Tours fleet of six DC-3s was auctioned at Bankstown but all were passed in and no sales eventuated. (Source: 5)
10DEC09   The Discovery Air Tours DC-3s were progressively transported by road from Bankstown to a property at Larras Lee near Molong, NSW. VH-MIN arrived at Larras Lee on this date. (Source: 6)
16   While at Larras Lee, the aircraft was broken into and the cockpit stripped by thieves. The aircraft was subsequently sold to Moose Toys of Moorabbin where sections of the airframe are on display. Presumably the remainder of the airframe was scrapped. Picture (Source: 6)

 

SOURCES
1
J.M.G. Gradidge, "The Douglas DC-3 and its Predecessors", Air-Britain 1984.
2
Geoff Goodall.
3
Doug Morrison. Compiler's Note: References to VH-MIN in Bureau of Mineral Resources geophysical survey indexes. The index is fairly reliable although it does have errors. The dates shown here indicate the first flight on a survey to the last flight on a survey - sometimes the aircraft did leave the survey midstream for maintenance or other projects so it is not a true record of aircraft movements. There are at times overlapping dates in projects. I have listed BMR project numbers (#) and reported approx kilometres flown on the project. This list gives a good idea of movements of VH-MIN in the period 1955-1970 but it does have flaws. No mention of survey bases/airports are shown in this index.
4
Tony Arbon, AustAirData.
5
The late Allan Bovelt.
6
Ralph Chrystall.
7
Australian Airlines Engineering Department Engineering Report 147 Aircraft Owned / Operated / Maintained by TAA. Provided by Leigh Ryan.

 

 

Issue Date Remarks
3 02SEP16
Aircraft has been sectioned and parts displayed at Moose Toys in Moorabbin.
2 06FEB16
Added information from Source 7 at DEC54. Thanks to Leigh Ryan.
1 02FEB11
Original issue. Thanks to Geoff Goodall, Doug Morrison, Allan Bovelt and Tony Arbon.