Last updated 10.1.15
PIAGGIO P.166s IN AUSTRALIA

Also including the one Australian Piaggio P.136 amphibian 

Compiled by Geoff Goodall


Airlines of South Australia's newly delivered Piaggio P.166B Portofino VH-ASA, at Adelaide Airport in May 1963.
Photo by Geoff Goodall


           Following the basic design of the Piaggio 136 amphibian, the P.166 was designed as an all-metal 8 to 10 seater landplane with pusher engines mounted on a gull wing. The prototype P.166 first flew on 26 November 1957.  Production by Societa per Azioni Piaggio commenced in 1959 at their Finale Ligure works in Italy.  The company was renamed Rinaldo Piaggio S.p.A. in 1964, when the aviation division was separated from Vespa motor scooter and other non-aviation activities. Total P.166 production was approximately 150 aircraft, including military models.

          The Piaggio P.166 was introduced to Australasia by Papuan Air Transport Ltd (Patair) based at Port Moresby, Territory of Papua
and New Guinea, then administered by Australia. Patair made a surprise announcement in May 1959 that they had ordered a new P.166 for delivery in August that year, with an option on a second, for delivery six months later. Patair founder and Managing Director Cliff Jackson had been discussing options to replace his aging Avro Anson fleet with Robert F. Stephen of The Bristol Aeroplane Co (Australia) Pty Ltd at Sydney, which held the Australian Piaggio agency. After evaluating various types, Stephen recommended the new Piaggio P.166 just going into production. Jackson agreed and Stephen negotiated the Patair purchase, which was to lead to his life-time association with the type.
       
           The Piaggios in Australia and New Guinea provided a good level of passenger comfort and were generally liked by pilots, despite their popular nickname Pigs.  The high wing and low floor line made passenger and freight loading simple without the need of steps or equipment at remote airfields. Passengers described the sound of the rearward facing pusher engines as like riding in a Volkswagen Combi at high power.  All Piaggio purchases were handled by Robert Stephen, either with Bristol or later his own company, Forrester Stephen Pty Ltd, which he established in Melbourne in 1962 and took over the Piaggio agency from his former employer. 
            Forrester Stephen Pty Ltd established a significant operation at Essendon Airport, Melbourne. As well as the Piaggio agency for sales and maintenance, the company became Forrester Stephen Aviation and gained further aircraft agencies, such as Pilatus, Shorts and Macchi. 

           In airline service, the Piaggios proved costly to operate because of ongoing maintenance problems with their Lycoming engines. After some years, the airframers were found to be prone to corrosion, which was unexpected given their maritime heritage evolving from the Piaggio P.136 amphibian design. Robert Stephen, in a 1990 intervieew with airline historian Roger McDonald said that the Piaggio was a fine aircraft, but the engines were its downfall. He explained that the Lycoming engine bearing seals were unsuitable to the pusher configuration, allowing oil to seep through, damaging the engines. Neither Piaggio or Lycoming would accept responsibility for a solution. The engines were also susceptible to over-heating during long ground taxying because of no cooling from prop backwash like convential aircraft. This caused pistons to fail or cylinder chambers to crack. The more powerful upgraded Lycomings of the later P.166B Portofinos (VH-ASA & VH-PQA) and P.166C (VH-FSC) were stretched to their performance limit and required careful pilot management. Robert Stephen said that he believed the larger cabin P.166C should have had great sales potential, but it was flawed by the engines.

          A total of 17 Piaggio P.166s were imported for Australian customers.  Models certified in Australia were:
P.166    two 340hp Lycoming GSO-480 engines. 
P.166B Portofino: longer nose, 380hp Lycoming IGSO-540 engines.
P.166C Feederliner, larger cabin, seating for up to 12 passengers, undercarriage housed in external fuselage pods

         There were three general phases to the story of Australian P.166s:
- Airline use 1959-1970: by Patair, Ansett-ANA, Ansett-MAL, Airlines of SA, Queensland Airlines, Airlines of NSW, MMA
- Retired airline P.166s acquired by charter operators 1970-1993, used for a wide variety of freight and passenger work
- Disposal of the grounded charter P.166s, retired when each ran out of flying hours prior to costly overhauls

          By 1978 most of the charter freighter Piaggios had reached their flying hour limits for wing spar life. Re-spar overhauls were not an economical proposition.  This Chris O'Neill photo below shows six retired at Bankstown in May 1978. By January the following year, two more were added to the line: VH-ASA, BHK, GOE, PNC, PND, SMF, FSA and VH-FSC



          The October 1979 issue of Flight International magazine carried an advertisement placed by Ray Causer's General Aviation Air Freighters Pty Ltd, Bankstown: "Piaggio Fleet for Disposal": a total of nine P.166s: seven P.166, one P166B, one P.166C aircraft and all associated spares total value $500K offered for $215K negotiable, export CofA at agreed cost.
          Aviation Salvage Co, Sydney advertised in May 1980 "2 Piaggio airframes, suit static display: $1500 each o.n.o."         
          By October 1981 7 P.166s had been moved and were now parked along the Milperra Road boundary of Bankstown Airport. They had been moved from that location by August the following year, presumably sold for scrap metal, although some did survive to go to museums, emergency service drill grounds, military target use and even a childrens playground.
          
           The last operational Australian P.166 was VH-MMP, which had a long string of owners and continued flying until 1993, owned by Peter Sagar and associates from Sydney Air Traffic Ccontrol Centre. Its final public showing was at the Avalon International Airshow in October 1992 when Peter gave a spirited flying display.  It was retired at Bankstown for maintenance which unfortunately proved too costly to complete. VH-MMP since then had been moved between museum groups.


This listing of Australian Piaggio P.166s is presented in order of arrival. All were delivered to Australia by air:


                   Piaggio P.166 c/n 357, line number 6         Mount Yule                                                      VH-PAP, VH-PNC
59
Built by Societa per Azioni Piaggio at Finale Ligure, Italy. Production P.166
8.5.59
Ordered new by Papuan Air Transport Ltd, Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea
22.8.59
Added to Register: VH-PAP Papuan Air Transport Ltd, Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea
trading as Patair
25.8.59
Customer acceptance tests completed at Piaggio factory
28.8.59
VH-PAP departed Genoa, Italy on delivery flight, under command of Patair Chief Pilot Captain Hank van Santen, with Patair Chief Engineer Phil Bennett and Piaggio engineer Luigi Lurelli. Aircraft was painted allover white with red lettering and blue trim,"Patair" on rear fuselage sides. Delivery flight routed via stops at Athens, Nicosia, Beirut, Abadan, Bahrain, Karachi, Delhi, Calcutta, Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur, Singapore, Djakarta, Denpassar, Dili, Darwin, Alice Springs, Broken Hill to Melbourne.
30.8.59
VH-PAP noted ta Bahrein
5.9.59
Arrived at Darwin NT
9.59
demonstrated to Connellan Airways at Alice Springs during the ferry flight
9.9.59
arrived Melbourne-Essendon for demonstration flights to Ansett-ANA by PAT Captain J. van Senten prior to continuing delivery to New Guinea
9.59
Handover ceremony to Patair at Sydney-Bankstown by Australian agents Bristol Aviation Services
9.59
demonstrations at Canberra to Government agencies
21.9.59
noted at Sydney-Mascot conducting demonstration flights to Airlines of NSW
22.9.59
demonstration flights at Tamworth NSW to East West Airlines, returned to Sydney that night. Will return for high altitude performance trials for DCA Australian certification
28.9.59
arrived Tamworth NSW again, from Melbourne for further demonstrations to East West Airlines

Alf Barlett, founder and chief pilot of Bay of Plenty Airways, Tauranga NZ flew to Australia by TEAL to evaluate the P.166. He had four flights in VH-PAP totalling 8 hours flying.
Unable to go ahead with an order because the airline could not raise the finance.
9.59
demonstrations at Brisbane-Eagle Farm to Queensland Airlines
9.59
demonstrations at Cairns Qld to Bush Pilots Airways
8.10.59
Arrived Port Moresby at 2pm from Cairns on delivery flight to Patair, with Manager Cliff Jackson as passenger, to a large welcoming ceremony
10.59
Entered Patair service, named Mount Yule
6.60
Report: VH-PAP had flown over 600 hours in Patair service
17.7.61
Change of Registration to VH-PNC: Papuan Air Transport Pty Ltd, Port Moresby PNG
Reregistered because Patair standardised on the VH-PN registration block for its fleet.
VH-PNC retained the name Mount Yule
-
Change of owner's name: Papuan Airlines Transport, Port Moresby PNG
7.2.65
arrived Sydney-Bankstown for overhaul at Hawker deHavilland, red, white & blue with "Patair" titles and name Mount Yule
20.3.65
testflown at Bankstown after maintenance, departed for New Guinea same day
8.5.65
noted at Port Moresby, "Patair"scheme and titles
18.7.65
noted at Port Moresby now repainted with titles "Papuan Airlines" and "Patair"
9.8.68
noted at Port Moresby, "Patair" titles, departed on scheduled Patair service to Popondetta
12.8.68
noted at Port Moresby, "Patair" titles, arrived on scheduled Patair service from Woitape
22.8.68
noted at Port Moresby, "Patair" titles
7.4.69
Struck-off Register at owner's request.
Retired from service by Patair due economics. Patair Operations Manager Bill Forgan-Smith recalled: "We just shoved the Pigs aside and left them for a year, let the certificates run out.  Nobody wanted them.  Eventually we got them re-certificated.  They'd earned their money and paid for themselves over the years and we used them again on some runs."
c12.69
Restored to Register VH-PNC: Papuan Airlines Transport, Port Moresby PNG
Returned to PAT service December 1969: restoration date not recorded in the DCA Civil Register
1.7.70
Papuan Airlines was taken over by Ansett Transport Industries. 
Piaggios VH-PNC & -PND were both in Patair service at the time of takeover
31.8.70
arrived Bankstown at Hawker deHavilland hangar: reportedly as a trade-in to Beech agents Hawker deHavilland on an Ansett Airlines of Papua New Guinea DHC-6 Twin Otter
5.9.70
noted at Bankstown, full Patair paint scheme with titles and name Mount Yule. Also 12.9.70, 20.9.70
5.11.70
Change of ownership: Ray Causer, Sydney NSW
22.1.71
noted at Bankstown, full Patair paint scheme with "Patair"titles and name Mount Yule
27.1.71
noted at Bankstown, Patair titles painted over on port side of fuselage but still on tail
12.3.71
undercarriage collapsed during landing, Mount Isa Qld
7.4.71
Struck-off Register as owner's request: during repairs and overhaul
4.7.71
noted at Bankstown, paintwork being scraped off, most of Patair markings now removed
24.11.71
Restored to Register: General Aviation Air Freighters Pty Ltd, Sydney NSW c/- Ray Causer
11.71
noted at Bankstown, now metal finish except for red nose cone, red trim on wingtip tanks and propeller spinners.  Same 27.12.71, 2.1.72, 2.72,5.3.72, 5.72
1.4.73
Flew a passenger charter Bankstown-Nowra return
3.2.75
Struck-off Register as owner's request. Retired at Bankstown NSW
18.4.75
noted at Bankstown, all metal. Also 6.8.76, 12.9.76
1.79
noted at Bankstown, all metal. Engines and tip tanks removed. Parked in row of 9 retired P166s
8.8.79
noted at Bankstown
7.84
noted at Bankstown, all metal finish, no registration. Basically complete except for engines and wingtip tanks.  Silver foil attached over cockpit windows
-
Collected at Bankstown by RAAF trucks and moved to RAAF Kingswood Stores Depot near Windsor, near Sydney. Planned use as target for laser and other weapons
-
Fuselage only of a P166 rescued from Windsor NSW for the Historical Aircraft Restoration Society by a party comprising Robin Mead, Mike Delahunty and Tony Coleiro
99/03
VH-PNC forward fuselage listed in the HARS collection of stored aircraft in Sydney
11
P166 fuselage stored at Bankstown for HARS. Robin Mead is hoping to mount it on a dual axle
car trailer for display purposes.  Reported this is VH-PNC but unconfirmed


VH-PAP at Cairns Qld in September 1959, during its delivery flight from Italy to Port Moresby.
Photo by Alan Fraser, via Maurice Austin collection


Re-registered VH-PNC, "Mount Yule"at Tamworth in 1966 for maintenance by East West Airlines


Bankstown in July 1971, having the Patair paintwork removed. It then remained in metallic finish



                    Piaggio P.166 c/n 366, line number 15        Mount Clarence                                                          VH-PAU
10.59
Ordered by Papuan Air Transport Ltd for scheduled delivery in 2.60
.60
Built at Finale Ligure, Italy by Societa per Azioni Piaggio
5.60
DCA allotted registration VH-PAU for the ferry flight from Italy to Australia
19.5.60
VH-PAU noted at Bahrein on delivery
28.5.60
VH-PAU noted at Singapore-Paya Lebar on delivery
8.6.60
Added to Civil Register VH-PAU Papuan Air Transport Ltd, Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea
Named Mount Clarence
8.3.61
Lost without trace en route Popondetta to Port Moresby. 
Captain Geoff Wallace, no passengers. Last radio position report was over Kokoda in the
Owen Stanley Mountain range. Despite extensive search by 30 aircraft for 17 days, not found
1.6.61
Struck-off Register
10.70
VH-PAU wreck finally located at 9,400 feet elevation on a mountain side during a large search for
a missing Piper Aztec.


A rare picture of Patair's short-lived VH-PAU.                                                        Geoff Goodall collection



                    Piaggio P.166 c/n 370, line number 19                                                                                               VH-BHK
.60
Built at Finale Ligure, Italy by Societa per Azioni Piaggio
8.60
Letter to DCA from Bristol Aeroplane Company (Australia) Pty Ltd, agents for Piaggio:
P166 VH-BHK purchased by The Zinc Corp Ltd is scheduled to be flown to Australia ex factory in October 1961. It will be flown by Zinc Corp's Captain Allan Polkinghorn with engineer Don Rogers.  The aircraft will be inspected by Bristol on arrival.
29.8.60
Australian Registration Application for c/n 370: The Zinc Corp, Melbourne Vic
Registration VH-BHK has been allocated
6.12.60
Italian Export CofA issued
6.12.60
Added to Register VH-BHK:  The Zinc Corp, Melbourne Vic
10.12.60
VH-BHK departed Villanova, Italy on delivery to Australia, flown by Associated Airlines Captain
Alan J. Polkinghorne
14.12.60
Arrived Karachi on delivery flight
24.12.60
VH-BHK arrived Essendon Airport, Melbourne on delivery flight to Associated Airlines.
Cream & pale blue colour scheme
5.1.61
Change of owner's name: Associated Airlines, Melbourne-Essendon Vic
Associated Airlines was the operator of aircraft owned by Zinc Corp, BHP and Conzinc for company travel by the associated mining companies
1.61
Australian CofA inspection at Bankstown by Bristol Aviation
21.1.61
noted at Bankstown outside Bristol Aviation hangar, no titles
7.61
visited Perth Airport on first visit to WA
2.62
visited Aeropelican airfield, Belmont NSW on an Associated Airlines flight for BHP Newcastle
5.62
noted at Essendon, under maintenance in Associated Airlines hangar
1.10.62
Change of owner's name: Conzinc Rio Tinto of Australia Ltd, Melbourne Vic
8.1.64
noted at Essendon in Associated Airlines hangar, where based
3.4.64
noted at Essendon, no titles, outside Associated Airlines hangar. Also 16.4.64
.64
Change of owner's name: Commonwealth Aluminium Corp, Cairns Qld, later Brisbane Qld
.64
Took up residence at Cairns Qld, operating company flights to mining sites in north Queensland, particularly Weipa
8.7.64
noted at Sydney Airport, light blue & off-white
25.8.64
arrived at Sydney Airport from Cairns, departed for Cairns 27.8.64
14.8.66
noted at Cairns
16.12.66
noted at Essendon, parked on grass, has been in the same position for 3 weeks
23.2.67
noted at Bankstown, "Comalco Aluminum" titles on wingtip tanks, undergoing maintenance outside Hawker de Havilland hangar. Also 25.2.67
26.2.67
noted at Brisbane-Eagle Farm, visiting from Cairns
23.8.68
noted at Cairns, "Comalco Aluminium" on wingtip tanks
5.1.71
noted at Cairns, "Comalco" titles on wingtip tanks, parked outside Bush Pilots Airways hangar
3.4.70
Minor damage sustained at Weipa Qld
8.1.72
noted at Cairns, Comalco, flying in and out regularly over following week
3.1.73
noted at Cairns, parked outside with covers over cabin and engines
13.5.73
noted at Cairns, in hangar
11.8.74
noted at Cairns, "Comalco" on wingtip tanks
8.6.75
noted at Cairns, in hangar on overhaul
1.76
noted at Sydney Airport, white with pink trim, “Comalco” titles and emblem on tip tanks
9.77
Advertised for sale by Comalco: "due to purchase of new company aircraft we have available for immediate sale on an "as is where is" basis", Cairns: $20K or near offer, VH-BHK Serial No. 370, Total time 11,154 hours, CofA expired 31.5.77. 8 passenger seats
15.12.77
Last flight with Comalco, a check flight by pilot Leslie P. Nind before aircraft sold.
21.12.77
Change of ownership: Ray Causer t/a General Aviation Air Freighters Pty Ltd, Mascot NSW
21.12.77
Struck-off Register as withdrawn from use (same date)

Ferried from Cairns to Sydney to be stripped for parts
26.1.78
noted at Sydney Airport. Also 28.1.78
20.3.78
port undercarriage collapsed during a windstorm while parked at Bankstown Airport, Sydney: no other external damage, "Comalco" on wingtip tanks
7.8.78
noted at Bankstown
2.1.79
noted at Bankstown in a row of 9 retired Piaggio 166s. VH-BHK still white & pink scheme, “Comalco” on tip tanks.  Unmoved by 8.8.79
10.11.82
noted at Bankstown
2.7.83
noted at Bankstown, weathered, no engines
21.8.83
noted at Bankstown, on grass parked with P166s VH-FSC, GOE, SMF
1.84
Sold in "as is" condition to John Hill, Brisbane Qld
7.88
Sold to David Bussey, Brisbane Qld
7.88
Immediately donated by Bussey to Queensland Air Museum, Caloundra Airport Qld
88
QAM requested Comalco to sponsor the restoration and display in their colours but Comalco declined, thus the Queensland Airlines paint scheme was chosen for future display
89
displayed at QAM, Caloundra in original Comalco pink & white scheme
14.9.91
noted at QAM, Caloundra being repainted in QAL scheme worn by P166B Portofino VH-PQA, however the correct registration VH-BHK was painted on the aircraft
21.9.13
noted at QAM, Caloundra, freshly repainted in Queensland Airlines' scheme, no registration

Current


Parked on the Associated Airlines ramp at Melbourne-Essendon in April 1964, pale blue and white. 
Photo by Peter Limon



Cairns Qld in January 1971, while based here with Comalco. Now painted pink and white.  Photo by Peter Kelly


The port gear collapsed while parked at Bankstown during a windstorm in March 1978.  Photo by Nigel Apperley


VH-BHK at Queensland Air Museum, September 2013, painted to represent Queensland Airlines' Portofino VH-PQA.
Photo by Ron Cuskelly



                   Piaggio P.166 c/n 378, line number 27                                                                                            VH-GOA
.61
Built at Finale Ligure, Italy by Societa per Azioni Piaggio
6.1.61
Mandated Airlines Ltd announced an order for two new P166s
28.2.61
Australian Registration application: Mandated Airlines Ltd, Lae, Papua New Guinea
The airline requested registrations VH-GOA & -GOB for their two new Piaggios because their base was expected to be Goroka PNG.

Mandated Airlines Manager Vic Nagle was reported in Pacific Island Monthly:
 "The Piaggio aircraft initially will be used to supplement the three Norseman aircraft we have left.  Our airline has been looking for an aircraft between the DC-3 and the Norseman, something that would carry about 4,000lbs, yet use the airstrips the Norseman can use."  He continued "The Piaggio will be able to lift about 2,400lbs and will be fitted with 11 passenger seats.  This would allow 11 lighter weight natives & 9 heavier Europeans to be carried." 

Reported to have been painted at the factory with “Mandated Airlines” titles in scroll script and their winged “M” logo on the forward fuselage. Quickly overpainted all white with “Ansett-MAL” titles
3.61
VH-GOA noted at Piaggio works, all white
4.4.61
Added to Register VH-GOA: New Guinea Co Ltd, Rabaul, New Britain

(New Guinea Co Ltd was an associate holding company for Mandated Airlines Ltd, which had just been taken over by Ansett Transport Industries, Melbourne. The new operating name of the airline was Ansett-MAL, Lae.  Thde regustrations
5.61
Delivered from Italy to Australia
5.61
noted at Bahrein on delivery flight, all white, "Ansett-MAL" titles
30.6.61
Australian CofA issued
7.61
Entered Ansett-MAL passenger service, based Goroka. Fitted with inward facing bench seating for up to 12-13 native passengers
-
Change of owner's name: Ansett-Mandated Airlines Ltd, Lae, Papua New Guinea
2.63
Ansett-MAL have three P166s in service, VH-GOA, VH-GOB, VH-BBG
2.64
noted at Mount Hagen PNG, Ansett-MAL markings
16.8.65
noted at Mount Hagen PNG
7.7.66
noted at Wewak PNG. Also 1.67, 2.67
14.11.67
noted at Essendon Airport, Melbourne parked with retired Ansett-ANA aircraft waiting for disposal, "Ansett-MAL" titles had just been removed from the tail but remained on the forward fuselage. 
Unmoved 20.11.67, 22.11.67
68
returned to Ansett-MAL service in New Guinea
24.6.68
Change of owner's name: Ansett Airlines of Papua New Guinea, Lae, PNG
1.12.69
Arrived at Sydney-Bankstown from New Guinea, parked at Hawker de Havilland hangar. It has been used as a trade-in on a new Twin Otter 300 for Ansett Airlines of PNG
4.12.69
Ansett date for sale to Hawker de Havilland Australia Pty Ltd, Bankstown Airport, Sydney NSW
6.12.69
noted at Bankstown, "Ansett-MAL" titles, original Ansett-MAL paint scheme
21.12.69
noted at Bankstown, parked outside Hawker deHavilland hangar. Ansett-MAL paint scheme but all titles removed
2.1.70
Civil Register Change of ownership: Hawker de Havilland Australia Pty Ltd, Sydney NSW
12.2.70
Change of ownership: Ray Causer, Sydney NSW
2.70
noted at Bankstown mid February at Aerosmith hangar having a large upward opening freight door installed in forward fuselage. Causer commissioned the freight door modification to enable large equipment to be loaded for charter work for the mining industry
3.70
noted at Bankstown being worked on in the open until June 1971, but the cargo door modification was not certified by DCA
18.4.70
noted at Bankstown, Ansett-MAL paint scheme but no titles
13.8.70
Letter from DCA to Ray Causer: the enlarged freight door was installed by Aero Smith Pty Ltd, Hangar 14, Bankstown, but that company was not authorised for maintenance or modifications of aircraft of this weight. No drawings or plans had been submitted to DCA. Before any CofA could be issued, a major inspection of the aircraft was required because no major inspection had been carried out since it was in the ownership of Ansett-MAL.
12.9.70
noted at Bankstown, all metallic, top hinged freight door appeared completed. Also 20.9.70
18.8.71
noted at Bankstown, all metallic except white engine nacelles and red tail with blue stripe over white triangle. Also 11.71, 1.72
2.6.73
Change of owner’s name: General Aviation Air Freighters Pty Ltd, Sydney NSW c/- Ray Causer
12.4.74
noted parked unused at Bankstown, all metallic. Also 20.4.74, 18.9.74
11.11.74
GAAF wrote to DCA requesting VH-GOA be removed from Register because it had been unairworthy since 1970: "this company is unable to proceed further with the Major Inspection of this aircraft.”
11.11.74
Struck-off Register as withdrawn from service
6.8.76
noted at Bankstown, all metallic, no registration
2.1.79
noted at Bankstown in a row of 9 retired Piaggio 166s. Also 8.8.79
2.7.83
noted at Bankstown, all metallic, no registration
2.87
noted at Bankstown, inside the Hawker de Havilland Training Centre, alongside DH Mosquito VH-WAD which was under restoration for the Australian War Memorial

Fate?


At Essendon in November 1967 parked with Ansett-ANA retired airliners.    Photo by Geoff Goodall


Bankstown 1970, having Ansett-MAL paintwork stripped.   DCA certification problems for a large freight door
installed in the left forward fuselage stopped this Piaggio ever flying again.  Photo by Norm Weeding



                    Piaggio P.166 c/n 400, line number 49        Cirrus                                                                            VH-GOB
.61
Built at Finale Ligure, Italy by Societa per Azioni Piaggio
6.1.61
Mandated Airlines Ltd announced an order for two new P166s
10.5.61
VH-GOB departed Albenga, Italy on delivery, under command of Ansett-ANA Senior Captain Peter Gibbes.
23.5.61
Arrived Port Moresby from Singapore via Darwin, Horn Island, pilot Captain Gibbes
5.6.61
Added to Register VH-GOB New Guinea Co Ltd, Rabaul, New Britain

(New Guinea Co Ltd was an associate holding company for Mandated Airlines Ltd taken over by Ansett-MAL, Lae, Papua New Guinea)
6.61
Entered Ansett-MAL passenger service, based at Goroka
-
Change of owner's name: Ansett-Mandated Airlines Ltd, Lae, Papua New Guinea
2.63
Ansett-MAL have three P.166s in service: VH-GOA, VH-GOB, VH-BBG
3.6.65
noted at Port Moresby-Jacksons PNG
16.8.65
noted at Mount Hagen PNG
9.10.65
noted at Port Moresby, arrived on Ansett-MAL service from Mount Hagen
9.9.66
noted at Goroka PNG, first fight after a major overhaul
24.6.68
Change of owner's name: Ansett Airlines of Papua New Guinea, Lae, PNG
24.5.70
noted at Mount Hagen PNG, “Ansett Airlines of Papua New Guinea” scheme & titles
3.12.70
noted at Adelaide Airport
12.12.70
noted at Adelaide-Parafield, based Adelaide on survey contract by Motif Air
28.1.71
Change of ownership: Motif Traders Pty Ltd, Melbourne Vic t/a Motifair
2.71
noted at Essendon Airport, Melbourne, basic Ansett colour scheme, no titles
4.71
noted at Adelaide Airport, still based here on survey contract by Motif Air
7.8.71
noted at Essendon, basic Ansett scheme, "Motifair" titles. Also 31.8.71
4.10.71
noted at Sydney Airport, visitor
30.11.71
flew Essendon-Adelaide Airport-Essendon on charter, Motifair
6.12.71
noted at Essendon, Motifair, flying
11.12.71
noted at Adelade Airport
2.72
noted at Essendon, still basic Ansett paint scheme of white with grey lower fuselage, red/black fuselage stripes, red tail with white circle, “Motifair” within circle. Also 4.72, 5.72
5.72
Leased to Capital Air Services Pty Ltd, Wellington NZ while their P.166 ZK-DAI underwent CofA renewal overhaul. VH-FSC had been expected but VH-GOB was substituted
18.5.72
VH-GOB arrived Wellington NZ from Australia, via Auckland
20.5.72
Change of ownership: H. N. Thomas, Melbourne Vic
10.9.72
VH-GOB noted at Wellington NZ
27.9.72
departed Wellington for Kaitaia, then Norfolk Island on return to Melbourne
29.9.72
arrived back at Essendon at end of lease to NZ
10.11.72
Change of ownership: P. A. Thompson, Melbourne Vic
2.12.72
Change of ownership back to: H. N. Thomas, Melbourne Vic
12.72
noted at Essendon, same ex Ansett scheme red and black fuselage stripes, red tail with white circle, “Motif Air” within the circle. Also 21.4.73, 23.11.73
20.12.73
Minor damage sustained at Essendon.
22.12.73
Struck-off Register as withdrawn from service
11.74
repainted at Essendon, dark blue with white trim, "Cirrus" on nose, "OA" on tail
16.12.74
Restored to Register: Omni Aviation Pty Ltd, Melbourne-Essendon Vic
26.12.74
noted at Essendon, just repainted dark blue with white trim, "Cirrus" on nose, "OA" on tail.
Also 18.1.75, 1.2.75, 28.2.75 at passenger terminal, 3.75, 4.75
15.5.75
Struck-off Register as withdrawn from service
6.75
Advertised for sale by Omni Aviation Pty Ltd, Essendon: total time 7560 hours, fitted with camera hatch and associated drift sights, and removable oblique window, repainted November 1974
5.7.75
noted at Essendon
2.8.75
noted at Essendon, dark blue and white, no titles. Also 11.10.75
23.4.76
Restored to Register: Control Surveys Australia Pty Ltd, Sydney NSW
6.76
Leased to QASCO Aerial Surveys, Sydney on a 3 month photographic contract in Philippines
6.8.76
noted at Bankstown, dark blue and white, no titles
13.9.76
noted at Moorabbin
26.9.76
noted at Moorabbin, small "Qasco Pty Ltd" titles
78
based Moorabbin, flying survey for Victorian Lands Department. Pilot was John Reelaide, who previously flew for Adastra Aerial Surveys
2.78
noted at Moorabbin, white fuselage, dark blue wings, light blue engine nacelles & tail,
“Qasco Pty Ltd” titles. Qasco logo on tail.  Also 10.3.78
4.78
Advertised for sale by QASCO Pty Ltd, Baulkham Hills NSW: Serial No 400 VH-GOB, total time 8160 hours, new major in 1.78, sound operational condition, modified for aerial photography
15.12.78
Minor damage sustained at Bankstown
20.6.79
Change of ownership: M. T. Shean, Sydney NSW
9.7.79
noted at Bankstown, dark blue, light blue and white, no titles. Also 14.9.79
20.7.81
Struck-off Register as withdrawn from service
17.8.81
noted at Bankstown, parts stripped, having paint scraped off, parked in Piaggio graveyard with other retired P.166s
5.1.85
noted at Bankstown, all metallic except for blue tail
5.85
noted at Bankstown, being dismantled
.85
moved from Bankstown to Holsworthy Army Base, Sydney for Australian Army School of Miltary Engineering.  Used as a "non-destructive training aid" at Holsworthy, painted allover olive drab
.96
acquired by Historical Aircraft Restoration Society, Sydney in an exchange with the Army at Holsworthy for a mock-up aircraft based on a Mitsubishi MU-2 fuselage with PA-34 Seneca wings.

HARS "Piaggio Project" project leader Robin Mead, who was Bankstown Fuel Manager, ex Talair Port Manager.
12.97
noted at Bankstown, allover olive drab, ”Army Fire Service” sticker on fin
14.1.98
noted at Bankstown, open storage, planned restoration project by HARS
7.3.98
noted at Bankstown, complete less engines, painted in all over olive drab, ”Army Fire Service” sticker on tail, flat tyres, perspex missing from cabin windows
2.99
noted Bankstown, at Bankstown Aviation Museum hangar
00
Report: VH-GOB had been offered "as is" to the Hawker deHavilland Museum, Bankstown and Australia’s Museum of Flight at Nowra NSW, but both declined
10.7.00
noted at Bankstown, complete less engines, allover olive drab, ”Army Fire Service” sticker, displayed at Bankstown Aviation Museum with description board at nose
03
Listed by Historical Aircraft Restoration Society, HQ now at Woolongong NSW
-
Blown over on to its back by a storm at Bankstown. Damaged tail rebuilt to static standards and interior partially restored
-
Donated to Bankstown Aviation Museum, Bankstown Airport, Sydney
11.8.04
noted at Bankstown Aviation Museum, Bankstown Airport, poor condition. Stored in a grass area with other derelict aircraft.

Fate? 


VH-GOB in Ansett-MAL service during 1967.  Photo by Alan Bovelt


Alan Bovelt caught VH-GOB on takeoff in New Guinea in 1967, with gear coming up


VH-GOB with Motif Air at Essendon in April 1973.               Photo by Roger McDonald


Essendon December 1974 in a new paint scheme for Omni Aviation: "OA" on tail, named "Cirrus".
Photo by Roger McDonald


Bankstown May 1979 in another paint scheme.                                          Photo by Chris O'Neill


VH-GOB at Bankstown April 1998 after it was retrieved from the Holsworthy Army Base.  Photo by Al Bovelt



                    Piaggio P.166 c/n 401, line number 50         Mount Brown                                           VH-PAR, VH-PND
.61
Built at Finale Ligure, Italy by Societa per Azioni Piaggio
3.61
Ordered by Patair as an immediate replacement for their P.166 VH-PAU which crashed 8.3.61
3.6.61
Added to Civil Register VH-PAR Papuan Air Transport Ltd, Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea
6.61
Delivered by air rom Italy to New Guinea by Patair Captain Gerd Frank
6.61
VH-PAR noted at Bahrain on delivery flight
6.61
Arrived at Port Moresby on delivery
17.7.61
Re-registered VH-PND Papuan Air Transport Pty Ltd, Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea
Named Mount Brown
8.1.63
noted at Tapini PNG in Patair passenger service
3.63
Minor damage at Tapini PNG
-
Change of owner's name: Papuan Airline Transport, Port Moresby PNG
-
Change of owner's name: Papuan Airlines Pty Ltd, Port Moresby PNG
26.12.64
noted at Port Moresby, "Papuan Airline Transport" on fuselage, "Patair" on tail
8.5.65
noted at Port Moresby, "Patair" titles
18.7.65
noted at Port Moresby, now  repainted as "Papuan Airlines" retaining name Mount Brown
4.9.66
noted at Gusap PNG, name Mount Brown
16.10.66
arrived Brisbane-Archerfield Qld from PNG for overhaul by Air Express at Archerfield,
"Papuan Airlines" on fuselage, "Patair" on tail, Mount Brown on nose
9.8.68
noted at Port Moresby-Jacksons Airport, operating Patair service
21.8.68
noted at Tapini, arrived with freight including a 44 gallon drum & roofing iron
22.8.68
noted at Port Moresby-Jacksons Airport, operating a schecduled Patair service
4.69
Withdrawn from service by Patair due economics. Patair Operations Manager Bill Forgan-Smith later recalled:
"We just shoved the Pigs aside and left them for a year, let the certificates run out.  Nobody wanted them.  Eventually we got them re-certificated.  They'd earned their money and paid for themselves over the years and we used them again on some runs."
22.3.70
departed Port Moresby on ferry to Melbourne for maintenance
27.3.70
arrived Melbourne-Essendon Vic for maintenance by Forrester Stephen Aviation.
Papuan Airlines scheme and titles, name Mount Brown
4.70
noted at Essendon at Forrester Stephen hangar in a new red colour scheme with “Papuan Airlines” titles and white circle on fin with large red “P” in centre
20.4.70
Returned to Patair service in New Guinea
1.7.70
Papuan Airlines was taken over by Ansett Transport Industries, Melbourne Vic.
P.166s VH-PND & PNC were still in Patair service at time, PND repainted in a new style scheme "Papuan Airlines" with "P" on tail, no name on nose 
11.70
P.166s VH-PNC & PND retired by Papuan Airlines mid November, following the Ansett takeover
30.4.71
VH-PND noted at Bankstown, Papuan Airlines titles
1.5.71
noted at Bankstown, parked outside Ansett General Aviation hangar
16.7.71
minor damage sustained at Bankstown
13.9.71
Change of ownership: General Aviation Air Freighters Pty Ltd, Sydney NSW c/- Ray Causer
30.10.71
Damaged landing at Walgett NSW when nosewheel collapsed
11.71
noted at Bankstown, still in Patair paint scheme with "P" in circle on tail. Also 12.71, 16.1.72
2.72
noted at Bankstown, still in Patair paint scheme, no titles, circle on tail now filled in as a bullseye with blue outer and red inner
6.6.72
Damaged on landing Mount Isa Qld due undercarriage leg collapse
29.6.72
Damaged when struck a hawk in flight after departure Mount Isa following repairs. Diverted to Charleville Qld for further repairs
9.72
noted at Essendon, still in Patair scheme, no titles, circle on tail filled in as a bullseye 
17.9.72
noted at Sydney Airport, Patair scheme, no titles, bullseye on tail
9.3.73
arrived Essendon from Sydney
1.4.73
visited Nowra Naval Air Station airshow, passenger charter from Sydney Airport
20.4.74
noted at Bankstown in a new attractive red & white colour scheme.
(This was the only ex-airline Piaggio owned by Ray Causer to be repainted)
20.5.73
noted at Sydney Airport
18.7.74
noted at Bankstown, white with red trim, red wingtip tanks, red engine nacelles and tail
3.8.74
noted at Sydney Airport
5.9.74
noted at Bankstown, white & red. Also 15.9.74, 11.74, 12.9.76
12.9.76
Struck-off Civil Register as withdrawn from service
17.9.77
noted at Bankstown, retired, red & white
1.1.79
noted at Bankstown, in a row of 9 retired Piaggios. No engines, in fair condition, faded red & white.
Also 10.11.82 weathered paintwork, 5.1.83, 1.3.83, 2.7.83.
21.8.83
noted at Bankstown, derelict, red & white scheme now faded to almost all white, parked outside Winrye Aviation hangar, parts stripped
3.9.85
noted at Bankstown, derelict
27.8.86
noted at Bankstown at Airport Fire Service practice ground, with P.166s VH-FSC & VH-ASA


VH-PND at Port Moresby-Jacksons in December 1964.    Photo: The Collection


VH-PND at Port Moresby circa 1968, now with Papuan Airlines titles and name Mount Brown.    Photo: CAHS


VH-PND with bullseye tail paintwork, arriving at a Nowra naval air station airshow in April 1973.  Photo by Chris O'Neill


Bankstown February 1976 in diferent paintwork. It was retired later that year.  Photo by Chris O'Neill



                      Piaggio P.166 c/n 375                                                                                                           VH-CAC
11.60
Ordered new by Department of Civil Aviation, Melbourne Vic from Australian Piaggio agents Bristol Aviation Services Pty Ltd
25.11.60
Australian Registration application: DCA, Melbourne Vic: to be based in Papua New Guinea. Aircraft is currently being constructed at Genoa, Italy
.61
Construction completed at Finale Ligure, Italy by Societa per Azioni Piaggio
6.4.61
Italian Export CofA issued
7.4.61
Originally scheduled to be collected at the Piaggio factory by DCA pilots
14.4.61
Added to Register VH-CAC: Departent of Civil Aviation, Melbourne Vic

Delivered from Italy to Melbourne by air
6.9.61
noted at Moorabbin Airport, Melbourne, blue & white DCA colour scheme and insignia   

Assigned by DCA to their Papua New Guinea Region: VH-CAC spent the majority of its DCA career in PNG, chosen for conformity with Ansett-MAL and Patair P166s, which provided operational experience and access to spares and maintenance. It was used by DCA examiners and surveyors for visits to operators and transport for management and technical personnel to the many remote navigation aids and aerodromes which ranged from sea level to high elevation mountain strips. A secondary task was Search and Rescue (SAR), for which its high-wing configuration provided a good visual platform
2.63
VH-CAC is based in PNG
1.2.64
noted at Essendon Airport, Melbourne for maintenance, parked at DCA hangar
8.5.65
noted at Port Moresby-Jacksons
26.10.65
noted at Port Moresby, flying stores dropping exercises
26.2.66
noted at Bankstown NSW. Also 10.3.66
4.4.66
noted at Essendon Airport, Melbourne for maintenance, parked at DCA hangar
29.5.66
noted at Tamworth, refuelling enroute Melbourne-Brisbane-Port Moresby
28.7.66
noted at Goroka PNG as a visitor. Back again 27.9.66
9.8.68
noted at Port Moresby-Jacksons, blue & white DCA colour scheme and insignia
13.8.68
noted at Mount Hagen PNG as a visitor, DCA
29.4.69
arrived Essendon Airport, Melbourne for maintenance, first visit for some time
4.9.72
arrived Essendon Airport, Melbourne from New Guinea, parked at DCA hangar
9.9.72
advertised for sale by tender: total time 2944 hours, 6 seats, excellent condition, available for inspection at Forrester Stephen Pty Ltd, Essendon
5.3.73
noted at Essendon, same blue & white scheme but DCA insignia painted over
19.3.73
Change of ownership: Executive Air Services Pty Ltd, Melboune-Essendon Vic
4.4.73
DCA file: inspection report VH-CAC total airframe time 3,851 hours
23.4.73
noted at Bairnsdale Vic, now with local owner R. B. Hussey
7.4.74
noted at Essendon, outside EAS hangar, DCA blue & white scheme but DCA insignia painted over
27.4.74
Register Change of ownership: Robert B. Hussey, Bairnsdale Vic t/a Bairnsdale Flying School.
Financed by Veall’s Industrial Leasing Ltd, Melbourne. Seating for 6 passengers and two crew

Robert Hussey was later interviewed by Roger McDonald: Hussey recalled that he used the Piaggio for general charter work and had regular charters carrying cattle buyers to sales throughout Eastern Australia. At that time Bairnsdale was renowned for the quality of its beef cattle, abbatoirs and associated meat handling for domestic and export sales.  Following a downturn in the area’s beef industry and cloasure of a large abbatoir, there was not enough work for the Piaggio and was placed up for sale
5.73
noted at Essendon, white and blue DCA paint scheme but DCA insignia removed. Also 22.6.73
5.7.73
landed at Essendon
7.4.73
noted at Essendon, same white and blue scheme, no titles
10.74
advertised for sale
29.1.75
Change of ownership: Astral Airways Pty Ltd, Devonport, Tasmania
24.2.75
visited Berwick Vic airshow, still in original DCA blue and white paintwork, no titles
2.76
advertised for sale by Astral Airways Pty Ltd, Devonport: airframe total time 4313 hours,
10 seat configuration
26.3.76
Letter to DoT from Astral Airways advising that they had withdrawn VH-CAC from service in January 1976 as unserviceable, and they were waiting for spare parts to arrive
20.5.76
Change of ownership: Frank B. Ashton, Tennant Creek NT t/a Tennantair Pty Ltd
28.8.76
noted at Tennant Creek NT, "Tennantair Pty Ltd" titles and name on nose Lee-Jack II
12.7.77
Letter to DoT from F.B.Ashton advising that VH-CAC was withdrawn from service at Bankstown and was up for sale
13.7.77
Struck-off Register as withdrawn from service
16.7.77
noted at Bankstown
7.77
advertised for sale by Illawarra Flying School, Bankstown: very low time, a former DCA aircraft, view this classic at Bankstown, asking $30K
12.9.77
noted at Bankstown, original blue & white scheme. Also 12.77, 3.1.78
2.78
advertised for sale by Roy Coburn/ Illawarra Aircraft Sales, Bankstown: $28K 
3.78
advertised for sale by Roy Coburn/ Illawarra Aircraft Sales, Bankstown: $25K 
11.78
advertised for sale by Roy Coburn/ Illawarra Aircraft Sales, Bankstown: $15K.
Total time 4400 hours, previously owned by DCA: "lots of time to run on engines and props. Bargain of the year. The present owner's wife doesn't want an aeroplane."
4.1.79
Restored to Register: Air Training Pty Ltd, Sydney-Bankstown NSW
(Air Training Pty Ltd was an associate holding company of Illawarra Flying School and Fawcett Aviation at Bankstown)
23.3.79
Change of ownership: J. D. Duggan, Sydney NSW t/a John Duggan Racing
20.2.80
Minor damage while taxying at Sydney Airport when struck a parked aircraft
17.4.80
noted at Bankstown in hangar having maintenance
9.5.80
Change of ownership: Oulton Pty Ltd, Sydney NSW

16.8.80    noted at Sydney Airport
4.3.81
Change of ownership: Edward S. Annand t/a Confederate Airways, Sydney NSW
   
Ted Annand was an aviation enthusiast involved in vintage aircraft. He later wrote: "During 1981 we went into a charter and freight business operating Piaggio and Cessna 310 aircraft. After our contracts expired in 1982 and these aircraft were disposed of, Nina and I decided it was time to purchase an aircraft for ourselves."  He then rebuilt several Austers.
28.3.81
noted at Schoefields NSW, symbol on tail of spear through wishbone
5.5.81
noted at Bankstown, blue & white, large "Confederate Airways" titles, Confederate flag on tail.
Also 16.8.81, 5.10.81
21.12.81
Change of ownership: Duncan Bray Pty Ltd t/a Trundle Airways, Sydney NSW

Duncan Bray later wrote to Roger McDonald:
“VH-CAC was used in a loose charter arrangement with Peter Hoad who traded as Regal Air. My idea was to eventually turn CAC into a touring private aircraft for my own use. It was refitted as it was with DCA: four armchairs and table in the main cabin. The Confederate label on the sides belonged to the previous owner and I eventually removed it with many hours of hard rubbing with wet and dry paper. I left the Confederate flag on the tail. It all came to an end with the destruction of the aircraft at Bankstown”
16.9.82
Destroyed by fire while parked at Bankstown when stolen Tobago VH-BXC was deliberately dived into parked aircraft by a deranged pilot.  DC-3 VH-SBO parked alongside the Piaggio was also wrecked
16.9.82
Struck-off Register
18.9.82
noted at Bankstown, burnt-out wreck. Also 24.9.82
3.2.83 Letter to DoT from Duncan Bray releasing registration VH-CAC. Based on a request from
Peter N. Anderson, Sydney who wished to use it on a CAC Wirraway restoration project.


                          VH-CAC at the Piaggio factory. This photograph was on the Italian Export CofA.              Courtesy CAHS                             


VH-CAC at Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea in August 1968.               Photo by Roger McDonald


VH-CAC arrives at Berwick Vic in February 1975 bringing Tasmanian enthusiasts to an airshow.
Photo: Chris O'Neill collection


                    Piaggio P.166 c/n 403, line number 52                                                                             VH-BBG, VH-GOC
7.61
Built at Finale Ligure, Italy by Societa per Azioni Piaggio

Ordered by Australian Piaggio agents Bristol Aeroplane Co (Australia) Pty Ltd to be a demonstrator
28.7.61
Australian Registration application: Bristol Aeroplane Co (Australia) Pty Ltd, Melbourne Vic

The application, signed by R.F.Stephen, requested registration VH-PIA.  However DCA responded that the VH-PI series was not available because it had been reserved for Piper imports by Piper dealer Commerce International, Brisbane.
28.8.61
Added to Civil Register VH-BBG: Bristol Aeroplane Co (Australia) Pty Ltd, Melbourne Vic
28.8.61
Australian CofA issued for the delivery flight
8.61
Delivered from Italy to Australia, red and white paint scheme

Australian CofA inspection at Bankstown at Bristol Aeroplane Co hangar
24.11.61
Arrived at Auckland for New Zealand demonstration flights to NZNAC and Bay of Plenty Airways.
Bay of Plenty Airways directors were considering a lease, but the company went into liquidation on 21 December 1961 following the crash of their Aero Commander ZK-BWA
.62
Leased to East Coast Airways, Coolangatta Qld
2.62
Painted at Bankstown with titles "East Coast Airways"
3.63
Operated by East Coast Airways for approx 2 months while the company attempted to establish scheduled services from Brisbane to Coolangatta, Lismore, Grafton and Coffs Harbour.
However DCA would not issue the required airline licences
1.4.62
Arrived Bankstown from Coolangatta, "East Coast Airways" titles.  It was displayed at an airshow
at Bankstown for Bristol Aeroplane Co. Made several demonstration flights, returned to Coolangatta later the same day
25.4.62
noted at Bankstown outside Bristol Aviation Services hangar, ECA titles removed
4.62
Leased to Ansett-ANA at Alice Springs NT on flights to Ayers Rock for 1962 winter tourist season
6.6.62
Based at Alice Springs-Townsite Aerodrome for Ansett-ANA tourist services. Red and white. 
14.8.62
Change of ownership: Ansett-ANA, Melbourne Vic
9.62
Completed the Alice Springs 1962 tourist season
13.10.62
Departed Bankstown on delivery to Ansett-Manadated Airlines, Lae, Papua New Guinea.
It still had "Ansett-ANA" titles when it left Bankjstown. 
2.63
noted in service in New Guinea alongside Ansett-MAL Piaggios VH-GOA & GOB
10.4.64
Re-registered VH-GOC Ansett-MAL, Lae PNG
10.6.64
Ansett report states VH-GOC entered Ansett-MAL service based at Goroka
1.1.65
noted at Wewak PNG
6.66
noted at Lae PNG, Ansett-MAL scheme
2.67
noted at Wewak PNG, now repainted in white & blue scheme
24.6.68
Change of owner's name: Ansett Airlines of Papua New Guinea
13.8.68
noted at Mount Hagen PNG, blue and white scheme with "Ansett-MAL" in red
24.5.70
noted at Madang PNG, "Ansett Airlines of Papua New Guinea" titles
11.70
VH-GOC was the final Ansett P.166 in New Guinea to be retired, including the two Papuan Airlines P166s following the Ansett takeover of Patair
29.12.70
Change of owner's name: Ansett Airlines (Papua & New Guinea), Lae PNG
26.6.71
Delivered from PNG to Sydney on sale to Eastern Pacific Air Services Pty Ltd, Sydney NSW
6.71
By the end of the month noted at Sydney Airport, full red/black Ansett Airlines of Papua New Guinea scheme with company titles. Also 3.7.71
7.71
noted at Bankstown, red/black Ansett Airlines of Papua New Guinea scheme, but titles removed
13.9.71
Civil Register change of ownership: Eastern Pacific Air Services Pty Ltd, Sydney NSW
10.71
based at Sydney Airport, operated by Eastern Pacific Air Services
12.71
noted at Bankstown, still AAofPNG paint scheme, no titles. Also 2.72
17.9.72
noted at Sydney Airport, still AAofPNG paint scheme, no titles
9.72
visited Melbourne-Moorabbin Vic
21.4.73
visited Melbourne-Essendon Vic, still AAofPNG paint scheme, no titles
20.5.73
noted at Sydney Airport
26.11.72
Change of ownership: Gregory R. Board, Sydney NSW

Details of Greg Board's past aviation adventures can be found in The Migrant Caper on this site
29.12.73
arrived at Perth-Jandakot WA ex Kalgoorlie WA, departed for Forrest WA next day.

(Greg Board used his P166s on a contract with a Sydney poultry producer to delivery day-old chics packed in small cardboard boxes to poultry farms across Australia)
22.1.74
arrived at Perth-Jandakot WA ex Forrest WA, departed for Forrest 24.1.74 en route Sydney
13.3.74
arrived at Perth-Jandakot WA ex Forrest WA, departed for Forrest WA next day
7.4.74
noted at Essendon, basic AAofPNG paint scheme, no titles. Also 20.4.74
28.4.74
noted at Bankstown, basic AAofPNG paint scheme, no titles. Also 8.6.74, 18.7.74
20.5.74
noted at Brisbane-Eagle Farm, still basic AAofPNG paint scheme, no titles
18.12.74
arrived at Perth-Jandakot WA ex Forrest WA, departed for Forrest next day en route Sydney
2.5.75
arrived at Perth-Jandakot WA ex Forrest WA, departed for Kalgoorlie WA next day
3.5.75
noted at Kalgoorlie WA, refuelled en route Jandakot-Bankstown, basic AAofPNG paint scheme
2.7.75
arrived at Perth-Jandakot WA ex Forrest WA, departed for Forrest WA next day en route Sydney
14.10.75
arrived at Perth-Jandakot WA ex Kalgoorlie WA, departed for Kalgoorlie next day en route Sydney
25.11.75
arrived at Perth-Jandakot WA ex Kalgoorlie WA, departed for Kalgoorlie WA 27.11.75
75
Greg Board commenced operating under company name South Pacific Airways, Sydney NSW.
"South Pacific Airways" titles painted on forward fuselage late that year
24.2.76
arrived at Perth-Jandakot WA ex Kalgoorlie WA, departed for Forrest WA next day
18.6.76
arrived at Perth-Jandakot WA ex Kalgoorlie WA
6.8.76
noted at Bankstown, AAofPNG paint scheme with “South Pacific Airways” titles. Also 12.9.76
22.2.77
Destroyed when crashed near Marulan NSW
Departed Bankstown at 7.14am for Warracknabeal Vic with a load of 11,000 day-old chickens in crates. 30 minutes after departure the pilot reported that he was diverting to Camden due severe weather. Wreckage located on a ridge in hilly country 20 km NNE of Marulan, pilot killed
19.5.77
Struck-off Register


VH-BBG at Bankstown April 1962 with East Coast Airways" titles.               Photo by Richard E. Hourigan


In Ansett-MAL service at Goroka in 1967                                                                  Photo by Alan Bovelt


Busy ramp scene at Wewak 1967, freight being loaded from a TAA trolly.              Photo by Alan Bovelt

`
VH-GOC at Bankstown in 1971 after retirement by Ansett Airlines of PNG.  Photo by Norm Weeding


Bankstown in June 1974 still in basic Ansett paint scheme.                     Photo by Chris O'Neill


At Kalgoorlie WA under threatening skies in May 1975, on a "Chicken Man"run between Sydney and Perth
Photo by Geoff Goodall


Bankstown January 1976, painted with owner Greg Board's company name South Pacific Airway
It was destroyed in a crash the following year.   Photo by Barrie Colledge




                       Piaggio P.166B Portofino c/n 409, line number 58                                                         VH-ASA
.62
.Built at Finale Ligure, Italy by Societa per Azioni Piaggio. First production P.166B
4.9.62
Airlines of South Australia announced the purchase of a new Piaggio Portofino for SA services
16.1.63
Local flying training at Albenga, Italy by ASA Chief Pilot Jim Still
29.1.63
Added to Register VH-ASA Airlines of South Australia Pty Ltd, Adelaide-West Beach SA
Seating for 9 passengers
5.2.63
Local flying training at Finale Ligure for delivery crew ASA Chief Pilot Jim Still,
First Officer Arnie Deed and engineer Peter Banks
6.2.63
Departed Albenza, Italy on delivery flight to Australia
18.2.63
Arrived at Darwin NT on delivery, 55 hours 50 minutes flying time
19.2.63
Ferried Darwin-Alice Springs-Adelaide Airport, 10 hrs 5 minutes flying time.
White & red, "Airlines of South Australia" on fuselage, "Airlines of SA" and eagle on tail, "Portofino" on tip tanks
20.2.63
Flown Adelaide to Melbourne-Essendon by Captain Still and F/O Deed for pre-service inspection by Ansett-ANA
2.63
Entered service with ASA on occasional charter work pending lease to parent company Ansett-ANA
11.3.63
Flown Adelaide-Sydney by Captain Still and F/O Deed
14.3.63
Flown Adelaide-Mount Gambier SA-Adelaide, promotional visit
22.3.63
Flown Adelaide-Naracoorte SA-Adelaide, promotional visit
31.3.63
noted at Adelaide Airport
8.5.63
Commenced lease to Ansett-ANA, based at Alice Springs NT for winter tourist season flights to Ayers Rock
15.10.63
Ansett-ANA lease completed. Arrived Adelaide from Alice Springs with "Ansett-ANA" titles covering the original "Airlines of South Australia" titles.
After maintenance it was returned to "Airlines of South Australia" titles by 29.10.63
11.12.63
Inaugural scheduled ASA service Adelaide-Naracoorte-Millicent-Adelaide
13.12.63
pilot logbook: flew scheduled ASA service Adelaide-Naracoorte-Millicent-Adelaide. Also 20.12.63
2.2.64
New ASA timetable anounced the introduction of Portofino services on the Adelaide-Naracoorte -Millicent route and replaced DC-3s on Adelaide-Renmark-Mildura route from 5.2.64.

VH-ASA commenced Adelaide-Cowell-Cleve-Kimba 24.8.64 but ceased 30.8.65 as uneconomic.
It operated Adelaide-Port Pirie from 25.8.65 until 30.6.66.
14.12.64
Change of owner's name: Australian National Airways Pty Ltd, Melbourne Vic.,  operated by Ansett-ANA

Book-keeping change to ANA,  an associated holding company for the Ansett-ANA group
18.2.65
arrived Essendon for overhaul by Ansett-ANA, "Airlines of SA" titles, completed 13.3.65
29.5.65
arrived Essendon for overhaul by Ansett-ANA, "Airlines of SA" titles
6.66
arrived Essendon on delivery to Ansett-ANA after it had been retired by Airlines of SA
29.6.66
visited Corowa NSW on a charter, still in full "Airlines of SA" scheme & titles although now based at Essendon with Ansett-ANA
8.10.66
arrived at Melbourne-Moorabbin to collect Reg Ansett for a private flight to Kerang Vic
16.12.66
noted at Essendon
1.67
Commenced Queensland tourist resort operations in Queensland until 25.9.67
10.4.67
noted at Brisbane-Eagle Farm, Airlines of SA scheme including eagle on tail but Ansett-ANA titles
11.67
noted at Essendon, parked, in Airlines of SA scheme but Ansett-ANA titles
1.68
noted at Essendon, parked static all month. Had previously flown occasional services for Commuter Air Services on the Bairnsdale/Sale routes
3.68
noted at Essendon, Ansett-ANA, being operated on charter to Commuter Airlines, Essendon
30.6.68
Change of owner’s name: Ansett-ANA Pty Ltd, Melbourne Vic
28.3.69
Change of ownership: Forrester Stephen Pty Ltd, Melbourne-Essendon Vic
Piaggio agents for Australia and part-owners of Commuter Airlines, Essendon.
4.69
Essendon Newsletter report: VH-ASA had operated Commuter Airlines services at peak periods for some time on occasional charter from Ansett-ANA. It has now been purchased by Commuter Airlines, Essendon. In late April 1969 it was noted in the Forrester Stephen hangar having Ansett-ANA markings removed, and entered service with Commuter Airlines in 5.69 in their white purple & gold scheme but with an all white tail
10.8.69
noted at Essendon, white with blue trim “Commuter Airlines” titles, white tail
6.12.69
noted at Essendon, white with dark blue trim, no titles, VH-ASA hand-painted on fuselage
12.69
Allocated ZK-DAI for a lease to NZ, but not taken up
6.12.69
noted at Sydney Airport with VH-ASA hand-painted on fuselage, on delivery flight to NZ for hire to Capital Air Services, Wellington. However it was not delivered and returned to Essendon same day. Replaced in NZ by VH-FSC which was delivered as a trial.
7.12.69
VH-ASA noted at Essendon, deep blue & white scheme, no titles, reg hand-painted
1.70
noted at Essendon, blue & white, no titles, VH-ASA now professionally painted on fuselage
4.70
noted at Brisbane-Archerfield Qld, blue & white, no titles, based here for over a month, with VH-FSC.  Also noted Archerfield 4.5.70
5.71
arrived back at Essendon from Brisbane in late May
10.6.71
noted at Essendon at the Forrester Stephen hangar
7.71
noted at Essendon, blue & white, now with “Forrester Stephen Aviation” titles. Also 8.71
3.72
noted at Sydney Airport, blue & white,"Forrester Stephen Aviation" titles, flying
7.72
based at Essendon with Forrest Stephen Aviation
12.8.72
arrived at Sydney Airport on a passenger charter, "Forrester Stephen Aviation" titles
9.72
based Essendon with Forrester Stephen Aviation
12.72
operated a number of passenger services for Bizjet Airlines, Essendon. Continued until late 1973
4-5.73
operated a number of passenger services for Bizjet Airlines, Essendon
21.4.73
noted at Essendon, same blue & white scheme but no titles, operating a Bizjet scheduled service
21.5.73
noted at Portland Vic, arrived and departed on Bizjets scheduled flights
6.73
noted at Essendon, same blue & white scheme, no titles
7.73
noted at Moorabbin Vic
8.73
noted at Mildura Vic, no titles, accompanied by P166s VH-FSA & PGA, all Forrester Stephen
3.8.74
noted at Essendon, “Forrester Stephen Aviation” titles
10.74
noted at Essendon, white with blue trim “Forrester Stephen Aviation” titles, “P166b” with gold speedbird emblem on tail
7.12.74
noted at Essendon, white with blue trim “Forrester Stephen Aviation” titles, “P166b” with gold speedbird emblem on tail. Also 18.1.75
21.2.75
noted at Essendon, in new Forrestair green/orange/white scheme and titles "Forrestair"
3.75
noted at Essendon, green/orange/white scheme “Forrestair” titles, “FA” on tail. Also 21.6.75
7.7.75
Register Change of owner's name: Forrestair - a Division of H.C.Sleigh, Melbourne-Essendon Vic
11.75
noted at Essendon, "Forrestair" scheme and titles, "FA" on tail
10.8.76
noted at Albury NSW, refuelling enroute to Canberra, 8 passengers
14.9.76
Forrestair letter to DoT: requesting registration of Piaggios VH-PGA & -ASA be cancelled, both are no longer required for operations by Forrestair.
16.9.76
Struck-off Register at owner's request
10.76
Advertised for sale by Forrestair, one P166 & one P166B plus spares, total $75K
22.11.76
Restored to Register: Forrestair - a Division of H. C.Sleigh, Melbourne-Essendon Vic
27.1.77
noted at Bankstown
3.2.77
Change of ownership: O. G. D. Cooper, Sydney NSW
18.3.77
arrived Perth-Jandakot WA ex Mildura Vic via Kalgoorlie WA, departed next day for Caiguna WA then Ceduna SA, operator Eagle Air, Sydney, pilot K. Hobman, day-old chicken delivery to Perth
3.77
advertised for sale by Roy Coburn Aviation, Bankstown: total time 6500 hours, major airframe inspection due 2.79, optional seating, spare airframe available
20.4.77
noted at Bankstown, still in full Forrestair scheme. Also 21.4.77
25.4.77
arrived Perth-Jandakot ex Sydney via Caiguna WA, departed for Caiguna 27.4.77
8.6.77
Change of ownership: Lance H. McKean, Sydney NSW t/a Eagle Airways
17.6.77
noted at Bankstown
20.6.77
arrived Perth-Jandakot WA ex Kalgoorlie WA, on the day-old chicken run from Sydney
77
operated for a period on night freight work for Wards Express
8.9.77
noted at Bankstown, still Forrestair scheme but new “Eagle Airways” titles and on nose Test Eagle
12.9.77
arrived Perth-Jandakot WA ex Kalgoorlie WA, departed for Caiguna WA then Port Lincoln SA
next day
22.9.77
noted at Essendon, Forrestair scheme but “Eagle Airways” titles
21.10.77
arrived Perth-Jandakot ex Kalgoorlie WA, departed for Kalgoorlie 23.10.77
27.10.77
arrived Perth Airport ex Kalgoorlie WA, departed for Kalgoorlie next day
11.77
noted at Essendon, same green/orange/white scheme, “Eagle Airways” titles, with "FA" on tail   changed to "EA".
3.1.78
noted at Bankstown, “Eagle Airways” titles, "EA" on tail. 
Also 21.1.78, 12.2.78, 12.2.78, 26.4.78, 7.8.78
7.9.78
Change of ownership: Hawker Pacific Pty Ltd, Sydney-Bankstown NSW
11.78
noted at Bankstown, appears to be retired
1.79
noted at Bankstown, same green/orange/white scheme “Eagle Airways” titles, fair condition,
parked in a row of 9 retired P166s
19.4.79
Struck-off Register as withdrawn from service
20.8.79
noted at Bankstown, “Eagle Airways” titles, outer wings removed,  on the ground alongside
2.7.83
noted at Bankstown, still with engines
8.83
noted at Bankstown, in fire practice area with outer wings removed, Test Eagle still on nose.
Also 3.9.85, 27.8.86
27.8.86
noted at Bankstown in fire practice area, with VH-PND & -FSC
-
moved by road from Bankstown fire practice area to Sydney Airport fire practice ground
4.5.91
noted at Sydney Airport fire practice ground, fuselage standing on its undercarriage, burn marks on rear fuselage, orange, green & white, registration painted over
.93
acquired by Historical Aircraft Restoration Society, Sydney NSW
18.4.93
fuselage on wheels without outer wings retrieved from Sydney Airport fire practice area for HARS by Robin Mead, who towed it from the fire practice ground to HARS storage in a Qantas building
at Kent Street, Mascot adjacent to the airport.

(Robin Mead of HARS also acquired P166 VH-GOB and original plans were for restoration by HARS but that did not occur. By 6.93 reports were that both P.166s were to be restored by Power House Museum, Ultimo, Sydney. That also did not occur)
4.01
HARS report: "Some time ago, Robin Mead decided it would be more appropriate for the Pigs to affiliate with the Australian Aviation Museum at Bankstown”
-
Due to the Kent Street, Mascot storage building being developed, Robin Mead was forced to remove VH-ASA. He offered the fuselage of VH-ASA to SA Aviation Museum but they declined
-
Acquired by Dubbo Military Museum, Dubbo NSW
-
Rear fuselage cut off with an angle grinder to fit on truck, fuselage trucked to Dubbo 
11.11.06
Dubbbo Military Museum auctioned its collection of tanks, vehicles and aircraft

Reported that the Piaggio was sold locally


                   P.166B Portofino VH-ASA at Adelaide Airport in April 1963.                                    Photo by Geoff Goodall                 


Brisbane April 1967, same paint scheme but Ansett-ANA titles.                              Photo by David Thollar


VH-ASA with Forrester Stephen Pty Ltd, at Archerfield Qld in May 1970.         Photo by Chris O'Neil


Portland Victoria May 1973, while operating a BizJet Airlines commuter passenger service.
Photo by Roger McDonald



Essendon in November 1975, now a freighter with Forrestair.                                     Photo by Mike Madden


Bankstown in May 1978 as a freighter with Eagle Airways, which had changed "FA" on the tail to "EA".
Photo by Chris O'Neil



                      Piaggio P.166 c/n 355 line number 4                                                                                    VH-SMF
.59
Built at Finale Ligure, Italy by Societa per Azioni Piaggio
30.5.59
British CofA issued
10.6.59
Registered G-APVE Right Honorable Edward John, Earl of Derby, trading as
Stanley Estate & Stud Company, Knowsley, Lancs
15.8.59
G-APVE noted at London-Croydon Airport, no titles
18.8.59
noted at Liverpool-Speke, Earl of Derby
20.8.59
noted at London-Gatwick, Earl of Derby
15.11.59
noted at London-Heathrow
10.12.59
noted at Birmingham-Elmdon
20.3.60
noted at Dublin-Collinstown
8.61
based at Biggin Hill
11.1.63
arrived at Ronaldsway from Heathrow, departed to Jurby
20.6.63
Sold to Snowy Mountains Hydro Electric Authority, Australia
4.7.63
Struck-off British Register as exported to Australia
29.8.63
Added to Register VH-SMF: Snowy Mountains Hydro Electric Authority, Cooma-Polo Flat NSW
9.63
VH-SMF painted on the aircraft at Luton Airport
12.9.63
VH-SMF departed Luton on delivery flight to Australia
22.11.63
noted at Melbourne-Essendon Vic, no titles, cream and maroon paint scheme
3.12.63
noted at Essendon Vic, "Snowy Mountains Authority" titles on nose
11.1.64
noted at Sydney Airport, "Snowy Mountains Authority" on nose
14.12.64
noted at Essendon Vic as visitor
20.10.64
noted at Essendon Vic, having maintenance at Executive Air Services
1.5.65
visited Tumut NSW airshow, did flypasts but did not land
18.5.66
noted Sydney Airport, "Snowy Mountains Authority" titles on nose
1.9.66
damaged at Parkes NSW when nose gear collapsed during landing roll. Pilot and 7 pax unhurt
DCA accident report: "Because of incorrect rigging of the nosewheel assembly the downlock did not engage and a violent nosewheel shimmy developed on landing which caused the nose gear assembly to retract."
16.12.66
noted at Essendon Vic as a visitor
11.67
group photo of Snowy Mountains Authority fleet at Polo Flat airfield includes Piaggio SMF
13.11.67
Change of ownership: Aerial Agriculture Pty Ltd, Sydney-Bankstown NSW

The Piaggio and PA-24 Comanche VH-SME were included in the sale of SMA Beavers VH-SMC & VH-SMH to Aerial Agriculture Pty Ltd.
27.11.67
noted at Bankstown, maroon and cream, "Snowy Mountains Authority" titles on nose.
Also 10.12.67, 9.1.68, 20.1.68, 17.2.68
1.68
Advertised for sale by Aerial Agriculture associate company South West Pacific Aircraft Co, Bankstown
22.6.68
noted at Bankstown, all metallic, paint removed
.68
Change of ownership: G. H. McWhirter, Port Kembla NSW t/a Executive Air Charter,
Wollongong
NSW
13.7.68
noted at Bankstown, repainted blue & white, titles "Executive Air Charter, Wollongong"
Also 30.7.68
4.11.68
noted at Wollongong-Albion Park NSW, based here
12.68
noted at Adelaide Airport, "Executive Air Charter, Wollongong" titles
17.3.69
noted at Wollongong-Albion Park NSW, titles "Executive Air Charter, Wollongong"
17.4.69
noted at Bankstown, titles "Executive Air Charter, Wollongong"
19.11.69
Change of ownership: Ray Causer, Sydney NSW t/a General Aviation Air Freight, Sydney NSW
5.1.70
noted at Bankstown, "G.A.A.F. Air Charter, Sydney" titles, same blue & white paint scheme.
Also 7.3.70, 25.4.70, 20.9.70, 11.70
16.11.70
noted at Essendon, "G.A.A.F. Air Charter, Sydney" titles, at Forrest Stephen hangar for mods.
18.11.70
Struck-off Register as withdrawn from service
7.1.71
Restored to Register: W. J. Jordan t/a Safair, Sydney NSW
4.71
noted at Bankstown, titles "G.A.A. F" painted over but leaving "..........Air Charter, Sydney".
Same 6.71, 8.71, 17.6.72
14.2.74
noted at Bankstown
18.6.74
noted at Bankstown, faded blue & white paintwork, port engine removed, starboard undercarriage collapsed, starboard wingtip tank resting on grass. Also 18.7.74, 3.8.74
23.11.74
Advertised for sale in Sydney Morning Herald newspaper Classified Advertisements:
"Repossessed Piaggio P166 repossessed, suitable for spare parts"
20.4.75
noted at Bankstown
15.9.75
Struck-off Register as withdrawn from service
6.8.76
noted at Bankstown, becoming derelict. Also 12.9.76, 27.2.77
1.79
noted at Bankstown, in a row of 9 retired Piaggios: SMF had the same white & blue scheme    “......Air Charter” titles, stripped of both engines, tip tanks, flaps, rudder, elevators and nose cone.
3.9.79
noted at Bankstown, stripped hulk standing on its undercarriage, no tail.  Now parked between Hawker deHavilland and Rex Aviation hangars. Also 9.9.79, 5.80
2.7.83
noted at Bankstown, wings removed, on belly on grass, with P166s VH-FSC, GOE & BHK
21.8.83
Last noted at Bankstown, dismantled on belly on grass

Assumed sold for scrap metal


VH-SMF at Essendon in 1963, soon after delivery.                                 Photo: Chris O'Neil collection


Snowy Mountains Authority fleet at the SMA private airfield Polo Flat, Cooma NSW in November 1967. 
The Piaggio is at the rear and several weeks later departed to a new owner.  Photo: Ben Dannecker collection


Adelaide December 1968, now blue & white with "Executive Air Charter" titles.    Photo by Geoff Goodall


Becoming derelict at Bankstown in August 1974 with collapsed right undercarriage.      Photo by Chris O'Neil



                     Piaggio P.166 c/n 354 line number 3                                                                                               VH-ACV
.59
Built at Finale Ligure, Italy by Societa per Azioni Piaggio

First production P166. Also referred to as third prototype
.59
Sold to British sales agents:  Sir Robert McAlpine & Sons Ltd, Luton Airport
11.3.59
Registered G-APSJ  Kenneth McAlpine "The Priory", Lamberhurst, Kent
trading as McAlpine Aviation, Luton 
19.4.59
Arrived Luton on delivery from Italy
30.5.59
British CofA issued
18.7.59
G-APSJ flew Rochester - Ringway - Rochester
25.7.59
flew Rochester - Eastleigh - Jersey
28.7.59
noted at Staverton
6.8.59
arrived Rochester from France, owner McAlpine
26.10.59
overflew Portsmouth
28.10.59
noted at at London-Gatwick, also same day noted as Manchester-Ringway
5.11.59
overflew Daventry, central England
21.12.59
overflew Andover
17.2.60
noted at London-Gatwick, owner Sir Robert McAlpine
60/61
operated by McAlpine Aviation on behalf of Marley Tile Co
3.8.60
noted at Newcastle-Woolsington, on charter to Marley Tile Co
6.8.60
noted at Southampton-Eastleigh, on charter to Marley Tile Co
28.4.61
noted at Baginton
30.5.61
noted at Fairoaks
10.7.61
flew Wisley-Carlisle-Luton, operator K. McAlpine
20.8.61
noted at Luton, parked in the McAlpine hangar
9.9.61
flew Bembridge - Southampton - Luton, operator McAlpine
.63
VH-SMF registration reserved for proposed sale to Snowy Mountains Authority, Australia : sale not completed
29.6.63
Change of ownership: Sir Robert McAlpine & Sons Ltd, Aviation Division, Luton Airport
6.63
Sold to Air Charter Pty Ltd, Perth, Western Australia
7.7.63
G-APSJ departed Luton on ferry flight to Perth, planned first overnight stop at Nice
Under command of Captain Jacques Ellis
8.7.63
Emergency landing at a Greek Air Force base, with propeller feathered due engine failure.
Delayed 8 days while engine repaired
16.7.63
undercarriage collapsed on landing at Athens Airport: minor damage on landing but airframe and engines badly damaged when over-zealous airport fire crews sprayed the aircraft with foam
18.8.63
G-APSJ noted at Athens under repair, "Air Charter Ltd" titles

After extensive repairs at Athens, the ferry flight Athens-Perth continued by Cpt. Jack Ellis.
5.11.63
Arrived Perth WA at end of delivery flight.

The late arrival of the Piaggio caused Air Charter to default on charter contracts in WA. By the time Ellis arrived the company had ceased to operate and he took over ownership of the Piaggio in lieu of his payment and costs incurred during the ferry fight
25.11.63
Added to Register VH-ACV: Air Charter Pty Ltd, Perth, WA
25.11.63
(same day) Change of ownership: Jacques Louis William Ellis, Melbourne Vic
14.12.63
VH-ACV noted at Perth Airport, cream and red
20.12.63
Arrived Adelaide Airport late afternoon on ferry flight from Perth to Melbourne where Ellis intended to establish a charter operation for the Piaggio. Faded cream and red scheme, VH-ACV had been painted over the previous registration. Plate in cockpit: G-APSJ owner K. McAlpine
1.12.63
Flew Adelaide-Melbourne
11.1.64
noted at Moorabbin Airport, Melbourne Vic, no titles
3.3.64
visited Bendigo Vic airshow, cream & red
24.8.64
noted at Moorabbin after a period of absence
12.9.64
visited Albury NSW airshow
17.10.64
visited Cootamundra NSW, bringing prospective buyers for an aircraft auction
30.10.64
noted at Moorabbin, operating an ad-hoc charter to Flinders Island Airlines, on their daily newspaper newspaper delivery run to Victorian country towns
30.1.65
arrived at Essendon Airport, Melbourne, departed a short time later
31.1.65
noted at Moorabbin, now painted with titles Air Associates Australia
7.2.65
noted at Moorabbin. Also 18.4.65, 24.4.65
65
Legal action taken by Ellis against Sir Robert McAlpine in UK regarding the condition of the aircraft when sold and responsibilties for repairs to mechanical failures on the delivery flight to Australia. The foam applied by airport fire service at Athens had resulted in severe corrosion in the airframe
6.6.65
noted at Moorabbin, "Air Associates Australia" titles. Also 16.7.65
17.12.65
Change of ownership: R. McAlpine c/- Forrester Stephen Pty Ltd, Melbourne Vic
Forrester Stephen at Essendon were the Australian Piaggio agents
31.12.65
noted at Essendon, retired, "Air Associates Australia" titles, parked on niorthern disposal used by retired airline aircraft.  Unmoved 6.1.66, 15.1.66, 21.2.66, 18.5.66
29.7.66
towed from northern dispersal to Executive Air Services hangar for an inspection
8.66
Essendon Newsletter report: After parked outside at Essendon for nearly a year, in poor condition after corrosion was found in the fuselage, VH-ACV has been moved to Executive Air Services hangar for inspection which is under way. It has reportedly been purchased by Neil McInnes of Farmair, Tinamba Vic.  (McInnes founded Commuter Airlines with P166s the following year)
4.9.66
noted at Essendon in Executive Air Services hangar under inspection
25.11.66
Struck-off Register due severe corrosion
16.12.66
noted at Essendon
6.67
noted at Essendon being stripped for spare parts by Executive Air Services after decision made that the Piaggio was beyond uneconomic repair due corrosion in airframe.
11.67
noted at Essendon being dismantled
22.12.67
noted at Essendon, parked in graveyard parking area among retired Ansett-ANA DC-3s:
VH-ACV had engines and tailplane removed, "Air Assocates Australia" titles and motif on rear fuselage and nose.  Also 2.3.68
.68
Purchased "as is" by Forrester Stephen Pty Ltd, Essendon Airport Vic.
To be used as a spares source for the Commuter Airlines P.166 fleet
6.68
towed from graveyard parking area to Forrester Stephen/ Commuter Airlines maintenance area at Essendon where final parts removal took place. Then the fuselage was trucked away

Stripped fuselage stored in Melbourne area. Reportedly used as a chicken house.
19.7.71
VH-ACV fuselage returned to Essendon on a truck, very dirty condition. Off-loaded in Forrester Stephen hangar, still wearing "Air Associates Australia" titles. The belly skinning was used in the rebuild of P.166 VH-MMP following a belly landing at Essendon on 2.3.71
3.72
The repaired VH-MMP was parked outside Forrester Stephen hangar at completion of rebuild

Remains of VH-ACV assumed scrapped


Jack Ellis overnighted at Adelaide enoute Perth to Melbourne in December 1963.  Photo by Geoff Goodall


At Essendon during 1965, wearing Air Associates Australia titles.                Photo by Bob Neate


The stripped airframe in the Essendon graveyard parking area, December 1967.   Photo by Geoff Goodall


                    Piaggio P.166B Portofino c/n 410        City of Bundaberg                              VH-PQA, ZK-DAI, VH-PQA
.63
Built at Finale Ligure, Italy by Societa per Azioni Piaggio. Prototype P166B Portofino
7.12.63
Added to Register VH-PQA: Queensland Airlines Pty Ltd, Brisbane-Eagle Farm Qld.
Cabin fitted with 7 passenger seats
11.12.63
Departed Albenga, Italy on delivery flight to Australia, flown by QAL Captains R. J. Atkinson &
D. R. Flynn, and QAL senior engineer Allan Probert.  Delayed 3 days at Singapore-Paya Lebar awaiting over-flight clearance for Indonesia
12.63
From Darwin made refueling stops at Tennant Creek, Alice Springs, Broken Hill to Essendon
23.12.63
Arrived at Melbourne-Essendon Vic for pre-service overhaul by Ansett-ANA
8.1.64
noted at Essendon, parked outside Ansett-ANA hangars, red, white & blue "QAL" scheme with "Portofino" on wing tip tanks
8.1.64
Testflown Essendon by QAL Captain R. J. Atkinson. Also 9.1.64
10.1.64
Ferried Essendon to Brisbane-Eagle Farm Airport by Captain R.J. Atkinson on delivery to QAL
1.64
Prior to entering QAL scheduled service, VH-PQA flew engineers from Brisbane to Gayndah Qld to repair a grounded QAL DC-3
20.1.64
 Commenced QAL scheduled passenger service, Brisbane-Coolangatta return, then Brisbane-Kingaroy-Gayndah-Brisbane, under command Cpt. R.J. Atkinson.  That afternoon flew Brisbane-Bundaberg-Maryborough-Gladstone-Rockhampton & return, Capt. Dave R. Quinn. 

VH-PQA was named City of Bundaberg: however the name was never painted on aircraft, but it was displayed on the forward bulkhead in the cabin behind the pilot

P.166 mainly operated Brisbane-Kingaroy-Wondai, Brisbane-Moree-St. George,
Brisbane-Bundaberg, Brisbane-Rockhampton services. 
Early schedules included a Friday Brisbane-Dirranbandi-Moree-Brisbane service
14.12.64
Change of owner's name: Australian National Airways Pty Ltd, Melbourne Vic, operated by Queendsland Airlines

Book-keeping change to ANA,  an associated holding company for the Ansett-ANA group
17.2.65
arrived at Essendon for maintenance, "Queensland Airlines" scheme & titles
13.7.65
Damaged in emergency landing Brisbane-Eagle Farm with only nose and port main landing gear extended.  QAL Captain Karl Donker and 2 passengers unhurt.

After takeoff from Brisbane Airport at 11.30am bound for Kingaroy and Wondai, Captain Donker reported that the starboard undercarriage would not retract. After burning off fuel and attempts to recycle the landing gear, two hours later he brought the aircraft in to land at Brisbane on one main wheel. He used a strong crosswind from the right until the aircraft was travelling slowly enough for him to drop the starboard wing tip tank on to the runway.         

VH-PQA was rebuilt in the QAL hangar at Brisbane Airport and returned to service.
24.7.65
Airlines of SA DC-3 VH-ANN arrived at Brisbane from Adelaide to replace the Portofino while it was being repaired
16.10.65
noted at Brisbane-Eagle Farm, departed on QAL Flight 657 to Kingaroy & Wondai
14.5.66
retired by QAL following delivery of their second F.27 Friendship
15.5.66
arrived at Essendon from Brisbane for overhaul by Ansett-ANA after retired by QAL
7.66
parked in open at Essendon, full QAL scheme. Also 16.12.66
19.1.67
noted at Essendon, being repainted from "QAL" scheme to "Airlines of NSW"
22.1.67
noted at Essendon, test flights prior to delivery to Sydney
1.67
Commenced operating airline services with Airlines of NSW, Sydney
6.3.67
noted at Hay NSW, Airlines of NSW
2.7.67
noted at Griffith NSW, Airlines of NSW
8.7.67
noted at Sydney Airport, Airlines of NSW
1.67
noted at Essendon, parked in retirfed airliner storage area, Airlines of NSW markings
1.68
noted at Essendon, Airlines of NSW, static all month in back of Ansett hangar
15.3.68
Change of ownership: Forrester Stephen Pty Ltd, Melbourne-Essendon Vic
Operated by Commuter Airlines, Melbourne-Essendon Vic
16.3.68
VH-PQA & VH-PGA handed over to Forrester Stephen associate company Commuter Airlines at Essendon in a new colour scheme of white with purple and gold trim and "Commuter Airlines" titles

Operated Commuter Airlines shceduled services from Essendon to Victorian towns, mainly in Gippsland
26.4.68
noted at Essendon, Commuter Airlines scheme and titles. Also 31.12.68, 28.2.69
1.70
Sold to Wellington District Aero Club, Wellington NZ
7.2.70
noted at Essendon, different paint scheme, hand-painted registration VH-PQA
27.2.70
VH-PQA arrived at Wellington NZ from Melbourne via Norfolk Island, pilots M. Turley &
W. Coulter.
The Aero Club had chartered VH-FSC for two months prior to the delivery of VH-PQA
4.3.70
Struck-off Australian Register as exported to NZ
5.3.70
Registered ZK-DAI: Wellington District Aero Club, Wellington NZ
8.6.70
Change of owner's name: Capital Air Services Ltd, Wellington NZ
Capital Air Services was the air charter associate of the Wellington Disitict Aero Club
30.8.70
ZK-DAI noted at Wellington, “Capital Air Services Ltd” titles
1.73
Sold to Islander Aircraft Sales Pty Ltd, Sydney-Bankstown NSW.
Traded on BN-2A Islander ZK-DJN which was delivered to Wellington 26.1.73 
14.1.73
Last charter flight in NZ
16.1.73
departed Wellington on delivery to Sydney via Auckland and Norfolk Island. Pilots Cpt M. Turley and M.Dunn
24.1.73
noted at Bankstown as ZK-DAI “Capital Air Services” titles. Also 10.2.73, 21.4.73
4.73
noted at Essendon, original Commuter Airlines scheme white with blue trim, but titles
“Capital Air Services”
9.7.73
Struck-off NZ Register as sold to Australia
26.7.73
ZK-DAI noted at Essendon
16.8.73
Restored to Australian Register VH-PQA: Hookway Aviation Pty Ltd, Melbourne Vic
16.8.73
noted at Essendon now painted as VH-PQA, resident at the Forrester Stephen hangar
7.11.73
arrived at Perth Airport from Southern Cross WA, white and blue, no titles, departed 13.11.73 to Augusta WA
1.74
noted at Essendon, white & blue, no titles
12.2.74
Change of ownership: Wards Freight Services Pty Ltd, Melbourne-Essendon Vic
74
Operated by Airfreighters, Melbourne-Essendon Vic
14.6.74
noted at Essendon, white & blue, Airfreighters The Freight Airline titles, “AF” with winged logo on the tail. Also 5.8.74, 7.12.74, 28.2.75, 2.8.75
17.4.75
Change of ownership: Airfreighters, Melbourne-Essendon Vic
25.2.76
Struck-off Register as withdrawn from service for engine overhaul
8.12.77
noted at Essendon, being dismantled
-
Moved to airport fire service practice area at Melbourne Airport-Tullamarine Vic
c81
Burnt for fire practice at Melbourne-Tullamarine Vic
29.10.81
noted at Melbourne Airport on fire service practice ground. Standing on its undercarriage,
wings re-attached but no engines, entire fuselage burnt out. “AF” emblem on tail.
Also parked on the fire ground was retired Bristol Freighter VH-TBB from Essendon



Note: The Piaggio displayed at Queensland Air Museum, Caloundra Qld in Queensland Airlines colour scheme is VH-BHK c/n 370


Melbourne-Essendon on 8 January 1964, being checked at Ansett-ANA maintenance before delivery to QAL. 
Photo by Geoff Goodall


An evocative Barry Flood photograph of the Portofino at Kingaroy on an early morning QAL service in March 1964


Griffith NSW in July 1967, on an Airlines of NSW scheduled passenger service.          Photo by Geoff Goodall


                            Now ZK-DAI, seen at Wellington NZ in August 1970 with Captal Air Services Ltd.   Photo by Ray Deerness


ZK-DAI at Bankstown April 1973, on return from NZ, still with Capital Air Services titles.    Photo by Chris O'Neill


Back to VH-PQA, seen at Essendon in August 1974, now with Airfreighters.     Photo by Roger McDonald


The end for VH-PQA. Burning after a practice rescue exercise by the Melbourne Airport fire service in 1981.
Photo courtesy Civil Aviation Historical Society




                     Piaggio P.166 c/n 365, line number 14        RMA Pilbara                                                   VH-MMP
.60
Built at Finale Ligure, Italy by Societa per Azioni Piaggio
8.3.60
Registered G-APYP: Kenneth McAlpine, "The Priory", Lamberhurst, Kent t/a
McAlpine Aviation Ltd, Luton Airport
16.4.60
Italian Export CofA issued McAlpine Aviation Ltd, Luton Airport
19.4.60
British CofA issued
22.4.60
G-APYP arrived at Blackbushe on delivery from Italy, owned K. McAlpine
24.5.60
noted at Manchester-Ringway
13.6.60
noted at Glasgow-Renfrew
11.7.60
flew Middleton St George to Newcastle, and return
26.7.60
flew Wolverhampton to Liverpool, then to Ringway, operator Laing
29.9.60
noted at Manchester-Ringway
24.5.61
noted at Bournemouth-Hurn
11.7.61
flew Heathrow to Ronaldsway, Isle of Wight, and returned to Heathrow
14.7.61
noted at Coventry
8.1.62
flew Manchester-Southampton-Manchester
4.63
returned to Luton after being based at Manchester-Ringway
29.4.63
noted at Fairoaks, owned K. McAlpine
7.6.63
noted at Manchester-Yeadon, in use by United Breweries while their P.166 G-ARUJ was having
an engine change
29.6.63
Change of owner's name: Sir Robert McAlpine and Sons Ltd, Aviation Division, Luton Airport
6.7.63
visited RNAS Lossiemouth air display
12.63
MacRobertson Miller Airlines, Perth announced their purchase of a Piaggio 166 for a 12 month charter contract to WA Petroleum (WAPET) to carry personnel from Perth to Barrow Island and exploration sites in the Canning Basin. The aircraft will also be evaluated on low density airline routes.
Purchased through MMA subsidiary company Commercial Aviation Pty Ltd and will be available for general charter work. Due to be delivered to Perth late December 1963.
2.12.63
Application to DCA for import permit for P.166 to be VH-MMP:
Commercial Aviation Pty Ltd, Perth WA c/-  Forrester Stephen Pty Ltd, Melbourne Vic
15.1.64
noted at Luton being painted as VH-MMP
17.1.64
Australian registration application: Commerical Aviation Pty Ltd, Perth WA
25.1.64
VH-MMP noted at Luton
27.1.64
Acquisition date quoted by MMA
30.1.64
Struck-off British Register as sold to Australia
3.2.64
Registered VH-MMP: Commercial Aviation Pty Ltd, Perth WA,
operated by MacRobertson Miller Airlines Ltd, Perth WA
3.2.64
Australian CofA validated in UK
5.2.64
Departed Luton on delivery flight to Australia, ferry pilot Brian W. Monkton.

(Monkton, founder of Trans Oceanic Airways, Sydney, was now a free-lance commercial pilot)        
9.2.64
noted at Bahrein, on delivery flight
14.2.64
arrived Singapore
16.2.64
Arrived at Darwin escorted by a RAAF Dakota after Monkton reported starboard engine had been shut down and feathered while crossing the Timor Sea.  He had earlier been escorted by a RAF Hastings.  Delayed in Darwin for two days. No.2 exhaust valve was u/s and was replaced.
19.2.64
Delayed at Broome WA for 7 days after the port engine failed. MMA sent engineers from Perth with a replacement engine, which was installed.
27.2.64
Arrived Perth Airport on delivery to MMA. Red and white
29.2.64
noted at Perth Airport
20.3.64
Australian CofA issued, fitted with 8 passenger seats. Airframe time 1,395 hours
23.3.64
returned to Perth on charter flight Perth-Meekatharra, due radio problem
2.4.64
radio problems on charter flight Perth-Meekatharra-Swindells Field
7.4.64
noted at Perth Airport at the terminal building, red and white, no titles on fuselage, "MMA" on tail
20.4.64
diverted to Perth when nose wheel failed to fully retract on departure from Geraldton to Carnarvon, landed safely
22.4.64
returned to Port Hedland WA after departure to Swindell Field, due rough running engine
5.6.64
MMA flew a series of demonstration flights from Perth Airport taking 40 prospective charter clients
64
VH-MMP was not registered in RPT Category, but for Charter use. A large contract for the Piaggio was carrying personnel and supplies to Swindell Field in the Great Sandy Desert for oil and mineral survey work, usually flown by MMA Captain Ron Eastman. Aircraft was painted red and white, with "MMA" in red, and "Air Charter" in black on the fuselage sides. Name RMA Pilbara
20.7.64
flew Mount Tom Price-Meekatharra WA
29.7.64
landed safely at Perth when port undercarriage failed to fully retract after departure for Meekatharra
22.8.64
flew Perth to Geraldton WA for Sunshine Festival, flew joyrides at Geraldton
23.9.64
Starboard propeller was feathered while inbound to Onslow WA
1.10.65
visited Rockingham WA airshow
1.66
MMA Timetable for Jan/Feb 1966 showed P.166 operating services:
Wed/Thu/Fri/Sat Perth-Mount Magnet-Cue-Meekatharra and return. 
DC-3s would be substituted if loads warranted. 
Reported at the time that the summer heat affected the Piaggio’s performance so payload had to be
restricted. 
4.11.66
flew Perth-Wittenoom WA carrying engineer and parts to repair an MMA F.27 Friendship which was damaged by striking a kangaroo during takeoff
22.12.66
Change of owner's name: MacRobertson Miller Airlines Ltd, Perth WA
.67
Retired by MMA, stored in hangars at Perth Airport
8.67
MMA advertise VH-MMP and Dove VH-MMN for sale
27.9.67
noted at Perth Airport, "MMA Air Charter " titles, "MMA"vertically on tail, name Pilbara on nose. Parked on grass outside MMA hangars with the Dove VH-MMN, first time both had been outside the hangar for some time
20.10.67
noted at Perth Airport, parked outside MMA hangars with Dove VH-MMN
14.11.67
MMA report: total time 2,486 hours. Has not been used for several months
68
Stored in MMA hangar at Perth Airport all year
10.68
advertised for sale, quoted total airframe time 2,486 hours
12.68
advertised for sale in Flight International magazine:  VH-MMP CofA until March 1973, maintained to airline standards, spare engine and many rotatable spares plus specialised tooling included. Apply MMA Perth or European agents Shackleton Aviation Ltd, 175 Picadilly, London
5.69
5.69    evaluation flights at Perth Airport for planned sale to Tower Main Pty Ltd, Perth, a construction engineering company: sale not concluded
1.6.69
Change of owner's name: Ansett Transport Industries (Operations) Pty Ltd, Melbourne, trading as MacRobertson Miller Airline Services, Perth
6.6.69
departed Perth reportedly on evaluation for a prospective purchaser in the Northwest of WA
18.6.69
noted at Perth Airport, parked in MMA hangar "MMA Air Charter" titles. Also 16.7.69
27.8.69
MMA wrote to DCA requesting approval for VH-MMP to operate in Papua New Guinea on a
3 month lease to Ansett Airlines of Papua New Guinea. Approved
29.9.69
Change of owner's name: Ansett Transport Industries (Operations) Pty Ltd, Melbourne Vic
10.69
noted at Perth Airport, parked in MMA hangar unmoved since 6.69.
10.69
departed Perth on delivery flight to New Guinea for Ansett Airlines of Papua New Guinea
10.69
Unserviceabe at Horn Island in Torres Strait between Queensland and Port Moresby, where it
was left for 6 weeks awaiting spare parts
12.69
Delivery to AAPNG no longer required, ferried to Bankstown then Moorabbin for resale
6.12.69
noted at Bankstown, MMA red & white scheme but titles painted over
21.12.69
noted at Bankstown, MMA red and white paint scheme but all titles removed, parked outside Hawker deHavilland hangar alongside P.166 VH-GOA 
25.1.70
noted at Moorabbin, at Schutt Aviation for overhaul and repaint
1.2.70
Change of ownership: Hawker de Havilland Australia Pty Ltd, Sydney-Bankstown NSW
3.2.70
noted at Moorabbin, being worked on in Schutt hangar
12.2.70
Change of ownership: Motif Traders Pty Ltd, trading as Motif Air, Melbourne Vic
15.2.70
noted at Moorabbin, being worked on in Schutt hangar. Also 22.2.70
1.3.70
noted at Moorabbin, parked outside with paint stripped off. Total airframe hours 2,552 hrs
5.4.70
noted at Moorabbin, partly repainted
12.4.70
noted at Moorabbin, white & metallic scheme after overhaul by Schutt Aviation
2.5.70
noted at Moorabbin. It was absent the next day.
10.5.70
noted at Moorabbin, parked outside Schutt hangar being washed
31.5.70
noted at Moorabbin. Also 5.7.70, 12.7.70, 15.9.70
14.11.70
noted at Adelaide Airport SA, now based here. Also 19.11.70, 3.12.70
23.1.71
noted at Adelaide-Parafield, reportedly based in Adelaide on survey contract by Motif Air
2.3.71
Damaged during emergency landing at Essendon Airport, Melbourne when port undercarriage would not extend after a flight from Adelaide to Essendon. Landed on grass with port undercarriage retracted. Pilot Bruce Bretherton of Melbourne and one passenger unhurt. Moved to Forrester Stephen hangar for repairs.  Aiframe total time 2,860 hrs
12.3.71
Struck-off Register due accident damage 2.3.71
7.71
under repair at Essendon in Forrester Stephen hangar.  Used belly skinning from the retired VH-ACV (c/n 354): see above
1.3.72
noted at Essendon, outside Forrester Stephen hangar, in service, white & metallic. Also 4.72
2.5.72
Restored to Register: Motif Traders Pty Ltd, Melbourne Vic
2.5.72
ferried Essendon-Adelaide Airport on charter to Convere Pty Ltd
3.5.72
Letter to DCA from Motif Air advises that VH-MMP is “on indefinite cross-charter to Convere Pty Ltd and/or its wholly owned subsidiary Oilfield Aviation Pty Ltd on a dry hire basis.”
3.5.72
Operated by Convere Pty Ltd/ Oilfield Aviation Pty Ltd, Adelaide SA 
9.6.72
Repossessed by Veall’s Industrial Leasing Pty Ltd, Melbourne, with whom Motif Air had a hire-purchase arrangement
17.6.72
arrived Perth-Jandakot WA from Kalgoorlie WA, departed for Forrest WA next day
26.8.72
arrived Perth-Jandakot WA from Kalgoorlie WA, departed for Forrest WA next day
9.72
resident at Essendon Airport, Melbourne. 
5.73
noted at Essendon, white and metallic with blue trim line
16.6.73
auctioned at Essendon by Forrester Stephen. Sold to George Dunlop Motors
18.6.73
Civil Register Change of ownership: George Dunlop Motors Pty Ltd, Bulleen, Melbourne Vic
18.6.73
noted at Essendon, white & metallic with blue trim line, now with titles “George Dunlop Motors -    
Midwarren Estate”
9.73
noted at Essendon, repainted in a new white & blue scheme, black enbine nacelles, black line up the vertical tailplane with large gold “RP” on fin, no titles.     (RP=Rinaldo Piaggio)
10.73
Operated on scheduled third level Victorian services by Bizjets Airlines, Essendon 
10.10.73
Nosewheel collapsed on landing Portland Vic while operating scheduled Bizjet service.
Ferried back to Essendon the following day
11.73
noted at Essendon, white & blue scheme, black engine nacelles, black line up tail with gold “RP” on tail, no titles
16.6.74
noted at Essendon, "Tasman Airlines" titles
3.7.74
Civil Register Change of ownership:  Tasman Air Services Pty Ltd trading as Tasman Airlines, Essendon Vic
Hire purchase agreement with George Dunlop Motors, now trading as Manningham Motors, Bulleen
13.8.74
Letter to DCA from George Dunlop Motors states that they retain ownership of VH-MMP and that Tasman Airlines is on the verge of bankruptcy
9.74
noted at Essendon, white & blue, "RP" on tail, titles “Tasman Airlines – A division of Tasman Air Services Pty Ltd”
11.11.74
Change of ownership: Omni Aviation Pty Ltd, Essendon Vic
4.12.74
Struck-off Register at owner's request
28.2.75
noted at Essendon, undergoing major overhaul and repaint
3.75
noted at Essendon, new paint scheme white & thick blue fuselage line, blue tail, black engine nacelles, tip tanks, horizontal tailplane, “Tasman Airlines” titles
3.4.75
Restored to Register: Daroche Developments Pty Ltd, Melbourne Vic.
Operated by Tasman Airlines, Essendon.     Airframe total time 3,375 hrs
31.5.75
noted at Essendon, white and blue, “Tasman Airlines” titles
21.6.75
Suffered storm damage while parked at Sydney Airport
19.7.75
noted at Sydney Airport, “Tasman Airlines” titles
15.9.75
commenced a new scheduled route Essendon-Ballarat for Tasman Airlines.
Aircraft was named City of Ballarat for a short period
27.1.76
Change of ownership: Sovereign Aviation Facilities t/a Tasman Airlines of Australia, Essendon Vic
76
Sovereign Airlines flew scheduled passenger services from Essendon to Bendigo & Swan Hill Vic
2.77
Advertised for sale: total time 3634 hours, offered in various seating configurations from 4 to 11 passengers
10.5.77
noted at Essendon, white and blue, “Tasman Airlines” titles
11.9.77
noted at Bankstown. Leased for periods to Eagle Airways, Sydney NSW: operated for periods on Wards Express air freight runs
1.11.77
arrived at Perth Airport ex Kalgoorlie WA, departed for Forrest WA next day. Operated by Eagle Airways on their day-old chicken delivery contracts
3.12.77
noted at Bankstown, paint being scraped off airframe
5.12.77
arrived at Perth Airport ex Kalgoorlie WA, departed for Kalgoorlie WA next day
13.12.77
Change of ownership: Lance H. McKean, Sydney. Leased to Eagle Airways, Bankstown NSW
19.1.78
arrived at Perth Airport ex Kalgoorlie WA, departed for Forrest WA 21.1.78
24.3.78
arrived at Perth Airport ex Kalgoorlie WA, departed for Kalgoorlie WA next day
29.3.78
arrived at Perth Airport ex Kalgoorlie WA, departed for Kalgoorlie WA next day
20.4.78
arrived at Perth Airport ex Kalgoorlie WA, departed for Kalgoorlie WA next day
26.4.78
noted at Bankstown, all metallic except small blue square around the registration
27.4.78
arrived at Perth Airport ex Kalgoorlie WA, departed for Kalgoorlie WA next day
1.5.78
arrived at Perth Airport ex Kalgoorlie WA, departed for Forrest WA the same day
9.5.78
arrived at Perth Airport ex Kalgoorlie WA, departed for Forrest WA the same day
22.6.78
arrived at Perth Airport ex Kalgoorlie WA, departed for Kalgoorlie WA next day
7.78
noted at Bankstown, all metallic except small blue square around the registration
6.7.78
arrived at Perth Airport ex Esperance WA, departed for Kalgoorlie WA 8.7.78
24.7.78
arrived at Perth Airport ex Kalgoorlie WA, departed for Forrest WA next day
15.9.78
arrived at Perth Airport ex Kalgoorlie WA, departed for Kalgoorlie WA 17.9.78
21.10.78
noted at Bankstown, allover white paint undercoat
20.11.78
arrived at Perth Airport ex Forrest WA, departed for Forrest WA 22.11.78
2.12.78
Minor damage at Essendon
9.2.79
noted at Bankstown, repainted in new scheme white with thin red/white/black/white/red lines down fuselage and tip tanks, “Eagle Airways” titles, stylised red eagle on tail
2.79
noted at Essendon
16.3.79
arrived at Perth Airport ex Forrest WA, departed for Forrest next day, with Eagle Airways
Trislander VH-EGU, both on day-old chicken deliveries.
The Trislander then took over most Eagle Airways chicken deliveries to Perth on a fortnightly schedule, joined by Beech H18 VH-PDI from March 1980 
27.3.79
arrived at Perth Airport ex Kalgoorlie WA, departed next day
8.4.79
noted at Bankstown, in the new Eagle Airways paint scheme and titles.
4.79
based at Bankstown, tip tanks from VH-BHK have been fitted, retaining “Comalco” titles and logo,
1.5.79
arrived Perth Airport ex Forrest WA, departed for Forrest next day
15.6.79
damaged when struck a parked aircraft while taxying at Bankstown
6.9.79
Change of ownership: G. E. Hunt t/a Pig Enterprises, Sydney-Bankstown NSW
7.9.79
arrived Perth Airport ex Kalgoorlie WA, departed for Forrest WA 9.9.79
20.9.79
noted at Bankstown, white & red paint scheme “Eagle Airways” titles
7.81
Advertised for sale by P.J.Macsween Aircraft Sales & Management, Sydney: 1962 model, 11 seats, total time 5509 hours
10.8.81
noted at Bankstown, "Eagle Airways" scheme and titles, Comalco titles on tip tanks have now been painted over in white. Also 17.8.81, 5.10.81
10.81
Advertised for sale by P.J.Macsween Aircraft Sales & Management, Sydney: total time 5520 hours
14.12.81
Change of ownership: Esanda Finance Ltd, Sydney NSW  
22.1.82
Change of ownership: Noel R. Vinson Trading Pty Ltd, Sydney-Bankstown NSW
9.2.82
Change of ownership: J. M. Bramston, Bonnet Bay NSW
21.4.82
noted at Bankstown, no titles but retains eagle emblem on tail. Also 25.6.83, 2.7.83
1.8.83
Struck-off Register as withdrawn from service
21.8.83
noted at Bankstown, same white & red paint scheme, no titles. Also 3.9.85
3.9.85
noted at Bankstown, same white & red paint scheme, no titles., appears to be in good condition
5.12.85
noted at Bankstown, new paint scheme: white with two red stripes down fuselage, red tailplane,
no titles.  Also 21.8.86
23.9.86
Restored to Register: Winrye International Pty Ltd, Sydney-Bankstown NSW
27.9.86
noted at Bankstown, white and fed scheme, no titles. Also 26.10.86
26.1.87
noted at Bankstown, red and white,"Aero Professional" titles. Also 27.2.87, 4.5.87
9.7.87
Change of ownership: S. D. Townsend & Co Pty Ltd, Sydney NSW
13.11.87
noted at Sydney Airport, in service, red and white, no titles
20.7.88
Change of ownership: Aero National Transport Pty Ltd, Sydney NSW
27.3.89
noted at Bankstown, red and white, no titles
30.6.89
Change of ownership: Casment Pty Ltd, Sydney NSW
30.6.92
Change of ownership: Peter A. Sagar, Sydney NSW
24.10.92
visited Avalon Vic airshow, flew a display
6.9.96
noted at Bankstown, same red and white scheme
97
parked at Bankstown, grounded pending maintenance
8.97
report: Historical Aircraft Restoration Society, Sydney are considering acquiring VH-MMP as an airworthy restoration project
2.00
noted at Bankstown, red & white, under restoration to fly, recent re-skinning. Also 25.4.00
8.00
report: HARS did not acquire VH-MMP, owner Peter Sagar is continuing the restoration himself at Bankstown
12.01
noted at Bankstown, parked at Hawker deHavilland hangar awaiting maintenance
9.5.02
Arrived at Australia's Museum of Flight, NAS Nowra NSW by truck from Bankstown.
Owner Peter Sagar wrote "MMP is on a 5 year loan to AMOF at Nowra naval air station. Mark Clayton is the museum director who put together the move.  Hawker Pacific Pty Ltd at Bankstown airport removed props, engines, wings and tailplane. Naval personnel provided the trucks and manpower for the actual shift.  It was such a sad day that I did not even go to look. She was driven away on 8th May 02."
7.8.02
Struck-off Register as withdrawn from service
07
Donated by Peter Sagar to Historical Aircraft Restoration Society, Wollongong NSW
8.07
noted at Wollongong-Albion Park NSW assembled in HARS hangar, red and white, planned to be prepared for static display.
1.11
noted at Albion Park Airport, Wollongong NSW, parked in weathered condition at airport entrance as an advertising sign for HARS at the airport
5.13
noted at Albion Park Airport at HARS hangars, repainted in Ansett-ANA scheme, no registration.
Unfortunately the red and blue colours are incorrect shades.

Current


VH-MMP "Pilbara" at Perth Airport in June 1968, stored pending sale.  Photo by Geoff Goodall


Essendon 1973 in new scheme with stylised "RP" for Rinaldo Piaggio.                    Photo by Barrie Colledge


Essendon September 1974, with the titles of new owner Tasman Airlines.                Photo by Roger McDonald



Essendon June 1975 in a new paint scheme for Tasman Airlines.                                Photo by Peter Kelly


Bankstown May 1983.                                                                                                    Photo by Chris O'Neill


Bankstown October 1986.                                                                                       Photo by Chris O'Neill


The ignomy of it all - a backdrop to bedraggled advertising signs for Historical Aircraft Restoration Society
at Albion Park Airport, Wollongong NSW in February 2011
.               Photo by Phil Vabre


VH-MMP displayed at HARS hangars, Albion Park NSW by May 2013.                               Photo by Phil Vabre


 
                       Piaggio P.166 c/n 373, line number 22                                                                                       VH-GOE       
.60
Built at Finale Ligure, Italy by Societa per Azioni Piaggio
12.60
Registered D-INLE Dr. Hans Gerling, Koln, West Germany
61-63
Operated by Air Lloyd Flugservice GmbH t/a Air Lloyd, Cologne, West Germany
6.5.61
visited London-Gatwick. Also 10.7.61
13.8.63
Struck-off German Register as sold abroad
21.8.63
visited Bournemouth-Hurn
17.9.63
D-INLE noted parked at Zurich
-
Sold to Ansett Transport Industries, Australia
24.5.64
Registered VH-GOE: Mandated Airlines Ltd, Lae Papua New Guinea
Operated by Ansett-MAL, Lae PNG
27.5.64
noted at Bahrain on ferry flight, "Ansett-MAL" titles, red, white, blue, black paint scheme
8.6.64
arrived Melbourne-Essendon on delivery, "Ansett-MAL" titles, red, white, blue, black paint scheme; parked in Executive Air Services hangar
22.6.64
noted at Essendon, parked outside Executive Air Services hangar, "Ansett-MAL" titles
30.6.64
noted at Essendon, inside Executive Air Services hangar. 
1.1.65
noted at Wewak PNG in Ansett-MAL service
4.9.66
noted at Gusap PNG in Ansett-MAL service
1.67
Reported of minor damage due nosewheel collapse in PNG
13.8.68
noted at Mount Hagen PNG, "Ansett-MAL" titles and scheme
24.6.68
Change of owner's name: Ansett Airlines of Papua New Guinea, Lae PNG
11.3.70
Arrived Sydney-Bankstown on delivery to Hawker deHavilland, as trade-in on a new DHC-6
Twin Otter 300
13.3.70
Change of ownership: Hawker deHavilland Pty Ltd, Bankstown NSW
23.3.70
Change of ownership: Gregory R. Board, Sydney NSW
Refer The Migrant Caper on this site for background on aviation adventurer Greg Board
3.70
Survey camera bay installed by Skyservice Aviation at Camden NSW
3.70
Operated on lease to Air Research Pty Ltd, Sydney NSW
5.4.70
noted at Camden NSW, Ansett-MAL paintwork being removed
26.4.70
noted at Camden, parked with Norseman VH-GSG, both painted in same bronze and white scheme with titles "Air Research Pty Ltd Sydney  Air Surveys  Geophysics Division"
4.70
noted at Sydney Airport, "Air Research" titles
4.70
based at Bankstown until 8.70
8.70
noted at Sydney Airport, "Air Research" titles, survey operation reportedly discontinued
29.8.70
noted at Coolangatta Qld, titles changed to just "Air Surveys Geophysics Division"
13.9.70
noted at Sydney Airport
19.9.70
noted at Sydney Airport, bronze & white scheme, "Air Research Pty Ltd" titles now painted over, leaving just "Air Surveys Geophysics Division". Parked at Mascot for some months 
4.71
noted at Sydney Airport, with new titles "Mineralair Charter Survey Sydney Geophysics Division".
The words "Geophysics Division" was painted over later that year
71
Greg Board commenced freight charter work mid 1971. An important contract he gained was the carriage of day-old chickens from commercial hatcheries near Sydney to poultry farms throughout Australia. The cabin area of the P166 allowed 11,000 chickens in chicken boxes to be carried
30.11.71
arrived Perth Airport ex Kalgoorlie WA, departed for Forrest WA 2.12.71. The first of regular day-old chicken delivery flights to Perth
14.12.71
arrived Perth Airport ex Kalgoorlie WA, departed for Forrest WA next day
16.2.72
noted at Sydney Airport
13.9.72
arrived Perth Airport ex Kalgoorlie WA, departed for Forrest WA next day
14.11.72
arrived Perth Airport ex Kalgoorlie WA
5.1.73
arrived Perth Airport ex Kalgoorlie WA, departed for Forrest WA 7.1.73
11.2.73
noted at Essendon, titles "Mineralair Charter and Surveys"
21.2.73
arrived Perth Airport ex Kalgoorlie WA, departed for Forrest WA 23.2.73
5.73
noted at Melbourne-Moorabbin Vic, bronze and white, "Mineralair Charter & Surveys, Sydney"
9.5.73
arrived Perth Airport ex Forrest WA, departed for Forrest next day
13.6.73
arrived Perth Airport ex Kalgoorlie WA, departed for Forrest WA 15.6.73. 
Bronze and white, titles "Mineralair Charter and Surveys, Sydney"
1.8.73
arrived Perth Airport ex Forrest WA, departed for Forrest 3.8.73
19.9.73
arrived Perth Airport ex Forrest WA, departed for Forrest next day
24.10.73
arrived Perth Airport ex Kalgoorlie WA, departed for Forrest WA next day
10.11.73
arrived Perth Airport ex Forrest WA, departed for Kalgoorlie 12.11.73, bronze and white
28.4.74
noted at Bankstown, faded bronze and white
1.6.74
arrived Perth-Jandakot Airport ex Forrest WA, departed for Forrest next day.
Bronze and white scheme, titles "Mineralair Charter & Surveys, Sydney"
8.6.74
noted at Bankstown, bronze and white, no titles
26.6.74
arrived Perth-Jandakot ex Kalgoorlie WA, departed for Forrest next day. Bronze and white scheme, no titles
10.7.74
arrived Jandakot ex Forrest WA, departed for Forrest next day. Bronze and white scheme, no titles
26.7.74
Change of owner's name: South Pacific Airways Pty Ltd, Sydney NSW c/- G. R. Board
25.9.74
arrived Perth-Jandakot ex Forrest WA, departed for Forrest next day.
10.10.74
arrived Perth-Jandakot ex Forrest WA
26.10.74
noted at Bankstown, now repainted green, blue and white "South Pacific Airways" titles
31.10.74
departed Perth-Jandakot for Forrest WA
5.11.74
noted at Bankstown, “South Pacific Airways” titles on nose, large "SPA" in black on fin
17.12.74
forced landing at Bankstown due engine trouble soon after departure for Adelaide.
Pilot Brian Blackjack Walker landed safely, carrying 7000 day-old chickens
25.1.75
noted at Perth-Jandakot having maintenance at Trans West Air Charter, delayed 10 days. Green & white scheme "South Pacific Airways" titles
1.3.75
arrived Perth-Jandakot ex Forrest WA, departed for Forrest same day.
22.8.75
arrived Perth-Jandakot ex Kalgoorlie WA, departed for Kalgoorlie next day.
17.10.75
arrived Perth-Jandakot ex Forrest WA, departed for Forrest next day.
20.2.76
noted at Perth-Jandakot WA, "South Pacific Airways" titles, "SPA" on tail
76
report: parked at Bankstown early in year, mostly static
24.5.76
Struck-off Register at owner's request. Parked at Bankstown
1.9.76
noted at Bankstown, "South Pacific Airways" titles. Also 12.9.76
11.77
noted at Bankstown, "South Pacific Airways" titles, one engine removed and various panels missing.
Also 1.78
1.79
noted at Bankstown, still in full "South Pacific Airways" scheme and titles, no engines or tip tanks, parked in row of 9 retired Piaggios. Also 8.8.79, 2.7.83
21.8.83
noted at Bankstown, wings and tail removed, wings laying on grass alongside. Alongside P.166s VH-FSC, -BHK, -SMF.  Also 7.84
.84
Purchased by Papua New Guinea National Museum & Art Gallery, Port Moresby PNG.
Planned restoration for display in Ansett-MAL or Patair paint scheme.
7.10.86
noted at Port Moresby-Jacksons Airport, open storage for PNG National Museum
29.7.93
noted at Port Moresby-Jacksons Airport, open storage, fuselage only, wings detached and dumped alongside, no tail, engines, windows, or nose cone. Covered in dirt, faded paintwork “South Pacific Airways” titles and VH-GOE still visible. Being used by native airport workers as a toilet.
10.00
listed with PNG War Museum, Gordon, Port Moresby, a division of the National Museum
2014
Not included in a detailed listing of aircraft relics held by National Museum and War Museum


Essendon 22 June 1964, prior to delivery to Ansett-MAL in New Guinea.              Photo by Dick Hourigan


Up-country in New Guinea with Ansett-MAL during 1967.                                       Photo by Alan Bovelt


Bankstown in April 1973 as a freighter, the bronze paintwork now faded.                   Photo by Chris O'Neill


VH-GOE at Bankstown in October 1974, being repainted for Greg Board's company South Pacific Airways.
Photo by Chris O'Neill



                         Piaggio P.166 c/n 374, line number 23                                                                                        VH-PGA
.61
Built at Finale Ligure, Italy by Societa per Azioni Piaggio
4.61
Registered D-INLG: Deutsche Nah-Luftverkehr AG, (DNL), Gummersbach, West Germany
24.4.61
visited London-Gatwick. And again 19.7.61
12.61
DNL merged with Air-Taxi GmbH Mannheim AG, trading as Taxiflug, to form a new company named Air Lloyd Flugservice GmbH, Cologne, West Germany
15.6.63
noted at Frankfurt
.64
Ansett-ANA negotiated with Australian Piaggio agents Forrester Stephen Pty Ltd, Melbourne to acquire another P.166 for various activities, including tourist flights to Ayers Rock.
Forrester Stephen Pty Ltd brokered the purchase of D-INLG from Air Lloyd Flugservice 
4.64
Ansett-ANA announced that they have purchased another Piaggio P166 secondhand in Europe to be
based at Alice Springs for the winter season tourist services to Ayers Rock and Mount Olga.
8.4.64
Australian Registration application: Ansett-ANA c/- Forrester Stephen Pty Ltd, Melbourne Vic
25.4.64
D-INLG noted at Hannover, West Germany
15.5.64
Ansett-ANA wrote to DCA advising they had acquired D-INLG, which would be flown from Germany to the Piaggio works at Finale Ligure, Italy for pre-delivery maintenance. It will then be delivered to Australia by air
22.7.64
Added to Australian Register VH-PGA: Ansett-ANA, Melbourne Vic
22.7.64
VH-PGA departedVillanova Airport, Italy for ferry flight Australia. Painted all white.
22.7.64
noted Bahrain on delivery, all white
7.8.64
Arrived Essendon Airport, Melbourne at 1610 local time, painted allover white with black trim
18.8.64
noted at Essendon at Ansett-ANA maintenance hangars, now painted in full Ansett-ANA scheme and titles
19.8.64
noted at Essendon, being test flown by Ansett Senior Captain Peter Gibbes
9.64
based at Alice Springs NT operating tourist flights to Ayers Rock with optional stop at
Kings Canyon, fitted with 7 passenger seats.
2.10.64
Overnighted at Adelaide, “Ansett-ANA” titles
64
Reportedly leased to Ansett-MAL in Papua New Guinea for a period to cover maintenance of their Piaggios.
2.65
noted at Essendon
14.3.65
refuelled at the Sydney Airport Ansett terminal enroute Melbourne to Queensland
4.65
Based at Mackay Qld to operate Ansett-ANA services from Mackay to Prosperpine, where tourists connected with the Coral Islander service by Sikorsky S-61N VH-BRI from Proserpine to Hayman Island Resort (also owned by Ansett). Piaggio continued until August 1967.
The P166 replaced a DC-3 on the four days a week service Mackay-Proserpine-Townsville return,
although the Townsville leg was dropped in 8.65.

While based at Mackay, VH-PGA supplemented, and later took over, the Ansett-ANA Mackay to Collinsville regular charter flights, which were being flown by the Morava L-200 VH-EMV of Coastal Airways until that company was acquired by Ansett on 6 August 1964. The Morava was withdrawn by Ansett-ANA early in 1966 and the Collinsville service was operated by VH-PGA until it was withdrawn in August 1967. With the Piaggio’s withdrawal from Mackay, Lindeman Aerial Services Pty Ltd., which had an arrangement with T.A.A., took over all Mackay to Collinsville services
23.8.65
noted at Essendon, at Ansett-ANA maintenance hangars
19.3.66
refuelled at Brisbane-Eagle Farm en route to Mackay Qld, "Ansett-ANA" titles
15.8.66
noted at Mackay Qld, "Ansett-ANA" titles, departed on Ansett Flight 260 to Proserpine, then operated Flight 269 Proserpine-Mackay
16.12.66
noted at Essendon
8.67
The Mackay P166 operation was replaced by the Ansett-ANA Sikorsky S-61N VH-BRI, which now operated all services between Mackay, Hayman Island and Hayman Island.
1.68
noted at Essendon, parked all month
15.3.68
Change of ownership: Forrester Stephen Pty Ltd, Melbourne-Essendon Vic
16.3.68
Piaggios VH-PGA & -PQA handed over to Commuter Airlines at Essendon in a new paint scheme of white with purple and gold trim and "Commuter Airlines" titles. It had been formed as a 50% partnership between Forrester Stephen Pty Ltd and Farmair Pty Ltd at Sale Vic.
3.68
Operated on scheduled services from Essendon Airport by Commuter Airlines
26.4.68
noted at Essendon, Commuter Airlines scheme and titles.  Also 30.11.68, 7.69, 8.69, 1.1.70

Commuter Airlines terminated services on 15.12.69 due continuing losses
4.70
Forrester Stephen Pty Ltd leased Piaggio VH-PGA and their Shorts Skyvan VH-FSH to
Papuan Airlines, Port Moresby New Guinea

In December 1969 VH-PGA was chartered by Port Moresby-based Papuan Airlines Pty Ltd, to operate their regular airline and charter services from Port Moresby, while one of their own  two aircraft,  VH-PND, was under heavy maintenance with Forrester Stephen at Essendon.  By late-January 1970, VH-PGA was noted back at Essendon.
4.70
noted at Port Moresby, recently arrived for lease to Patair
7.71
based Essendon with Forrester Stephen, recently repainted in same white & blue colour scheme as P.166s VH-FSA & VH-FSC
8.71
noted at Essendon, white & blue, titles “Forrester Stephen Aviation”,with “P166” on tail
23.4.72
visited Morwell Vic airshow, “Forrester Stephen Aviation" titles.  For Sale sign was taped inside a window
24.4.72
noted at Essendon, “Forrester Stephen Aviation"titles. Also 7.72, 9.72, 21.2.73, 21.4.73
8.73
visited Mildura Vic, “Forrester Stephen Aviation" titles, along with their P166s VH-ASA & FSA.
7.4.74
noted at Essendon, “Forrester Stephen Aviation" titles. Also 7.12.74, 26.12.74
7.7.75
Change of owner's name: Forrestair - a Division of H. C. Sleigh, Melbourne-Essendon Vic
14.9.76
Forrestair letter to Department of Transport: requesting registration of Piaggios VH-PGA & VH-ASA be cancelled, both are no longer required for operations by Forrestair.
16.9.76
Struck-off Register
10.76
Advertised for sale by Forrestair, P166 & P166B plus spares: total package $75K
3.77
Advertised for sale by Roy Coburn Aviation, Bankstown: total time 5850 hours, new major airframe inspection, excellent condition, previously maintained by Ansett and Forrestair, optional seating, spare airframe available.
28.4.77
Restored to Register: Forrestair - a Division of H. C.Sleigh, Melbourne-Essendon.
CofA not renewed
19.5.77
Forrestair letter to DoT: application for CofR renewal was made in error. The aircraft is up for sale and they do not wish to pay registration fees
19.5.77
Struck-off Register.
7.77
Ferried from Essendon to Bankstown for resale
2.9.77
Test flight, pilot E. Driver
16.9.77
Change of ownership: Air Share Tours and Safaris, Sydney NSW
1.12.77
VH-PGA ferried Essendon-Bankstown, with DoT requirement that no markings be visible on aircraft.  The document states 10 seats in aircraft.
Over the next 12 months the Piaggio saw little activity, parked at Bankstown.
2.78
Advertised for sale by Illawarra Aircraft Sales, Bankstown: $30K  
3.78
Advertised for sale by Illawarra Aircraft Sales, Bankstown: $27K 
9.1.79
noted at Bankstown, same white & blue scheme, no titles, being worked on at Hawker de Havilland
26.6.79
DoT file memo states VH-PGA is now owned by Hugo Perau, Kemps Creek NSW
6.80
Advertised for sale by Illawarra Aircraft Sales, Bankstown: $20K, "this grand old ten seater still has a lot of life left in it."
6.81
DoT file memo: VH-PGA is now owned by LAC Peter Hoad c/- RAAF Richmond NSW
25.6.81
Letter to DoT from RAAF Richmond advising approval given for mainternance on VH-PGA to be carried out in Hangar 522 at Richmond by P&T Aviation Pty Ltd.
2.7.81
Request to DoT for approval for ferry flight Bankstown-Richmond. Has flown 5 hrs since 5.77.
DoT approve ferry using Trade Plate radio callsign VHPTF
7.7.81
Test flight at Bankstown. Then ferried to RAAF Richmond same day.
11.8.81
Restored to Register: Peter V. Hoad, Sydney NSW.  Operates as Regalair, Bankstown
19.8.81
CofA renewed. Total airframe time 5866 hrs

Peter Hoad later wrote to historian Roger McDonald:
“I owned the Piaggio VH-PGA for a number of years, using the aircraft for both passenger and freight charters all over Australia. We had a contract to carry Sydney newspapewrs from Sydney to Brisbane three nights a week and another contract to carry live lobsters from Tasmania to Sydney one day a week. As well, we used to carry greyhound racing dogs around NSW with their trainers and owners. I did use Duncan Bray’s P166 VH-CAC at times as my back-up aircraft to cover unserviceability or extra charters.
We had a lot of fun in the Piaggio and didn’t have too many mechanical problems, although we did get a cracked cylinder chamber from the overheating of an engine, a common problem with the pusher engine arrangement and poor pilot management. I sold the aircraft along with the freight contracts to Shaun Agnew.”

Another quote:
"I operated VH-CAC and VH-PGA out of Bankstown and Mascot for a while in the early 1980's. Carried day-old chicks to Murray Bridge SA among other places, loaded them at Camden, and car parts and overnight bags plus general freight from Mascot to Melbourne, Brisbane and Launceston. Also flew greyhounds to country dog race meetings. Pilots that flew them were mainly airforce guys.They were high maintenance aircraft but did the work required of them."
5.10.81
noted at Bankstown
18.8.83
noted at Bankstown, no titles, same white & blue scheme, Channel 10 sticker in fin. Also 12.9.83
22.9.83
noted at Bankstown, repainted all black with mauve trim
13.7.84
DoT file memo: VH-PGA is transporting crayfish from Tasmania to Sydney on a regular charter
23.10.84
Change of ownership: Hertford Holdings t/a Brolga Air, Cooma NSW, later Port Macquarie NSW
10.84
Operated by Shaun Agnew trading as Brolga Air.  The company planned to carry afternoon Sydney newspapers from East West  Airlines flight at Port Macquarie to NSW country towns and Brisbane
18.8.85
noted at Bankstown, no titles, all black with mauve trim. Also 22.9.85
17.12.85
DoT file memo: during a 100 hourly inspection by Rural Helicopters at Port Macquarie NSW, considerable corrosion was found in the cabin area
31.8.86
noted at Sydney Airport, black with mauve stripes
16.6.86
DoT file memo: operating newspaper deliveries and general charter from Port Macquarie NSW
c7.86
Forced landing at Taree NSW due to engine trouble while carrying newspapers. Maintenance carried out at Taree by LAME Ross Mace.  The aircraft was then ferried to Port Macquarie for further maintenance, which was decided not economically viable. Agnew was unable to pay for all maintenance carried out to date so Ross Mace took over the aircraft
1.9.86
Letter to Civil Aviation Authority (latest political name change of DCA/DoT) from Brolga Air requesting registration be cancelled
1.9.86
Struck-off Register as withdrawn from service
86
VH-PGA retired at Port Macquarie NSW, where Ross Mace stripped it of engines, instruments and other parts. Gutted airframe left outside at Port Macquarie Airport
9.1.87
VH-PGA's airframe noted at Port Macquarie, black and mauve paint scheme, dumped with the fuselage of an Oxley Airlines PA-31
c90
airframe purchased by Pat Stewart, Green Valley Farm, Tingha NSW, 10 miles south of Inverell. 
Purchased "as is" for $600. Pat collected it with his farm truck, and used the Piaggio in a children’s theme park he was developing on his farm. 
c03
But of the rough treatment the Piaggio was receiving from children, Pat Stewart mounted it above the ground on a stand from approx 2003. Fitted with fake engines and propellers
10.05
Still at Pat Stewart's farm, mounted on a stand above the ground, black colour scheme, recently had the paintwork touched up.

Assumed unmoved


VH-PGA at Bahrein in July 1964 on delivery from Italy to Australia for Ansett-ANA.
Photo by Gordon Macadie via Gordon Reid


October 1964 Adelaide, after being based at Alice Springs taking tourists to Ayers Rock.     Photo by Geoff Goodall


August 1966 at Proserpine Qld, carrying Hayman Island holidaymakers.                 Photo by Roger McDonald


Now with Commuter Airlines, seen at Essednon in November 1968.                   Photo by Roger McDonald


Essendon February 1973, now with Forrester Stephen Aviation titles.                       Photo by Chris O'Neill


Bankstown in June 1985 while with Brolga Air, fitted with a replacement rudder.          Photo by Chris O'Neill


Retired on the airfield dump at Port MacQuarie NSW in September 1987.                Photo by Roger McDonald


Two views of VH-PGA at Green Valley Farm, Tingha NSW.            Photos by Pat Stewart via Roger McDonald





                   Piaggio P.166 c/n 360, line number 9                                                                                  VH-FSA
.60
Built at Finale Ligure, Italy by Societa per Azioni Piaggio. This was the ninth P166 completed
11.3.60
Registered D-IHAL: Hansa Luftbild GmbH, Munster-Osnabrook, West Germany
11.3.60
Ferry permit issued for delivery flight Italy-Munster
24.4.60
displayed at Hanover Air Show, West Germany
.64
Sold by Hansa Luftbuild GmbH, via agents Travelair, Bremen to Piaggio
9.10.64
struck-off German Register as sold to Italy
12.10.64
Australian Registration Application c/n 360: Forrester Stephen Pty Ltd, Melbourne Vic
Application states aircraft to be used for aerial survey and executive charter.
Forrester Stephen Pty Ltd was Australian agents for Piaggio products

Overhaul at the Piaggio factory at Finale Ligure and upgraded to equivalent of P.166A
4.5.65
Added to Register VH-FSA: Forrester Stephen Pty Ltd, Essendon Airport, Melbourne Vic
4.5.65
Australian CofA issued at Piaggio factory 
5.65
VH-FSA departed Italy on delivery flight to Australia, under command of Forrester Stephen Aviation Manager J. E. Dewhirst, with engineer Roy Coburn
31.5.65
arrived Essendon on delivery, white with blue flashes and red, yellow, blue kangaroo motif on tail
65
Leased to Ansett-ANA for the 1965 Ayers Rock tourist season, based at Alice Springs
9.65
Advertised for sale by Forrester Stephen Pty Ltd: photographic P.166, total time 888 hours, has sliding camera hatch and in-flight darkroom facilities at rear of cabin, executive interior, 4 executive seats, toilet, buffet
4.11.65
noted at Essendon, "Ansett-ANA" titles on nose in red
22.2.66
overnight visitor Sydney Airport, circled kangaroo symbol on tail 
6.4.66
noted at Port Moresby-Jacksons PNG
6.66
reported still operated by Ansett-ANA
14.9.66
noted at Essendon, titles "Forrester Stephen". Also 16.12.66
14.11.67
Commuter Air Services Pty Ltd, half owned by Forrester Stephen, was the first third-level airline to commence operations from Essendon when they began passenger services on 14 November 1967 from the Ansett terminal.  Initial routes were Bairnsdale, Sale, Merimbula, Shepparton and Albury, using 12 seat P.166C VH-FSC with P.166 VH-FSA as backup.
3.68
Change of owner's name: Commuter Airlines, Essendon Vic
13.4.68
noted at Essendon, "Commuter Airlines" titlea, circled kangaroo symbol on tail. Also 30.11.68
22.6.70
noted at Brisbane-Archerfield Qld, no titles
11.10.70
noted at Brisbane-Eagle Farm Qld, in service, reportedly on lease to Ansett-ANA
5.71
based Essendon Vic with Forrester Stephen. White & blue, blue tail with white “P166” and speedbird style emblem. Also 8.71
2.72
noted at Essendon, titles “Forrester Stephen Aviation", white & blue, blue tail with white “P166” and speedbird style emblem. Also 7.72, 9.72
9.12.72
flew Sydney-Essendon with passengers during an airline strike
12.72
operated occasional passenger services for Bizjets Airlines, Essendon
3.73
based Essendon, hired regularly to Bizjets on their Victorian commuter services
8.73
visited Mildura Vic. Also Forrester Stephen P166s VH-ASA & PGA
3.8.74
noted at Bankstown, titles “Forrester Stephen Aviation"
4.9.74
Change of ownership: Hookway Aviation Pty Ltd, Melbourne Vic
74
Operated on charter as freighter to Wards Express
7.12.74
noted at Essendon, titles “Forrester Stephen Aviation","P166" on tail.  Also 26.12.74
18.1.75
noted at Essendon, Forrester Stephen white & blue scheme but no titles
2.8.75
noted at Essendon
8.75
advertised for sale by Hookway Aviation Pty Ltd, Melbourne: Total time 3,765 hours, factory fitted camera hatch and mountings, immediate delivery
6.8.75
Struck-off Register at owner's request
31.10.65
Restored to Register: South Pacific Airways, Sydney-Bankstown Airport NSW
1.76
noted at Bankstown, wearing "South Pacific Airways" titles on the original Forrester Stephen blue & white paint scheme.
6.1.76
arrived Perth-Jandakot WA ex Kalgoorlie WA, departed for Sydney via Kalgoorlie next day
4.5.76
arrived Jandakot ex Kalgoorlie
25.5.76
arrived Jandakot ex Mildura via Kalgoorlie, departed for Kalgoorlie same day
15.6.76
arrived Jandakot ex Kalgoorlie, departed for Sydney via Kalgoorlie next day
6.8.76
noted at Bankstown, "South Pacific Airways" titles
13.8.76
arrived Jandakot ex Kalgoorlie, departed for Sydney via Kalgoorlie 16.8.76
12.9.76
noted at Bankstown
14.9.76
arrived Moorabbin Vic, "South Pacific Airways" titles
21.9.76
arrived Jandakot ex Kalgoorlie
12.10.76
arrived Jandakot ex Forrest WA, departed for Sydney via Kalgoorlie next day
5.11.76
arrived Jandakot ex Kalgoorlie, departed for Sydney via Kalgoorlie next day
28.12.76
arrived Jandakot ex Kalgoorlie
1.2.77
arrived Jandakot ex Kalgoorlie, departed for Sydney via Kalgoorlie next day
8.2.77
arrived Jandakot ex Kalgoorlie, departed for Sydney via Kalgoorlie next day
11.3.77
Change of ownership: W. D. Hooper, Sydney NSW t/a Eagle Airways, Bankstown NSW
77
operated on charter as freighter to Wards Express
11.9.77
noted at Bankstown, titles "South Pacific Airways"
30.10.77
Struck-off Register as withdrawn from service
11.77
noted at Bankstown, parked in a row with two other South Pacific Airways P.166s
3.1.78
noted at Bankstown, "South Pacific Airways" titles. Also 7.8.78, 21.10.78
1.79
noted at Bankstown, in a row of 9 retired Piaggios
8.8.79
noted at Bankstown, "South Pacific Airways" titles
87
acquired by Uralla Military Museum, Uralla NSW as a display item
10.87
noted at Uralla NSW, parked in a paddock in the town, still "South Pacific Airways" titles
18.10.88
noted at Uralla Military Museum, displayed outside the museum building
12.88
noted at Uralla Military Museum, now painted khaki overall. Also 10.89
10.89
noted at Uralla Military Museum, outside building, khaki overall, no engines or wingtip tanks.
Also 10.91, 9.98, 11.04
2.12
noted at Uralla Military Museum, outside building, khaki overall, very faded paint
9.11.13
Auction of all assets of Uralla Military Museum, including the Piaggio.

Purchaser of Piaggio not disclosed. Fate unknown


D-IHAL while with Luftild.                                         Roger McDonald collection


VH-FSA in Commuter Airlines markings, at Essendon in November 1968.The unique strake on the lower fuselage was
fitted by its previous German owner to eliminate wind buffeting during aerial photography.     Photo by Roger McDonald


Archerfield Qld in June 1970.                                                                           Photo by Roger McDonald


VH-FSA derelict and weather-beaten, with faded khaki paintwork at Uralla Military Museum in September 2011. 
Photo by Roger McDonald


                     Piaggio P.166C c/n 414, line number 63                                                                                      VH-FSC
,65
Built at Finale Ligure, Italy by Societa per Azioni Piaggio.
16.9.65
Added to Register VH-FSC: Forrester Stephen Pty Ltd, Melbourne-Essendon Vic
10.65
VH-FSC departed Italy on delivery flight to Australia, flown by Patair Captain Howden House and copilot Basil Carlyle of Melbourne.
10.65
Due to arrive at Essendon on delivery early 10.65 but was delayed because the India-Pakistan war resulted in clearnaces through Indian airspace being denied. Installation of long range tanks allowed it to fly Bahrain direct to Colombo, but the aircraft went unservicable at Colombo. The crew were forced to leave the aircraft in Singapore when clearance through Indonesian airspace was refused
3.12.65
VH-FSC arrived at Essendon on delivery. Plate confirmed c/n 414
13.1.66
noted at Essendon, white and blue, no titles, Forrester Stephen's circled kangaroo emblem on tail fin, "P166C" titles
22.2.66
noted at Sydney Airport, visitor, circled kangaroo emblem on tail. Also 31.5.66
8.66
advertised for sale by Forrester Stephen Pty Ltd: "our demonstrator P.166C"
9.67
visited RAAF Laverton airshow
14.9.67
noted at Essendon, “Forrester Stephen Pty Ltd” titles
14.11.67
Commuter Air Services Pty Ltd, half-owned by Forrester Stephen, was the first third-level airline to commence operations from Essendon when they began passenger services on 14 November 1967 from the Ansett terminal.  Initial routes were Bairnsdale, Sale, Merimbula, Shepparton and Albury, using 12 seat P.166C VH-FSC with P.166 VH-FSA as backup
3.68
Change of operating name: Commuter Airlines, Melbourne-Essendon Vic
12.3.68
noted at Essendon now repainted "Commuter Airlines"in original white and blue scheme, but with circled kangaroo emblem on fin replaced by a circled "C" with an arrow. Also 13.4.68
30.11.68
noted at Essendon, “Commuter Airlines” titles.  Target towing gear under the belly for the Australian Navy contract to tow target drogues within the Westerport target range/
17.12.68
noyted at Essendon, white & blue, “Commuter Airlines” titles.
12.69
Leased to Capital Air Services, Wellington NZ.
VH-FSC was substituted for P.166B VH-ASA which was on delivery to NZ via Sydney 6.12.69 but returned to Essendon same day
5.1.70
VH-FSC noted at Wellington NZ still with "Commuter Airlines" titles
4.70
noted at Brisbane-Archerfield Qld, based here with P.166B VH-ASA
5.70
based at Brisbane-Archerfield all month, until the end of 6.70
7.12.70
noted at Essendon, white with blue, “Forrester Stephen Pty Ltd” titles on port side only
2.71
noted at Essendon, no titles
29.5.71
visited Wagga NSW for an aircraft auction: listed but not sold
9.71
noted at Essendon, white and blue, no titles,  “P166” on tail
22.9.71
flew Adelaide to Melbourne-Tullamarine then Sydney, operator Forrester Stephen
5.10.71
noted at Sydney Airport, visitor “Forrester Stephen Aviation” titles. Also 15.11.71
2.72
noted at Essendon, same white and blue, “Forrester Stephen Aviation” titles, “P166” on tail 
14.3.72
noted at Essendon, ad-hoc charter to Aircab for a scheduled passenger service
2.4.72
visited Morwell Vic fly-in, white with blue trim, no titles
7.72
based Essendon at Forrester Stephen hangar. Also 9.72
3.73
based Essendon, hired regularly by Bizjets on commuter services
7.73
advertised for sale by Forrester Stephen Aviation, Essendon: 13 seats, just completed major inspection,
2.8.73
Change of ownership: Ray Causer, Sydney NSW t/a General Aviation Air Freighters
2.8.73
departed Essendon on delivery to Bankstown for GAAF
18.8.73
noted at Bankstown, no titles, 'P166c" on tail
12.11.73
Change of owner's name: General Aviation Air Freighters, Sydney NSW c/- Ray Causer
8.6.74
noted at Bankstown, no titles, "P166c" on tail
21.6.74
noted at Perth Airport WA, no titles
3.8.74
noted at Sydney Airport as visitor. Also 23.11.74
18.4.75
noted at Bankstown, Forrester Stephen white & blue scheme but no titles, “P166c” on tail
20.11.75
arrived Perth Airport ex Kalgoorlie, departed for Kalgoorlie 21.11.75 
21.2.76
arrived Perth Airport ex Kalgoorlie, departed for Kalgoorlie 22.1.76   
28.2.76
arrived Perth-Jandakot ex Kalgoorlie, departed for Kalgoorlie 1.3.76. No titles
27.9.76
Struck-off Register as withdrawn from service. Parked at Bankstown
1.78
noted at Bankstown, poor condition, faded white & blue
1.79
noted at Bankstown, in row of 9 retired Piaggios.  Also 7.79, 8.79
10.11.82
noted at Bankstown, white and blue, no titles, “P166c” on tail, poor condition. Also 3.1.83
21.8.83
noted at Bankstown, derelict, on grass parking area with VH-BHK, -GOE, -SMF 
7.84
noted at Bankstown on grass parking area, derelict, "P166c" on tail. Also 5.1.85, 7.85, 3.9.85
27.8.86
noted at Bankstown in fire practice area, with VH-PND & -ASA
7.2.91
noted at Bankstown, inside Hangar 131 without wings  
-
reportedly acquired by Historical Aircraft Restoration Society, Sydney
95
reported under restoration by HARS at Mascot in a Qantas warehouse in old hangar on other side     of road from Qantas Jet Base 
05
Gary Causer, son of last operator Ray Causer, saiod that VHG-FSC was stored in Sydney area for future restoration

No recent reports


Refuelling at West Sale Vic on a scheduled third level airline service with Commuter Air Services in 1967
Photo courtesy Civil Aviation Historical Society


Essendon in November 1968 with the changed name Commuter Airlines and "C" emblem on tail.
Under the belly is yellow target towing drogue gear, operated from a winch inside the cabin, fused on a Navy contract.
Photo by Roger McDonald


VH-FSC at Wellington, New Zealand in January 1970 on two-month lease to Capital Air Services
Photo by Ray Deerness


Sydney Airport in November 1971, now wearing Forrester Stephen Aviation titles.   Photo by Roger McDonald



Unidentified Piaggio P.166s

30.8.61:   Wheels-up landing at Bereina PNG. Pilot neglected to follow the correct pre-landing check-list and landed with undercarriage retracted. RPT flight, pilot and five passengers unhurt.

22.12.66: Damaged landing at Mendi PNG: nose gear retracted shortly after touchdown, probably because the nosewheel assembly,
including the micro switch, was incorrectly rigged.

2003-04: P.166 painted all over primer yellow, appeared complete except no engines, in an open grass field at Defence Munitions test range, Wirlinga NSW, near Albury NSW

*                                      *                                  *                                *                        *                              *                          *

Australian Piaggio operators:
Brief summaries of a selection of companies which used Piaggio P.166s

Air Charter Pty Ltd, Perth WA:   (VH-ACV)

    Founded by David S. Faber of Perth in late 1961 and commenced operations February 1962 with Cessna 182E VH-ACR and Cessna 310C VH-ACB.  Faber had been a BUA airline pilot in UK and advertised as "WA's only full time charter specialists". 
    In June 1963 Faber announced that he had purchased P.166 VH-ACV in UK which he expected to be in Perth by August that year. Faber and his wife flew to London to collect the Piaggio and while waiting to depart he offered a British airline pilot Captain Jacques Ellis the position of Operations Manager. Ellis accepted and shared the flying on the Piaggio delivery flight, carrying as passengers Faber's wife and Robin Miller, a Perth nurse.  The ferry flight was a disaster, with a forced landing due engine trouble at a Greek military base, then undercarriage collapsing during landing at Athens when airport fire-fighters sprayed foam over the engines and airframe, causing later corrosion problems. Faber and wife returned to London after the Athens accident and Ellis loaned them money for their airline flight back to Perth.  After the Piaggio was repaired at Athens, Ellis continued the ferry flight and was arrested in India on spying charges.
    By the time Ellis reached Perth in early November1963, Air Charter Pty Ltd had effectively ceased operations due to loss of several lucrative charter contracts because of unservicabilities and inadequate aircraft. Faber blamed his Directors who had accepted charter contracts in his absence overseas which they could not possibly service.  A large CSIRO whale-spotting contract between Albany and Carnarvon was taken from them by Executive Air Services with Aero Commander VH-EXY. 
    In late 1963, Nicholas Air Charter, Melbourne were leasing Cessna 310G VH-TLY to Air Charter Pty Ltd and were considering the purchase of Air Charter due to their financial difficulties.  However Jacques Ellis took over ownership of the Piaggio as part of the financial settlement of loans he made to Faber, and immediately flew VH-ACV to Melbourne in December 1963 where charter prospects were brighter.  On 12 December 1963, a meeting of creditors wound up Air Charter Pty Ltd. 
    David Faber, a pioneer independent WA charter operator, retired disillusioned from aviation . He was eventually compensated for his losses due to the poor condition of the Piaggio by British dealer McAlpine and used the funds to establish a farm and horse riding school in southwest WA.
    See Jack Ellis.


Ansett-ANA, Melbourne Vic: (VH-PGA, -BBG, -ASA, -FSA)

    Australia's main domestic airline, flying in competition with Trans Australia Airlines. Ansett Transport Industries owsned or had controlling financial interests in associated airlines Ansett-MAL, Queensland Airlines, Airlines of NSW, Victorian Air Coach Service, Airlines of SA, and MMA.
    From 1962 Ansett-ANA has been using P.166s at Alice Springs for the winter tourist seasons to Ayers Rock and Mount Olga.  An Ansett-MAL Piaggio was flown down from Papua New Guinea and the Airlines of SA Portofino VH-ASA also used. It was announced in April 1964 that Ansett-ANA had purchased a second-hand P.166 in Europe to be based at Alice Springs for the winter tourist services.
    Later Ansett-ANA used its P.166s for tourist services to the Great Barrier Reef resorts, based at Prosperpine, north Queensland

Airlines of South Australia, Adelaide SA:   (VH-ASA)

    Previously Guinea Airways Ltd at Adelaide until Ansett took over in 1960, changing the name to Airlines of SA. Operated routes within SA and to Broken Hill NSW with DC-3s and Convair CV-440s. A new timetable dated 2 February 1964 announced commencement of scheduled passenger services with Piaggio Portofino VH-ASA on routes Adelaide-Renmark-Mildura (replacing a DC-3 service) and a new route Adelaide-Naracoorte-Millicent and return. The 23 August 1965 timetable announced new Portofino services Adelaide-Port Pirie SA. By October 1965 the Naracoorte and Millicent route had been dropped, and the timetable dated 9 May 1966 had no Piaggio services.
    VH-ASA was retired by Airlines of SA in June 1966 and transferred to Ansett-ANA effective 30 June 1966. 

Ansett-MAL, Lae PNG:   (VH-GOA, -GOB, -BBG/GOC, -GOE)

    Mandated Airlines commenced flying in Papua New Guinea in 1932 as W. R. Carpenter Pty Ltd, renamed Mandated Airlines in 1937. After Ansett purchased the company in 1961 it was renamed Ansett-MAL.
    On 6 January 1961 Ansett-MAL announced an order for two P.166 to supplement and then replace Norduyn Norsemans acquired when MAL took over Gibbes Sepik Airways.  The first should be delivered at the end of that month. They will be fitted with 11 passenger seats to carry 11 native passengers or 9 heavier Europeans. Mandated Airlines manager Vic Nagle said"
 "The Piaggio aircraft initially will be used to supplement the three Norseman aircraft we have left.  Our airline has been looking for an aircraft between the DC-3 and the Norseman something that would carry about 4,000lbs, yet use the airstrips the Norseman can use."  He continued "The Piaggio will be able to lift about 2,400lbs and will be fitted with 11 passenger seats.  This would allow 11 lighter weight natives & 9 heavier Europeans to be carried." 
    The registration sequence VH-GO was chosen to reflect the Piaggio’s base of Goroka. Two additional P.166s were purchased during 1964.   
    Renamed Ansett Airlines of Papua New Guinea in 1968,  DHC-6 Twin Otter 300s were ordered during 1969 to replace the Piaggios. First to depart was VH-GOA  which had been traded in to Hawker deHavilland at Bankstown on a Twin Otter and was delivered to Bankstown  in December 1969.

Capital Air Services Ltd, Wellington NZ  (VH-FSC, VH-PQA/ZK-DAI, VH-GOB)

    Capital Air Services Ltd was formed in 1963 as Wellington Aero Club's commercial arm and went on to fly charter work out of Wellington for over 30 years. It was registered as a limited liability company wholly owned by the Wellington Districts Aero Club Inc to undertake all commercial operations run by the club.
    When a larger charter aircraft was needed, a search for suitable aircraft was made in Australia and Piaggio chosen as preferred type. VH-FSC was hired for two months prior to the arrival of ZK-DAI in February 1970.
    The IFR capabilities of the Piaggio allowed it to be flown without any route limitations anywhere in NZ and carry useful payloads even to the Chatham Islands. It was normally fitted for 6 passengers but could carry up to 9 passengers. One charter for ZK-DAI was a flight from New Plymouth to Melbourne carrying a cylinder of natural gas. Piaggio was used extensively for support operations for the SEDCO offshore drilling rig off the NZ coast. In October 1970 the oil rig moved to Oamaru and Capital Air Services needed additional capacity and hired Cessna 402A VH-ELT from Nationwide Air Services to carry crews and equipment between New Plymouth and Oamaru until December 1970.

Commuter Air Services / Commuter Airlines, Essendon Vic:   (VH-FSA, -FSC, -PGA, -PQA, -ASA)

    Neil McInnes founded crop-dusting company Farmair at Sale Vic during 1955 after his previous agricultural flying in NSW and flying Lockheed Hudsons for Adastra Aerial Surveys.  During the 1960s Farmair had grown to a large agricultural and charter operator, with a variety of aircraft types including Bell 47 helicopters. During 1966 McInnes was reportedly interested in purchasing Cessna 320 VH-FJW and P.166 VH-ACV which was retired at Essendon due corrosion.  Neil McInnes states:
    "In 1966 we decided to launch out into commuter airline operations, This both gave diversification, because of the uncertainty of agricultural operations, and also built up a workable maintenance facility. I had entered into a 50% partnership with H. C. Sleigh's Forrester-Stephen Pty Ltd.  They obtained an exemption under ANO 203 that allowed the company to operate a scheduled service. This was only the second licence of this type issued in Australia. The company was named Commuter Airlines (sic) as a trading name. The agricultural operations still operated under the name Farmair, as did the maintenance section. Between 1966 and 1970 the company operated Piaggios, providing 60 services a week. A Skyvan was used for freight. In 1970 Commuter Airlines ceased operation."  
    Commuter Air Services Pty Ltd owned jointly by Forrester Stephen Pty Ltd and Farmair Pty Ltd commenced operations on the Melbourne-Sale-Bairnsdale-Merimbula route and from Melbourne-Shepparton-Albury in 1967, passenger services expanded to include Swan Hill, Horsham and Warracknabeal (in competition with Executive Air Services). The name changed to Commuter Airlines in March 1968. Routes were extended effective 9.9.68 to Narrandera and Leeton.
     Commuter Air Services was the first third-level airline to commence operations from Essendon when they began passenger services on 14 November 1967 from the Ansett finger.  Initially they used the 12 seat P.166C VH-FSC with P.166 VH-FSA as backup. Later VH-PGA & VH-PQA were aquired from Ansett-ANA, and VH-ASA operated on charter from Ansett-ANA, to allow a new timetable effective 1 April 1968 which took over Ansett Victorian country services: all services from Essendon:
    Bairnsdale                                                 Sa/Su/Mo/Tu/Th
    Sale/Bairnsdale/Mallacoota/Merimbula    Mo
    Horsham                                                   Mo/Tu/We/Th/Fr
    Warracknabeal/Horsham                          Su
    Swan Hill                                                 Th x 2
    Albury                                                      Mo, We x2, Fri x2
    Shepparton/Albury                                   Mo

    Due to continuing financial losses, Commuter Airlines terminated scheduled operations on 12 December 1969. 

Eagle Airways, Sydney-Bankstown NSW:  (VH-FSA, -MMP, -ASA)

    In March 1977 Piaggio VH-FSA was purchased by W. D. Hooper, Beecroft NSW . Hooper and a partner formed Eagle Airways as a charter freight operator. They underbid other Sydney P166 operators to acquire the lucrative day-old chicken deliveries from Sydney hatcheries to poultry farms all over Australia.  A Trislander VH-EGU was introduced, and from March 1980 Beech H18 VH-PDI.
    An Eagle Airways P.166 made an emergency landing at Bankstown 8 September 1978 due undercarriage problem. The pilot Ray Morritt, of Sydney turned back from a flight to Tamworth to collect 12,000 day-old chickens when hydraulics failed. He was able to manually extend the wheels and land safely at Bankstown.

Captain Jack Ellis, Tyabb Vic / Air Associates Australia/ City Centre Air Taxi Service  (VH-ACV)
        Refer Air Charter Pty Ltd for background on how Ellis took over ownership of their Piaggio VH-ACV

        Jacques Louis William Ellis was an Australian pilot flying with British airlines, who joined Air Charter Ltd, Perth in June 1963 to ferry Piaggio VH-ACV from England to Perth. Due to misadventures enroute, by the time he reached Perth the company was being wound upo, and in a financial settlement for his services, he acquired VH-ACV.
        In December 1963 Ellis ferried the Piaggio from Perth to Melbourne where charter possibilities were brighter. Basing VH-ACV at Moorabbin Airport, and the grass Tyabb airfield, south of Melbourne, he flew charter work and adopted the name Air Associates Australia.
        Legal action was commenced against McAlpine Aviation at Luton, the British agents from whom VH-ACV was purchased, alleging poor mechanical condition which caused the dramas on the delivery flight to Australia, and on-going corrosion maintenance problems caused by the fire fighting foam at Athens Airport.
       In September 1965 Ellis publicised his proposal that the Commonwealth Aircraft Corporation's Fishermans Bend airfield, on the edge of the city of Melbourne, be developed as a "country air taxi terminal". However DCA and the Victorian Premier Mr.Bolte said the airfield was unsuitable due to its size and surroundings.  Nevertheless, Ellis founded a new company City Centre Air Taxi Service. Ellis claimed DCA harassment in March 1966 over his plans to fly scheduled services between Fishermans Bend airfield and Corowa, Shepparton, Wangaratta, Echuca and Albury. DCA responded that his charter licence did not allow him to operate regular airline services. No doubt Jack Ellis intended to fly these services with his P.166, but in the meantime the legal action was successful and McAlpine Aviation paid compensation and took over ownership of VH-ACV in December 1965, abandoning it in the open at Essendon Airport. To replace the P.166, Ellis purchased a Dove VH-CTS  registered in the name of City Centre Air Taxi Services.
        When DCA finally allowed third-level airline licences under ANR Reg.203 during 1967, City Centre Air Taxi Service was granted a Reg 203 licence in September 1967 but Ellis never operated any services. Instead he concentrated on his popular low-cost Ellis Flying School using Austers at Tyabb and nearby airfields.  In following years, the newspapers covered numerous disputes between Jack Ellis and other training schools and aerodrome owners, including allegations that his Austers had been sabotaged. His other flying schools included Pilot Makers EFTS Pty Ltd at Moorooduc, advertised as "Australia's most experienced flying school, personally operated by Captain Jack Ellis ex RAAF and Ansett".
       
By 1970 Captain Jack was flying DC-3s for Jetairlines of Australia, and ferried two former RAAF Viscounts to USA for resale.

Forrester Stephen Pty Ltd/ Forrester Stephen Aviation/ Forrestair, Essendon Vic:   (VH-FSA, -FSC, -PGA, -PQA, -ASA, -ACV)
  
    Founded by Robert Forrester Stephen who had formerly held a management position with Bristol Aviation Services at Bankstown. He had close involvement with Bristol's Piaggio dealership and sold Patair their first P.166s, promoting the type as an Avro Anson replacement.  He established Forrester Stephen Pty Ltd in Melbourne in 1962 and took over the Piaggio agency from Bristol.
     An announcement on 26 May 1965 reported that Forrester Stephen Pty Ltd had been taken over by H.C.Sleigh Ltd, with Mr. R. F. Stephen as Managing Director.  Forrester Stephen is Australian agent for Piaggio, Canadair, Short Bros & Harland, Pilatus, Aviation Traders Ltd and Grumman military and civil aircraft (except Grumman Agcats, which remained with Aerial Enterprises Ltd in Brisbane).
    Forrester Stephen Pty Ltd were among the first to apply to DCA for thew new Reg 203 commuter airline licences in April 1967, proposing to use P.166s VH-FSA & -FSC on routes Essendon-Bairnsdale, Orbost, Ballarat, Naracoorte, Shepparton, Wangaratta, Wagga & Canberra.  The company took a 50% share in an airline operation proposed by Neil McInnes of Farmair, named Commuter Air Services, later changed to Commuter Airlines. Extensive airline services were operated from Essendon to Victorian centres with P.166s.
    After Commuter Airlines scheduled services were discontinued in December 1969, Forrester Stephen used their P.166s for general charter under the name Forrester Stephen Aviation, Esxsedon. A drogue target-towing contract was gained with the Royal Australian Navy at Westernport firing range.  A winch was installed in cabin and drogue deployed through a hatch in floor.  During 1971/72 the Piaggios were often hired on an ad-hoc basis to Bizjets and Aircab on their Reg.203 passenger services from Essendon.  From February 1973 Bizjets ceased using their own aircraft and hired P.166s VH-FSA & VH-FSC to operate all their services to Portland, Warrnambool and Swan Hill. 
     In February 1973 Robert Stephen of Forrest Stephen Aviation stated in the aviation press that he was considering local retrofit for Australia P.166s to replace the geared and supercharged 340hp Lycoming with a 400hp Lycoming neither geared or suopercharged. This would give an increase in cruising speed and reduce the cost of engine overhauls.   In 1974 Forrester Stephen Pty Ltd sold P.136L VH-BJP to Dolphinair, Townsville (see at end of this listing). In August 1974 Robert Stephen said that there was much interest in amphians in Australia and he could sell four P.136s locally if he could find them, and that he was trying to locate more.
    During 1975 a reorganisation Forrester Stephen Aviation included an expansion from sales and maintenance to the competitive night freight market from Melbourne to Tasmania using DC-3s and a name change to Forresdtair-A Division of H.C.Sleigh Limited.  In August 1976 Forrestair advertised in Asia a fleet of four Piaggio P.166s with spares package and export CofAs. 
    See also Commuter Airlines.

Ray Causer/ General Aviation Air Freighters Pty Ltd, Sydney:  (VH-SMF, BHK, PNC, PND, GOA, FSC)

    Founded by Ray Causer, Sydney, whose aviation activities went back to 1960 when he purchased RAAF disposals CAC Wirraway A20-704, ferrying it from RAAF Mallala to Bankstown and a protracted dispute with DCA which refused  to let it fly as  a civil aircraft.
    By 1969 Causer consolidated his charter flying into a new company General Aviation Air Freighters Pty Ltd, based at Bankstown and began purchasing retired airline P.166s for the company. His ambitious plan to fit modified large freight doors was abandoned after technical difficulties between the maintenance contractor at Bankstown and DCA during the modification of the first aircraft VH-GOA. 
    Although most GAAF work was freight, some Piaggios were also used for passenger charter.  After owning six P.166s, GAAF acquired three other time-expired P.166s at Bankstown as a source of airframe and engine parts. By 1979 the 9 Causer Piaggios were parked in a line on the grass behind hangars at Bankstown Airport.
    The October 1979 issue of Flight International magazine carried an advertisement placed by GAAF: "Piaggio Fleet for Disposal": a total
of nine P.166s: seven P.166, one P166B, one P.166C aircraft and all associated spares total value $500K offered for $215K negotiable,
export CofA at agreed cost.
    Unfortunately the day of the Piaggio had passed, and no sale eventuated.

Motif-Air Air Charter, Melbourne:  (VH-MMP)

    A partner in this small company was Bruce Bretherton, Melbourne who won DFC in RAAF during WWII as a fighter pilot over Yugoslavia and Germany
    VH-MMP received minor damage on 2.3.71 when port undercarriage would not extend for landing Essendon, pilot Bruce Bretherton made an excellent landing on the grass.  At the time he had logged 250 hours on the Piaggio type.

Papuan Air Transport, Pt Moresby:    (VH-PAP/PNC, PAR/PND, PAU)

    Papuan Air Transport Ltd commenced scheduled passenger operations from Port Moresby on 14 May 1958 after flying charter operations in Papua New Guinea since 1952. Renamed Papuan Airlines Pty Ltd in 1965, the company was acquired by Ansett Transport Industries July 1970 and renamed Ansett (Papua & New Guinea) in July 1972.
    8 May 1959 Patair announced it had purchased a Piaggio P.166 at a cost of 39,700, and later ordered a second aircraft for delivery in February 1960. When the first VH-PAP arrived Pt Moresby in 10.59 the company announced it could provide 1,400 hours per year although weather would probably reduce utilisation to 1000 hours per year. The delivery and arrival of their first Piaggio was heavily promoted in PNG by a newspaper campaign
    When first P.166 entered Patair service, the airline was operating a DC-3 and Avro Anson on scheduled services from Port Moresby to Cape Rodney, Milne Bay, Poppendetta, Kokoda, Tapini, Daru, Yule Island, Madang and Trobian Islands.
    By June 1960 VH-PAP had logged over 800 hours and Patair was reportedly very pleased with performance and servicability.
    Patair P.166 VH-PAU went missing near Kokoda Gap on a flight from Popondetta to Port Moresby on 8 March 1961, wreckage not found despite intensive search.  The crash site was finally located 9 years later.
    Interestingly, the aerial search for VH-PAU in March 1961 located a number of previously unrecorded wartime wrecks in the Central Highlands: five USAAF P-47 Thunderbolts, two Japanese Zekes, a USAAF C-47, RAAF Boomerang and RAAF Beaufort. These were spotted from the air during the search and ground patrols sent in to investigate. 
    A February 1963 newspaper report stated that two Patair P.166s had made wheels-up landings, one intentionally by pilot Leon Merter with little damage, and the other by mistake by a pilot who no longer worked for the airline. Neither aircaft suffered serious damage.

Queensland Airlines Ltd, Brisbane:  (VH-PQA)

    Originally founded in 1928 by Captain Ron Adair as Aircrafts Pty Ltd, the name changed to QAL in 1949 when Butler Air Transport purchased a controlling interest. QAL became an Ansett associate in 1958, with an all DC-3 fleet.
    In September 1963 QAL announced the purchase of a P.166B Portofino.  The 9 seater was expected to be delivered in December 1963.  QAL Manager Don Cameron said the cost of this first Portofino was 88,000 and he intended to use three more of the type as "air buses" which he planned to operate a network of services linking country centres now without services or only limited services. These regional services would feed into trunk routes.  In the event, no further P.166s were used and VH-PQA simply replaced QAL DC-3 services on low-yield routes.
    VH-PQA was introduced on 20 January 1964 on low density routes: initially Brisbane-Kingaroy-Gayndah and daily Brisbane-Bundaberg. 
    The Piaggio had only one serious accident with QAL: on 13 July 1965 it made an emergency landing at Brisbane-Eagle Farm Airport with only the nose and port main undercarriage locked down. The starboard gear collapsed on touchdown and the aircraft settled on to the starboard wingtip. It was repaired in the QAL hangar at Brisbane Airport and returned to service. Soon it was flying a morning and evening return service Brisbane-Bundaberg-Rockhampton-Gladstone-Brisbane, also passenger services to Gayndah and freight runs to Dirinbandi. Later operated to Coolangatta and Moree NSW.
    VH-PQA was retired the following year on14 May 1966 following the arrival of a second F27 in April 1966.
    Queensland Airlines Ltd flew its last airline service on 4 December 1966 when it was absorbed into the Ansett-ANA structure. Final service was between Brisbane and Bundaberg, 31 years since services were inaugurated on this route by QAL's predecessor Ron Adair's Aircrafts Pty Ltd on 17 November 1935.

Snowy Mountains Authority, Cooma NSW    (VH-SMF) 

    The Snowy Mountains Hydro-Electric Authority operated DHC-2 Beavers and other types from its private airfield Polo Flat near Cooma NSW.  In August 1963 the authority announced that it had purchased a second-hand P.166 in England for delivery by the end of that year. It had been ordered from Forrester Stephen Pty Ltd, and the aircaft had been previously used by Lord Derby as a private aircraft in England and Europe. It will be used in a 10 seat configuration for communications between small airfields in the Snowy Mountains as well as connections to the capital cities.  
    SMA report: "As the scheme reached the peak of construction activity, the larger capacity of the Piaggio proved most valuable and its performance with heavy loads allowed it to operate regularly into the Khancoban strip."

South Pacific Airways Pty Ltd, Bankstown:  (VH-GOC, GOE, FSA)

    Aviation entrepreneur Gregory R. Board returned home to Australia in 1969 after 15 years of adventures in Middle East and USA. He purchased a house at 178 McCarr's Creek Road, Church Point, which backed on to the shores of Pittwater. The boat jetty was used for the Republic Seabee VH-MJO he purchased in which he commuted to Sydney and Camden Airports.
    The availability of retired airline Piaggio P.166s sparked his initial ventures, purchasing VH-GOE in March 1970 and operating it with extensive survey gear on behalf of Air Research Pty Ltd and later Mineralair, both of Sydney. When the survey work finished, he flew general charter and in 1974 registered the name South Pacific Airways. His three P.166s mostly flew freight. A regular charter was carrying day-old chickens to poultry farms around Australia. The longest regular run was to Perth.
A January 1976 report:  "Regular consignments of day-old breeding chics are being flown to WA in a chartered aircraft to keep pace with long-term plans to supply local markets with broiling fowls.  The latest plane load - 11,000 day-old breeders from NSW - arrived this week on board a twin engined Piaggio aircraft. Another consignment is due early next month. They eventually produce eggs from which the broilers are bred for cooked-chicken farms and supermarkets."  
      In January 1976 South Pacific Airways Pty Ltd advertised for commerical pilots. "Retired airline pilots and older commercial pilots especially invited to apply." 178 McCarr's Creek Road, Church Point.
      The loss of VH-GOC in bad weather on 22 February 1977, destroyed in hills near Marulan NSW carrying 11,000 day-old chics, effectively ended the Piaggio operation.  Greg Board used the South Pacific Airways name for other ventures, including a filming contract with a Grumman Mallard VH-SPL flown from USA by his son Mark, and flown off rivers in Malaysia.

Sovereign Airlines, Melbourne:    (VH-MMP)

    A small General Aviation operation which gained approval to commence Melbourne-Bendigo scheduled services on 4 October 1976, extended to Swan Hill 21 December 1976.  Added Mildura from 10 July 1978 but ceased services December 1982 when routes were taken over by Murray Valley Airlines. 

Tasman Airlines, Essendon   (VH-MMP)

    Founded by John Lyons, Melbourne in mid 73 to operate charter tourist flights to Echuca, Swan Hill, Tasmanian towns and even Barossa Valley SA. A Melbourne-Merimbula scheduled service was announced but did not commence. A charter activity was “Educational Tours for Schools – Special Geography from the air flights and parties”.
    First aircraft was Cessna 402 VH-CKU, then Aero Commander VH-AVC in 12.73
    Hobart Mercury newspaper 26 June 1974 reported on plans for Tasman Airlines to operate a Grumman Goose between Hobart Airport and Wrest Point Casino and Port Arthur. Lyons stated that a Grumman Widgeon would also be purchased. Both would be available for Government use in emergencies. Their Goose N2721A arrived Bankstown 25 October 1974 but did not enter service.
    By March 1975 Tasman were operating Piaggio P.166 VH-MMP which was registered in the name of Daroche Developments Pty Ltd, Toorak, Melbourne. Used on the educational tours, which Lyons later stated in a newpaper promotion “Tasman Airlines has made a marvellous thing out of school geography excursions. It gets more popular every week.”
    Began a scheduled airline service 15 September 1975 with a twice daily Essendon-Ballarat service using Piaggio P.166 VH-MMP named City of Ballarat.  Tasman had previously operated a non-licenced service to Merimbula.
    By December 1975 the operation was referred to as the Tasman Airlines of Australia division of Sovereign Aviation Facilities Pty Ltd.
    In January 1976 VH-MMP was registered to Australian Guarantee Corp Ltd as financiers to Sovereign Aviation Facilities Pty Ltd trading as Tasman Airlines of Australia.

Tennantair Pty Ltd, Tennant Creek NT  (VH-CAC)

    P.166 VH-CAC was registered in June 1976 to Frank B. Ashton, Tennant Creek NT. Operated as Tennantair Pty Ltd.
    Tennantair held a Reg. 203 Licence for scheduled airline services between Tennant Creek and Alice Springs
    In 8.76 Tennantair Pty Ltd advertised for a LAME licensed for Piaggio or equivalent airframe and engine, "to accompany aircraft in bush work."
    However by July 1977 VH-CAC was retired at Bankstown and being advertised for sale.

Zinc Corp, Melbourne/ Conzinc Rio Tinto/ Comalco  (VH-BHK)

    The Zinc Corporation, in association with other Australian mining companies including Broken Hill Pty Ltd. commenced using aircraft in 1938 for executive transportation from their Melbourne HQ to mining sites all over the country. They formed Associates Airlines at Essendon as their private airline, initially using Lockheed 12s, then Twin Pioneers, Heron and Gulfstream 1s.  Associated Airlines used the registration sedries VH-BH in recognition of the prime shareholder Broken Hill Pty Ltd.  In 1960 Zinc Corp purchased Piaggio VH-BHK as a new aircraft for 67,155.  Associated Airlines operated the P.166 when it arrived in Australia in December 1960, mainly for Hammersley Iron in the Pilbara region of WA and then Bougainville Copper in the northern Solomon Islands
    In 1964 VH-BHK changed ownership to Commonwealth Aluminium Corp (Comalco) was based at Cairns Qld flying personnel to the Weipa mine on Cape York Pensinular.
    Ron Entsch, former Board member of Bush Pilots Airways, Cairns later wrote: “We serviced the Piaggio that was used by Enterprise Exploration to commute between Cairns and Weipa.  Enterprise Exploration was an early Comalco company. The Piaggio replaced their Twin Pioneer and was flown by their chief pilot Peter McLeod who later did a short stint on the Bushies board. When Enterprise Exploration began work in far north Queensland, they had a Bushies Auster on charter to them for exploring bauxite deposits and laying down survey lines in the Weipa area.” 
    VH-BHK was advertised for sale by Comalco in September 1977 "due purchase of new company aircraft, we have available for immediate sale as is/ where is at Cairns."  The Piaggio had logged 11,154 hours and major components approaching time-expired, as reflected by the low price being asked $20K. In fact it made a ferry flight to Sydney where it was grounded as a spare parts source.

*                                *                               *                         *                           *                          *                             *


AUSTRALIAN PIAGGIO P.136L

A single P.136L amphibian arrived in Australia in 1972


Piaggio P.136L VH-BJP at Essendon Airport, Melbourne in April 1973.                 Photo by Roger McDonald


                   PIAGGIO P.136L-2    c/n 243                                                                                                      VH-BJP  

Built at Finale Ligure, Italy by Societa per Azioni Piaggio. Production P.136L-2 model
28.11.60
Registered VR-HFP: Macau Air Transport (Hong Kong) Ltd, Hong Kong

Founded in 1946, Macau Air Transport flew PBY-5 Catalinas on scheduled services from Hong Kong to Macau and Canton, often carrying consignments of gold. The service declined in the late 1960s after fast hydrofoils and hovercraft began on the water crossing.
12.8.61
noted at Hong Kong-Kai Tak, "Macau Air Transport Co" titles
1.64
Change of owner's name: Macau Airtransport (HK) Co Ltd
.67
Gift to Portuguese Timor Government from the Government of Macau
21.10.67
Struck-off Hong Kong Register as exported to Portuguese Timor
10.67
Registered CR-TAM:  Transportes Aereos De Timor, Dili, Portuguese Timor

TAT operated two Doves CR-TAG & CR-TAH on services within Timor. TAT had flown a Timor-Darwin service with Heron CR-TAI until it crashed at sea 26 January 1960 with loss of nine on board.  Trans-Australia Airlines took over the route on a contract basis using Fokker F.27s.

.72
William Jane of Melbourne requestred Piaggio agents Forrester Stephen Pty Ltd to locate him a Piaggio P.136L amphibian in good order.  William was brother of racing car champion Bob Jane
13.4.72
CR-TAM arrived Darwin from Timor on delivery to Melbourne
20.4.72
Arrived Melbourne-Essendon. All metallic, registration CR-TAM in black
7.72
CR-TAM parked at Essendon unmoved all month.
Probably while DCA First-of-Type certification was being negotiated
29.7.72
noted at Essendon, now repainted as VH-BJP
27.9.72
Added to Civil Register VH-BJP: William D. Jane, Melbourne Vic
18.2.73
Minor damage to hull due heavy landing on water, Port Phillip Bay, Melbourne Vic
19.11.73
Struck-off Register at owner’s request
12.73
advertised for sale by Forrester Stephen Aviation, Essendon: currently undergoing a major overhaul, five seater
2.74
advertised for sale by Forrester Stephen Aviation, Essendon: total time 1600 hours, currently              undergoing major overhaul and fitting for 7 passengers, cleared for water landings
20.3.74
noted at Essendon
28.3.74
Change of ownership: Forrester Stephen Pty Ltd, Essendon Vic
.74
Leased to Hinchinbrook Air Services, Ingham Qld.  Flew charters from Ingham
28.8.74
Change of ownership: Dolphin Air Pty Ltd, Townsville Qld
8.74
Report: Piaggio P.136 has been acquired by Dolphin Air of Townsville to fly tourists to a new holiday resort on Hinchinbrook Island. Seats pilot and 5 passengers. Forrester Stephen Pty Ltd, Essendon made the deal. Dolphin Air Pty Ltd was recently formed by two ex RAAF men
Peter Rundle and Bill Kiernan. Mr. Rundle is managing director of Rundle Air Service, a                  combined flying school and charter firm at Townsville Airport.  Mr. Kiernan operates and is chief pilot for Flying Associates Pty Ltd, running charter services in western Queensland.
8.74
VH-BJP was ferried Essendon to Townsville by Captain Peter Gibbes, Operations Manager             of Ansett Airlines of Australia. He carried out endorsement training for Dolphinair pilots
9.74
Report: a new flying boat service will commence in November 1974 when Dolphinair Pty Ltd will start flying a 5 passenger P.136 between Townsville and Hinchinbrook Island, 160 km north. It will carry holiday makers to the new resort at Cape Richards which will also open in November.  It will connect at Townsville with Ansett Airlines of Australia services. The Piaggio will operate four days each week into a bay on the sheltered side of Hinchinbrook island.
19.10.74
Overturned landing on water off the beach at Cape Richards at Hinchinbrook Island.              The amphibian was on its unaugural commercial service from Townsville. Pilot Barry Dawson          of Townsville and 5 passenger received only minor injuries amd were picked up by boats from the island.
10.74
salvaged by underwater divers club members from Townsville: the aircraft was turned over               underwater then the landing wheels were manually extended by manipulating the handle inside the cockpit, leaving the aircraft sitting on its wheels in shallow water.  Later towed up on to the beach at Cape Richard.
11.74
Wreck acquired by Sid Beck, Condon, Upper Ross, Townsville, who had an aircraft collection on his farm property
18.11.74
Struck-off Register
90
By now stored dismantled in shed at Beck’s Military Museum, Mareeba QLD.
Several years earlier Sid Beck had moved all his aircraft, WWII crash parts and aero engines collection from Townsville to a farm property close to Mareeba Airport. A large igloo hangar had  been built to display the collection. However the Piaggio P.136 and other damaged aircraft was stored dismantled in farm sheds
6.98
VH-BJP noted in a shed at Beck’s Military Museum, Mareeba QLD: blue & white fuselage standing on its wheels: damage unrepaired since its salvage from the sea. Unchanged by 3.03, 2.11
13
Beck’s Military Museum had closed at Mareeba.

Fate of P.136 unknown


Piaggio P.136L CR-TAM at Essendon on 21 April 1972, the day after it arrived on delivery from Portuguese Timor.
All over metallic finish with registration in black.                                                      Photo by Peter Kelly

Resplendent in white and blue as VH-BJP at Essendon during 1973.                         Geoff Goodall collection



References:
-Australian Civil Aircraft Register: Department of Civil Aviation and its successors
-Annual Survey of Aircraft Accidents, 1956-1966, Department of Civil Aviation
-National Archives of Australia, Melbourne: DCA Head aircraft files
-National Archives of Australia, Sydney: DCA NSW Region files – extracted by Chris O’Neil
-National Archives of Australia, Perth: DCA WA Region files on aircraft and operators
-British Civil Register database website: g-info
-Air Britain News and Air Britain Digest : monthly, 1959 onwards
-Aviation Historical Society of Australia: Journal, 1960 onwards
-Aviation Historical Society of New Zealand: Journal, 1969-1970: Australian P.166s in NZ
-South Pacific Islands Historical Society, Alan Bovelt: PNG registers and fleets 1968-1980
-Patair-Papuan Airlines, Roger McDonald, AHSA Aviation Heritage Vol.33 No.3 September 2002
-Some impressions of aviation in the Territories of Papua and New Guinea, Trevor W. Boughton, AHSA Journal February 1963
-NSW Air Log, monthly, 1964
-Southern Aeronotes, John Hopton, monthly, 1964
-Australian Air Log, monthly, 1965-1968
-Western Airletter, Geoff Goodall, bi-monthly, 1974-1983
-Essendon Newsletter, Gordon Reid, bi-monthly 1966-1974
-SA Air Journal, West Beach Aviation Group, bi-monthly 1963 to date
-Airlines & Aircraft of the Ansett Group 1921-2002, Fred Niven, CD Edition 9
-Queensland Air Museum website, webmaster Ron Cuskelly
- Civil Aviation Historical Society website, webmaster Phil Vabre
- British Civil Aircraft Since 1919, A. J. Jackson, Putnam, Volume 3, 1974
- Airport of the Nine Dragons – Kai Tak, Kowloon, Cpt. Charles Eather, ChingChic Publishers 1996
- Taking Off, Pioneering Airlines of NZ 1945-1970, Richard J. Waugh and associates, 2003
- Flying Nurse, Robin Miller, Rigby Ltd, Sydney 1971
- Airmen I Have Met, Derrick Rolland, self-published, 1999: Neil McInnes

And most importantly:
- Roger McDonald’s records and research on P.166 operations and his contact with owners
- P166 information and sighting reports from fellow Australian enthusiasts: Gordon Reid, Chris O'Neill, Ron Cuskelly, Tony Arbon,
Nigel Daw, Fred Niven,  Dave Prossor, Bob Livingstone, Paul Howard, Dave Eyre

Back to the Australian Aviation Menu