Type: Douglas C-47B-35-DK
MSN: 15920/32668
Previous Identities: 44-76336


12FEB45 Delivered to the USAAF as 44-76336.
27FEB45 Delivered to the RAAF as A65-72 with the radio call-sign VHCIO.
03MAR45 To No 37 Sqn RAAF coded OM-O
26FEB47 To No 86 Transport Wing RAAF.
12FEB48 To Aircraft Research and Development Unit at Point Cook.
21SEP48 Starboard engine caught fire at Point Cook.
26JAN49 Starboard engine failure 60 miles SE of Charleville.
08DEC50 Front fuselage damaged.
24OCT53 To No 1 Sqn RAAF in Malaya.
15JUL54 To No 86 Transport Wing RAAF.
13AUG58 Struck off charge by the RAAF.
12FEB59 Despatched by air ex 2AD Richmond on sale to Adastra.
24DEC59 Registered VH-AGU to Adastra Airways Pty Ltd., Mascot NSW. Certificate of Registration No. 3360. (Source: AustAirData)
23JAN61 A Fixed Equipment List of this date shows the aircraft fitted with an external Doppler antenna at Station 103 (approx) and associated equipment in the cabin. (NAA C3905/2 VH/AGU)
06DEC61 A Fixed Equipment List of this date shows the aircraft still fitted with an external Doppler antenna at station 103 (approx) and associated equipment in the cabin. The aircraft is now fitted with two portable oxygen bottles at Stations 177 and 411. (NAA C3905/2 VH/AGU)
23DEC61 Commenced operations with Westralian Aerial Surveys (an Adastra subsidiary).
61 Sometime around 1961 the aircraft was fitted with a Janitrol Heater in the cabin. The aircraft was also fitted with cropped Mosquito paddle bladed propellers and carburettors from the Pratt & Whitney R-2000 to improve altitude performance. See here.
26OCT64 Registered to Sepal Pty Ltd., Mascot NSW. (Source: AustAirData)
21FEB66 Commenced an aeromagnetic survey offshore Sydney-Newcastle. Report
03MAR66 Completed the aeromagnetic survey offshore Sydney-Newcastle.
03MAR66 A Fixed Equipment List of this date shows that the Doppler radome and aerial have been removed. The Doppler equipment has been removed from the cabin but the mounting racks were retained. The two portable oxygen bottles at stations 177 and 411 are retained. The aircraft is now fitted for Electro Magnetic work with the following equipment included (amongst others):
E.M. Bird and mounting rack.
E.M. Winch and mounting rack.
Magnetometer track camera.
Scintillometer in darkroom.
Magnetometer boom with head installed fitted to tail cone.
E.M. aerial as installed externally with distance extensers from fuselage.
Compensating coil underside of aircraft fitted in A.D.F. loop housing at Station 460.
(NAA C3905/2 VH/AGU)
12OCT66 A Fixed Equipment List of this date shows the aircraft is now fitted with only one portable oxygen bottle at station 177. The E.M. equipment now includes:
2 off supports aerial loop at Station 379 approx.
1 off loop aerial at Station 456 approx.
1 off aerial support at Station 620 approx.
(NAA C3905/2 VH/AGU)
25JUL67 DCA wrote to Adastra: "During the investigation of a bird strike sustained by DC-3 aircraft VH-AGU it became apparent that a drift sight fitted to the nose of the aircraft was not an approved installation. If it is intended to re-fit a similar device to this aircraft we request that you supply this office with a drawing or engineering order describing the device and its attachments to the aircraft." (NAA C3905/2 VH/AGU)
This probably refers to the wire frame drift sight which was fitted externally in front of the co-pilots windscreen. It is inferred that the bird strike removed the drift sight. Photo
24OCT69 Registered to Adastra Aerial Surveys Pty Ltd., Mascot NSW. (Source: AustAirData)
25FEB71 DCA wrote to Adastra regarding the condition of the aircraft and requiring that the aircraft be reinspected and recertified before further flight. (NAA C3905/2 VH/AGU)
09FEB72 Cancelled from Register as withdrawn from use. (Source: AustAirData)
08MAY72 Registered to Adastra Airways Pty Ltd., Mascot NSW. (Source: AustAirData)
12NOV74 Registered to East-West Airlines Ltd., Tamworth, NSW. (Source: AustAirData)
DEC74 East-West Airlines won a contract to provide an aircraft for trials of the Interscan Microwave Landing System. VH-AGU was flown to Tamworth and painted in the East-West blue and yellow livery prior to positioning to Melbourne for the trials. The initial contract was for three years with options to extend. (Source: Roger McDonald)
The Civil Aviation Historical Society website has more information on:
25JAN75 Interscan MLS trials commenced. (Source: Roger McDonald)
10AUG79 Interscan MLS trials terminated and VH-AGU was withdrawn from service by EWA. (Source: EWA Annual Report via Roger McDonald)
10AUG79 Operated by Great Pacific Aeroplane Co., Essendon, Vic.
13AUG79 Operated by Aerodyn Aviation Pty Ltd, Cheltenham, Vic. Aerodyn was owned by Alex Encel.
07SEP79 Sold to Aerodyn Aviation Pty Ltd. (Source: EWA files via Roger McDonald)
16NOV79 Registered to Aerodyn Pty Ltd., Cheltenham North VIC. (Source: AustAirData)
01MAR80 Cancelled from Register as withdrawn from use (at Essendon). (Source: AustAirData)
05MAR81 Registered to Casmet Enterprises Pty Ltd., Maitland NSW. (Source: AustAirData)
81 Operated by Air Charter Centre and named "Old Faithful".
03JUN83 Registered to Yarakan Pty Ltd (trading as Golden West Airlines), Chinchilla, Qld. (Source: AustAirData)
04JUN83 Delivered to Golden West Airways (Yarakan Pty Ltd), Chinchilla, Qld. Aircraft was painted "Airways".
87 To G. Twycross, Stones Corner, Qld.
17JUN88 To Dakota Airways, Archerfield, Qld. Named "Spirit of Free Enterprise".
JUN88 To Peachbrand Pty Ltd.
28JUL88 Struck and damaged by Piper Cherokee 180 VH-AFS at Archerfield.
19SEP89 Registered to Graeme Twycross (trading as Dakota Airways), Surfers Paradise, QLD. (Source: AustAirData)
11JUL90 Registered to Graeme Twycross, Ashmore, QLD. (Source: AustAirData)
JAN93 Repossessed by the Commonwealth Bank.
03APR93 Registered to Jeff Trappett, Morwell, Vic. (Source: AustAirData)
10FEB97 Ferried from Kingaroy, via Wagga, to Latrobe Valley Regional Airport, Traralgon, Vic.
(13,500 hours total time).
01MAR13 Photographed at the Australian International Airshow at Avalon painted to represent an AC-47 gunship.


Issue Date Remarks
17 06JUN23
Added three recent images thanks to Phil Vabre.
Image 1 Image 2 Image 3
16 08MAY23
Added a recent image of the cockpit thanks to Phil Vabre.
15 31DEC22
Added a Slideshow
14 05NOV21
Added an image of the Doppler antenna thanks to Geoff Goodall.
13 30JUN21
Added a reference to upgraded carburettors thanks to Nev Williams.
12 30MAY18
Added a reference to an aeromagnetic survey offshore from Sydney-Newcastle in FEB/MAR66.
11 31MAY17
Added a new image thanks to Peter Gates.
10 23JUN13
Revised all register entries for VH-AGU thanks to Tony Arbon.
9 02MAR13
Added an image of the aircraft painted to represent an AC-47 gunship. Thanks to Gordon Reid.
8 21SEP05
Added details of Janitrol heater mod during 1961.
7 06OCT04
Added four new photos (3rd row) thanks to Dave Richards.
6 13JUL04
Added a close-up photo of the Doppler antenna fairing thanks to Joe Tidey.
5 10JUL04
Added details of the Interscan MLS trials 1974-1979 thanks to Roger McDonald.
4 06OCT03
Derek Minter has highlighted an anomaly whereby the aircraft was deregistered on 09FEB72 but Derek had crewed VH-AGU with Adastra in June 1972. Tony Arbon advises that VH-AGU was restored to the Register on 08MAY72. Thanks to Derek and Tony for resolving this matter.
3 22SEP03
Extra detail added from NAA file C3905/2 VH/AGU thanks to Chris O'Neill.
2 05FEB03
Extra detail added thanks to Allan Bovelt.