by Doug Morrison


Click on the map for a larger image with details



I worked for Aero Service Ltd in Sydney compiling the results of a reconnaissance aeromagnetic survey in the Timor Sea in 1963 flown by DC-3 VH-MJR piloted by Les Taylor. I believe that Allan Vial was project manager and navigator on this survey. The dashed red lines on this Bureau of Mineral Resources index map are the tracks flown by VH-MJR. I did the mapping for the survey at the Sydney office with Allan overseeing my plotting of the aircraft's track after he had returned to Sydney from Darwin or Broome.

This BMR index map also includes the location of the survey area that Adastra Hudson VH-AGE flew for CGG/ARCO in 1965. It is the area identified with the number 317. The project was known as Timor Sea NT for Arco Australia Ltd.

Contractor: Compagnie Générale de Géophysique (CGG)

Period: 30 June - 11 November 1965

Distance flown: 35,552 kms

Line spacing: 3200 metres in bands

Altitude: 610 metres

Area 317 was flown as a grid survey shown on the map as shaded bands of parallel traverses separated by gaps.

Equipment used on both surveys was a cesium vapour magnetometer in a towed bird (winch bird). It is believed that this was the first time that the cesium vapour magnetometer had been used in Australia.

Both were pioneering surveys.


The crew of Hudson VH-AGE at Darwin in 1965.
Click on the image for names.