Last updated 22.8.17
DH.82 -  L.E.S. TIGER MOTH PRODUCTION

11 new Tiger Moths were assembled by Lawrence Engineering and Sales Pty Ltd 1959-1962

Compiled by Geoff Goodall


The second LES Tiger Moth VH-BGO seen at Mangalore Vic in April 1986.                                Photo by Geoff Goodall

                    The Royal Australian Air Force operated over a thousand DH.82 Tiger Moths, mostly for pilot basic training.  De Havilland Aircraft Pty Ltd atMascot Aerodrome, Sydney built a total of 1,090 Tiger Moths between 1940-1945 to RAAF, RAF, RNZAF and other military and civil orders. By 1958 large numbers of military disposals Tiger Moths were still in widespread use across Australia as civil aircraft, flown by private owners, aero clubs and aerial agricutural operators.
                   At Camden Airport, south of Sydney, a small company Lawrence Engineering and Sales Pty Ltd had purchased the RAAF's remaining Tiger Moth spare parts stock. This had been released for disposal following the retirement of the last few military Tiger Moths. The large size of the spares holding, including Gipsy Major engines, new fuselage frames and complete wings, resulted in L.E.S. calculating that at least a dozen aircraft could be assembled from these components. The proposal was put to the Department of Civil Aviation, which agreed that that these newly-assembled aircraft would comply with the existing De Havilland DH.82 Type Approval, but stipulated a new construction number sequence, commencing with LES.1

            Lawrence Engineering and Sales Pty Ltd had been registered on 15 August 1957 with Morry J. Lawrence and Noel H. Notley equal shareholders. Lawrence previously operated as Sepal Pty Ltd, an aviation parts supplier which was appointed Australian agents for the American World-Wide Surveys Inc, using ex-RAAF Mosquitos, a Lockheed Hudson and an Anson for aerial survey contracts. Noel Notley was employed by Sepal as chief engineer of their Camden maintenance hangar. When World-Wide Surveys was wound up in USA during 1957, Lawrence established L.E.S. to take over the well-equipped Camden workshop and hangar.. Noel Notley was now working on Austers and Proctors, instead of the heavier survey aircraft.  Refer DH.98 CIVIL MOSQUITOS in this series for details on Sepal Pty Ltd
                 Soon after starting L.E.S., Morry Lawrence bid on a RAAF disposals auction item that caught his eye: Tiger Moths spare parts.
His contacts made from years of dealing in military disposals equipment told him this was the final clear-out of RAAF DH.82 spares stock held at RAAF bases and Stores Depots, moved to RAAF Richmond for disposal. His tender at a carefully calculated price successfully beat the other bidders. The parts stock, all carefully packed and labelled, was moved by road from Richmond to Camden, where the two retired air survey Mosquitos were rolled out of the L.E.S. hangar to make space - the Mosquitos were stripped of useful parts then burnt.
                 Noel Notley commenced work constructing the first L.E.S. Tiger Moths from the parts collection, while keeping the hangar running with general aviation maintenance. Morry Lawrence looked after the aircraft sales side of the business, while continuing dealing in airline parts and services from his Mascot office.
                 However Morry Lawrence was also Australian agent for the eminent US air survey operation Aero Service Corp, Philadelphia PA.
From early 1960 a series of Australian mineral and oil survey jobs had been lined up requiring specialised magnetometer equipped aircraft. Aero Service Corp sent an Apache and DC-3 Australia with American crews. The aircraft had Australian certification inspections carried out by L.E.S. at Camden. As the aerial survey work increased, later in 1960 Lawrence found himself fully involved managing the survey work under his company Aero Service Ltd, Sydney.  Noel Notley purchased Lawrence's share of L.E.S. and changed the name to Notley Aviation Pty Ltd.  Cessna dealers Rex Aviation took over in 1971 as Camden Aviation Sales and Service Pty Ltd, with Notley staying on as maintenance manager for several years.
                  A total of eleven Tiger Moths were constructed byL.E.S. over three years.


                               Aircraft magazine December 1957                                             Aircraft magazine March 1959

L.E.S. Tiger Moths in order of construction:

                          DH.82 Tiger Moth  c/n LES.1                                                                    VH-KRW
6.2.59
Registered VH-KRW: Lawrence Engineering and Sales Pty Ltd, Camden Airport NSW
9.2.59
Change of ownership: K. R. Wilson,"Carinya" Station, Jambin via Rockhampton Qld
3.5.68
Change of ownership: P. J. Annand, Brisbane Qld
21.3.70
Minor damage at Archerfield Airport Qld
15.9.70
Change of ownership: Fred L. Bird, Longreach Qld, later "Royona" Station, Quambone Qld

Fred Bird was an experienced aircraft maintenance engineer who had worked for airlines in New Guinea before moving to outback Queensland. He had an approved workshop on Ennis Downs Station via Richmond, later at Longreach.
17.6.99
Struck-off Register


VH-KRW visits its birthplace Camden NSW during an air race in October 1978.      Photo by Greg Banfield


                         DH.82 Tiger Moth  c/n LES.2                                                            VH-BGO
23.2.59 Registered VH-BGO: Lawrence Engineering and Sales Pty Ltd, Camden Airport NSW
1.3.59 Change of ownership: W. R. Arthur, Bendigo Vic
20.6.63 Change of ownership: Les Penna, Bendigo Vic
28.4.70 Struck-off Register at owner's request
2.3.76 Restored Register: B.A.G. Airservices Pty Ltd, Bendigo Vic
4.1.93 Change of ownership: D. W. Cahill, Bendigo Vic
10.8.99 Change of ownership: A.S. Howard, Bendigo Vic
9.8.06 Change of ownership: Neil M. Hogg, Sydney NSW 

Current


VH-BGO was in the Tiger line at an airshow at Swan Hill Vic in March 1965.        Photo by Geoff Goodall


                           DH.82 Tiger Moth  c/n LES.3                                                   VH-BRT,  ZK-AOR
8.6.59
Registered VH-BRT:  M. Manuel, Boort Vic
10.12.62
Change of ownership: E. R. Piel, Cannie Vic
11.11.75
Change of ownership: J. Priddle, Stockyard Creek via Grafton NSW
21.9.88
Change of ownership: B. C. Farren Price, Adelaide SA
24.10.91
Change of ownership: Barry I. Hemple, Archerfield Airport, Brisbane Qld
15.8.95
Change of ownership: Helijet Whitsunday Pty Ltd, Mackay Qld
11.9.97
Change of ownership: Heli-Muster Pty Ltd, Bankstown Airport, Sydney NSW
11.9.97
Struck-off Register, sold to New Zealand

Registered ZK-AOR

Flying 2015 at Auckland painted orange with tiger stripes


VH-BRT at Bendigo Vic in 1962.                                                       Photo: The Collection p1234-1006


                          DH.82 Tiger Moth  c/n LES.4                                                     VH-MWN
26.11.59
Registered VH-MWN: Lawrence Engineering and Sales Pty Ltd, Camden Airport NSW
11.12.59
Change of ownership:  R.C.Berry, Nymagee NSW
25.5.62
Change of ownership: Royal Newcastle Aero Club, Maitland NSW
27.8.62
Change of ownership: Worldwide Aeronautical Services, Sydney NSW
14.3.63
Change of ownership: T. Colpby & K.I.A. Attneave, Sydney NSW
1.4.63
VH-MWN was being taxied at Bankstown Airport Sydney by new owner K.Attneave when its collided with the parked Zlin Trener VH-PXB. The Tiger Moth's propeller struck the Zlin's fuel tank, sparking a fire which burnt out the Zlin. VH-MWN was pulled clear of the burning Zlin and was not badly damaged.
20.1.64
Change of ownership: C. Rooney, Ararat Vic
19.11.68
Change of ownership: Don A. McBain, Port McDonnell SA
25.6.81
Change of ownership: A. M. Monfries, Naracoorte SA
12.4.82
Change of ownership: C. J. H. Sims, Victor Harbour SA
20.2.89
Change of ownership: A.C.A. Schwerdt, Parafield Tiger Group, Parafield SA 
8.7.99
Change of ownership: Trevor G. Forsyth, Athelstone SA

Current


VH-MWN visiting Narromine NSW during 1963.                                                     Photo by Bob Neate


The Zlin 126 Trener VH-PXB burnt out at Bankstown in April 1963 after its skirmish with VH-MWN
Photo: Neil Follett collection


VH-MWN at Ararat Vic in April 1966, all silver.                                             Photo by Geoff Goodall


                         DH.82 Tiger Moth  c/n LES.5                                                   VH-MIT, VH-WFD
26.5.60
Registered VH-MIT: Lawrence Engineering and Sales Pty Ltd, Camden Airport NSW

Construction completed in single-seater agricultural configuration with hopper in the front seat position, enclosed canopy over rear seat and plumbing for wing spraybars, for customer Paul Mitrega.
3.8.60
Change of ownership: Mitair Agricultural Aviation, Cowra NSW c/- Paul Mitrega
65
DCA restrictions on agricultural Tiger Moths, mainly due to their high fatal accident rate compared with other ag types, required their withdrawal from service by Decemenbr 1965.
Paul Mitrega purchased PA-18 Super Cub VH-WFD as a replacement and swapped their registrations so that he could use his preferred VH-MIT on the Super Cub sprayer
22.6.65
Reregistered VH-WFD Mitair Agricultural Aviation, Cowra NSW
25.7.65
Struck-off Register as withdrawn from service
9.65
noted at Bathurst NSW dismantled outside the maintenance hangar, being stripped for parts


Mitair sprayer Tiger VH-WFD after retirement, dismantled at Bathurst NSW in September 1965.
Note the cockpit canopy.                                                          
Photo by Geoff Goodall


The Mitair LES Tiger was replaced by Piper Super Cub sprayer VH-MIT, seen parked at Paul Mitrega's
house at Cowra NSW in February 1966.                                                    Photo by Geoff Goodall


                          DH.82 Tiger Moth  c/n LES.6                                                                 VH-CDK, VH-ASD
5.9.60
Registered VH-CDK: Lawrence Engineering and Sales Pty Ltd, Camden Airport NSW

Construction completed in single-seater agricultural configuration with hopper in the front seat position, enclosed canopy over rear seat and plumbing for wing spraybars, for customer R.S.Bohm

Operated while on hire purchase by R.S. Bohm, West Wyalong NSW
26.8.60
Crashed while crop spraying near Cudal NSW, pilot received minor injuries
DCA Accident report: "The pilot misjudged the climb over known power lines at the end of a spraying run. Port wing caught in a power line and the aircraft crashed to the ground."
6.10.60
Change of ownership: R. S. Bohm, West Wyalong NSW
26.7.61
Change of ownership: Duttons Aerial Sowing Pty Ltd, Canowindra NSW
26.7.61
Reregistered VH-ASD
9.64
Leased to Brown-Williams Aviation, Parkes NSW .
Tigers VH-ASD & VH-FAS used on agricultural work in NSW and southern Queensland
19.1.65
Change of ownership: W. J. Brown, Albany WA
Partner W.J.Brown had moved from Parkes to Albany WA where he established a real estate business. VH-ASD ownership transferred to his name in the Private Category to fulfil DCA requirement that agricutural Tiger fleets reduce by a third each year over the three years leading to 31.12.65.This allowed VH-FAS to continue working for the 1965 season
65-68
VH-ASD was retired in Jack Hodder's hangar at Parkes NSW
2.7.67
noted in the hangar Parkes, silver and red, still with canopy
20.5.68
Change of ownership: E. G. Frecklington, Dalmaly Stud, Roma Qld
22.5.68
Change of ownership: K. R. Smith, Elmore Station via Broken Hill NSW
68
Restored with two open cockpits
11.11.74
Struck-off Civil Register at owner's request

Fate unknown


VH-ASD at Parkes NSW in 1963 with spray bars and cockpit canopy.                          Photo by Bob Neate


                          DH.82 Tiger Moth  c/n LES.7                                                                    VH-PIP, VH-RIP, VH-EDI
17.10.60
Register VH-PIP E. A. Borrman,"Elenleigh" via Swan Hill Vic
Mr. Borrman's young son's nickname was "Pip"
10.64
The Tiger Moth was replaced by a new Cessna 172D. A registration change was approved by DCA to allow the preferred VH-PIP to be issued to the Cessna
10.64
Reregistered VH-RIP
10.64
Change of ownership: A. J. Hollins, Barham NSW
9.4.75
Change of ownership: Hastings River Caravan Park, Port McQuarie NSW
8.5.79
Change of ownership: Seaplane Sales and Safaris, Sydney NSW
10.5.81
Change of ownership: A. J. Hollins, Port McQuarie NSW
10.8.87
Change of ownership: P.E.J. Borrman, Lemnos Vic
6.2.90
Reregistered VH-EDI  P.E.J. Borrman, Lemnos Vic
14.1.97
Change of ownership: Coral Air Whitsaunday Pty Ltd, Airlie Beach Qld
7.4.98
Change of ownership: G. R. Scott, Airlie Beach Qld
15.5.98
Change of ownership: Samair Pty Ltd t/a Air Whitsunday, Airlie Beach Qld
11.11.98
Change of ownership: Samair Pty Ltd t/a Whitsunday Adventure Flying, Airlie Beach Qld
19.4.00
damaged in accident Whitsunday Island
17.12.03
damaged in accident Shute Harbour Qld
3.2.06
Change of ownership: Samair Pty Ltd, Twin Waters Qld
26.5.06
Change of ownership: Maxwell C. Patchett,Townsville Qld, later Darwin NT

Current


VH-RIP visits an airshow at Horsham Vic in March 1965.                                  Photo by Geoff Goodall


VH-RIP at Camden NSW in October 1978. This Tiger Moth stayed with two families for 30 years.
Photo by Greg Banfield


                           DH.82 Tiger Moth  c/n LES.8                                                                 VH-CXL
8.3.61
Registered VH-CXL Lawrence Engineering and Sales Pty Ltd, Camden Airport NSW

Construction completed in single-seater agricultural configuration with hopper in the front seat position and plumbing for wing spraybars, for customer Deniliquin Aerial Service
10.5.61
Change of ownership: Deniliquin Aerial Services Pty Ltd, Deniliquin NSW
27.7.61
Damaged in accident at Camden NSW
9.7.64
Change of ownership: F. W. King & Sons Pty Ltd, Young NSW
64
Restored to two open cockpits but retained the agricultural overturn truss
29.4.94
Change of ownership: P. G. Mills, Leonay NSW
30.11.00
Change of ownership: Lydia H. Mitton, Perth WA
29.2.04
Damaged in accident Bridgetown WA

Current


VH-CXL in 1963 as a sprayer with Deniliquin Aerial Services, seen at Griffith NSW.    Photo by Bob Neate


Orange NSW February 1966, now a two-seater but retaining the overturn truss. Silver with red cowls & rudder.
    Photo by Geoff Goodall



                           DH.82 Tiger Moth  c/n LES.9                                                            VH-WET, VH-BUG
14.7.61
Registered VH-WET: Airland Improvements Pty Ltd, Cootamundra NSW

Construction by LES at Camden completed in single-seater agricultural configuration with hopper in the front seat position and plumbing for wing spraybars, for Airland Improvements

Flown on spraying work from Cootamundra Aerodrome NSW.
Airland Improvements was a major operator, flying Tiger Moths, Fletcher Fu24s, Cessna 180s, DHC-2 Beaver and six CA-28 Ceres, plus providing general aviation maintenance.
23.12.65
Change of ownership: Alan H. Baker, Womerah Station, Wee Waa NSW
Alan Baker owned several aviation businesses and was to later buy a half share of Airland. He is reported to have flown this Tiger Moth on ag work claiming it was on his property thus exempt from the DCA ban on agricultural Tiger Moths efective 31.12.65
9.8.66
Reregistered VH-BUG Alan H. Baker, Womerah Station, Wee Waa NSW
10.73
Badly damaged by windstorm "Womerah", Wee Waa. The severe storm blew it out of its  hangar, wrecking the aircraft
14.11.74
Struck-off Register, owner's request
2.6.75
VH-BUG noted dismantled in hangar at "Womerah", Wee Waa.  Alan Baker said he intended to move it to Tamworth Airport for a rebuild. He now based CA-28 Ceres VH-SSV at his property for local ag work

Wreck acquired by Barry Hills, Adelaide as a long-term rebuild project
1.3.01
Restored to Register VH-BUG: Barry W. Hills, Adelaide SA
21.2.05
Change of ownership: Joachim M. P. B. Guenther, Adelaide SA
15.5.05
First flight after rebuild
13.4.07
Owner change of address: J. M. P. B . Guenther, Hamburg, Germany
operator Barry W. Hills, Adelaide SA

Based Hindmarsh Island airfield SA, operated by Harry Hill. Joe Guenther regularly returns from his employment with Airbus in Germany to fly his TigerMoth

Current


VH-WET heads this line of ag Tigers at Cootamundra 1962. It wears Airland Improvement's house colours of
cream with yellow chequerboard rudder and wingtips.                      Photo: Ben Dannecker collection


Cootamundra 1963, with Airland company titles painted on the fuselage.        Photo by Ben Dannecker


VH-BUG at Tamworth NSW in September 1968, still in Airland colours with operational hopper.
Photo by Geoff Goodall


VH-BUG after a long rebuild, flying from Hindmarsh Island SA circa 2012.        Photo by Joe Guenther


                         DH.82 Tiger Moth  c/n LES.10                                                             VH-CXY
24.8.61
Registered VH-CXY: Lawrence Engineering and Sales Pty Ltd, Camden Airport NSW
.61
Change of ownership: Warrnambool Air Taxis Pty Ltd, Warrnambool Vic
This was a syndicate comprising local pilots Bob McCosh, Frank Jarrington, Nyal Dennis and Max Harrip
(date unreadable in the hand-written DCA Civil Aircraft Register ledgers)
2.4.63
Change of ownership: H. A. (Tom) Lucas and James P. Hyland, Warrnambool Vic
3.64
Flown by H.A. Lucas in the three-day R.M.Ansett Air Race from Brisbane to Adelaide. 
146 aircraft commenced,  race numbers being allocated commencing with the slowest aircraft, VH-CXY was Race No.1, with one other Tiger Moth VH-UEQ race No.2.
The race departed Brisbane-Archerfield 29.3.64, night stops at Sydney and Melbourne, ending at Adelaide-Parafield 31.3.64
1.7.67
Change of ownership: Newton Dance Aviation, Warrnambool Vic
Air charter and pilot training business started that year by John Newton and Alan Dance.
12.4.69
Change of ownership: D. C. Freedman, RAAF Officers Mess, Canberra ACT, later
RAAF Williamtown, RAAF Point Cook
27.6.81
Change of ownership: G. Mayr, Melbourne Vic
5.1.95
Change of ownership: Alan R. Reed, Melbourne Vic

Current


Warrnambool Airport December 1963, VH-CXY draped in covers, before hangars were built.
Photo by Geoff Goodall

                      
Race number 1 of the 146 aircraft field of the 3 day Ansett Air Race Brisbane to Adelaide in March 1964.
VH-CXY is seen at the finishing line at Parafield SA.                                     Photo by Geoff Goodall


Sporting an imiginative scheme at an airshow Camden NSW May 1976.              Photo by Greg Banfield


Mangalore Vic in April 1983, back to all silver finish.                                    Photo by Geoff Goodall


                          DH.82 Tiger Moth  c/n LES.11                                                        VH-CRA, VH-BCI
21.6.62
Registered VH-CRA N. Rogers, "Anrod Downs" Station, via Corfield Qld

N. "Chris" Rogers had requested the registration to signify Chris Rogers Anrod.
He ordered the new Tiger Moth from L.E.S. to replace his Tiger VH-BCS which had fallen into poor condition. After taking delivery of VH-CRA, Chris removed the wings from VH-BCS to stop any temptation to fly her again.
.66
Mining company Conzinc Rio Australia, Melbourne wrote to Rogers asking if he would consider changing the registration VH-CRA which they would like to use on a their new executive Grumman Gulfstream 1. After some negotiations and incentives he agreed and requested DCA reallocate VH-CRA
31.5.66
Reregistered VH-BCI  N. Rogers, "Anrod Downs" Station, via Corfield Qld
14.5.73
VH-BCI noted at Anrod Downs, sharing the hangar with Chris Roger's Auster J.5BAutocar VH-SNK. Outside was the derelict fuselage of Tiger Moth VH-BCS, whose wings were stored inside the hangar.
6.7.82
Struck-off Register at owner's request
10.6.94
Restored to register VH-BCI: Barry Hempel t/a Hempel's Aviation Pty Ltd, Archerfield Qld
7.12.05
Change of ownership: Shannon Nominees, Brisbane Qld
12.1.12
Change of ownership: Sker Aviation Pty Ltd, Brisbane Qld

Current


Classic Tiger scene as Chris Rogers (rear) and Tiger Moth enthusiast Mike Vincent guide VH-BCI into the
hangar on remote Anrod Downs Station, Queensland in May 1973.
               Photo by Geoff Goodall


VH-BCI looking very smart at Archerfield Qld in June 2006.                                   Photo by Phil Vabre


Conzinc Rio Australia's Gulfstream 1 VH-CRA which took over the Tiger Moth's original registration.
Seen on a regular visit to Dampier WA in May 1971.                           Photo by Geoff Goodall

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References:
- Australian Civil Aircraft Register, Department of Civil Aviation and its successors
- DCA Annual Survey of Aircraft Accidents publication, 1959 to 1966
- 1964 Ansett Air Race, Ian D. McArthur, Aviation Historical Society of Australia Journal, April 1964
- AHSA Journal, Civil Register supplements, 1960-1980
- Let There Be Flight, Kenneth R. Riches, self-published 2009
- Noel Notley correspondence with Doug Morrison regarding Lawrence Engineering and Sales Pty Ltd


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