Last update 27 October 2019
SCOTTISH AVIATION TWIN PIONEER IN AUSTRALIA

Compiled by Geoff Goodall

The first Twin Pioneer in Australia, VH-BHJ "Yampi Pioneer" at Koolan Island in Yampi Sound north of Derby WA in 1960.
Photo taken by its pilot Joe Salfass, courtesy Ben Dannecker collection

                 Scottish Aviation Ltd was an established heavy aircraft maintenance and charter operation at Prestwick Airport near Glasgow.
The company entered the aircraft manufacturing business at the end of World War II with the single-engined all-metal Scottish Aviation Prestwick Pioneer, designed to an Air Ministry specification for a utility transport capable of operating from short airstrips. The prototype flew in 1947 and a production model with a 520hp Alvis Leonides radial was ordered by RAF and achieved success in casualty evacuation from small jungle clearings during the Malayan campaign. Total production at Prestwick was 59 aircraft for RAF, Royal Malayan Air Force, Royal Ceylon Air Force and civil customers.  The Prestwick Pioneer, later redesignated Pioneer 1 was Britain's first STOL transport.
             
           Royal Ceylon Air Force Pioneer 1. The crew member gives an indication of its size.
Dave Welch collection

            Scottish Aviation Ltd began design work in 1954 on a larger twin-engined STOL transport incorporating many of the well-proven features of the Pioneer 1. The prototype Scottish Aviation Twin Pioneer first flew at Prestwick in June 1955 and made its debut at that year's Farnborough Air Show. It was a large all-metal high wing aircraft with generous cabin for bulky loads or seating for 14 passengers, powered by two reliable 560hp Alvis Leonidess. The wing with leading edge slats and Fowler flaps, the wide undercarriage and triple tail surfaces combined to give an imressive STOL performance.
            Early strong interest from civil and military customers resulted in Scottish Aviation planning a production line for 200 Twin Pioneers. The company  invested in a world-wide sales program, sending demonstrator Twin Pioneers to the Swiss ski fields, Africa, Central and South America, Italy and a long tour by G-AOEP through India and South East Asia to Australia. 
            Different models of Alvis Leonides engines were fitted to later production aircraft and the Twin Pioneer Series 2 had P&W R-1340 Wasps. A total of 87 Twin Pioneers were built, including 39 for RAF and 12  for Royal Malayan Air Force (later Royal Malaysian Air Force)
           
Australian mining support
            The 1957 Australian sales tour by Twin Pioneer G-AOEP resulted in its sale while in Australia to the Consolidated Zinc group to become VH-BHJ. It was initially based at Cairns Queensland to support surveying for aluminium on Cape York Peninsula and the construction of the large mining operation at Weipa. Later it was transferred to associate company Australian Iron And Steel to provide a company courier service for staff and supplies between Derby WA and the AIS iron ore mines on Cockatoo Island and Koolan Island. After being wrecked in a cyclone, it was replaced at Derby by another Twin Pioneer VH-AIS which flew the courier service for nine years. 
A total of six Twin Pioneers were to come to Australia, of two models:
Series 1:  two 560hp Alvis Leonides 514 radials
Series 3:  two 640hp Alvis Leonides 531 radials

Twin Pioneer Operations Manual cover.
Courtesy Ian McDonell

A new career in aerial survey
           During the 1960s Aerial Agriculture Pty Ltd, Sydney grew to become Australia's largest aerial agricultural operator with a large fleet of DHC-2 Beavers based in NSW, Victoria and SA. However late that decade agricultural demand had dropped signifcantly and company founder and Managing Director Tom Watson had diversified into aerial survey. His Beavers were modified for magnetometer mineral survey work and flown for customers such as McPhar Geophysics and Canadian Aero Service. This led to a contract with the long-established US company Aero Service Corp, Philadelphia which conducted aerial mapping and geophysical surveys worldwide and had previously operated in Australia: nsee http://www.goodall.com.au/australian-aviation/dh98/civilmosquito.html.

          Aerial Agriculture Pty Ltd registered a new associate company Aero Service (Australia) Pty Ltd and the Twin Pioneer VH-AIS was put to work on mineral, oil and other geophysical survey work across Australia. By 1974 a new company Aero Exploration Pty Ltd, Sydney took over operation of VH-AIS.
           Geophysical survey specialist Doug Morrison gives an insider's view of early Twin Pioneer survey days:
"There was a joint venture between Aero Service Corp and Tom Watson of Aerial Agriculture. The Aero Service component was run by Dick Lambert, formerly with Aero Service Philadelphia who married an Australian girl he met in Western Australia when working with World Wide's Mosquito surveys. Dick hired me into the business in February 1972.  John Edwards was pilot for VH-AIS, later becoming chief pilot for Geoterrex on their Catalina EXG and CASA 212. Dave Bland also flew AIS  for a while.
 
When Geophysical Resources Company (GRD Co) went into receivership in 1972 the receiver sold their Islander VH-FLE fully fitted out for survey to Tom Watson. Although Tom didn't use it for survey work, most of the survey gear was installed in the Twin Pioneer, including the VLF electromagnetic system which had its two component antenna fitted on the nose boom.
The VLF system was a proven system overseas but didn't work well across much of Australia -  the instrument measured the vertical and horizontal components of a very low frequency radio signal as generated by VLF radio stations like NorthWest Cape at Exmouth WA. These long wave radio waves (somewhere below 30kHz) spreading around the earth travelled through the air and sea (for communications with submarines) and below the ground to a depth of about 100 metres.  The instrument's twin antennas on the nose boom measured the changes in component signal changes (in phase/out phase) as the wave travelled through the ground, in theory speeding up as it travelled through mineral deposits or groundwater.  However VLF EM doesn't work so well in Australia because of the general conductive nature of much of the rocks and soil on and near the earth's surface. Just about everything flown over in this country generates a phase shift that masks any real buried conductors. It does work well in areas where there is no near surface interference e.g., glaciated areas in Canada etc."

VH-AIS with VLF survey nose probe antenna, Bankstown September 1971.            Photo by Ron Cuskelly

Aerial Agriculture Pty Ltd imports four Twin Pioneers from Malaysia
        Aerial Agriculture's Tom Watson had made a good choice in acquiring the Twin Pioneer VH-AIS for geophysical survey work. It was a stable platform for the latest mineral and oil search technology with plenty of room in the cabin for equipment, unlike modern GA aircraft types used by most competitors.  Watson had seen advertisements in aviation magazines for retired Twin Pioneers being offered for disposal by the Royal Malaysian Air Force. They were not in good condition, having been retired for varying periods and some exposed to the tropical weather for years. His bid for four aircraft at a very low purchase price was accepted in 1972 and an Aerial Agricuture maintenance team was sent to Kuala Lumpur to prepare them for ferry flights to Australia.  Their experience working on the company's hard-worked agricultural Beavers allowed them to effectively overhaul each Twin Pioneer, in arduous working conditions in the open Malaysian weather.


This poor picture shows the conditions in Malaysia under which Aerial Agriculture maintenance staff prepared
the four retired RMAF Twin Pioneers for their ferry flights to Australia.


All four were safely delivered to Bankstown Airport, Sydney during 1972-73.              Photo by John S. White
          
              At Bankstown the first Malaysian Twin Pioneer went into Aerial Agriculture's hangar for Australian certification overhaul and fitting out for geophysical survey work. By the time it was rolled out as VH-EVA, repainted in the company's 1970s standard dark blue and white scheme used by its Beaver fleet, prospects for survey contracts in Australia had slumped.  However  interest from North America resulted in Aerial Agriculture deciding to send it to USA where it was believed it would be leased or sold for survey work. A difficult ferry flight across the central Pacific Ocean and up the Aleutian islands chain culminated in a dispute with US Customs when transiting Anchorage Alaska, resulting in the aircraft and its valuable survey gear being impounded. After a frustrating three year legal appeal, it was released but was never flown commercially.
              The remaining three Malaysian Twin Pioneers were left parked on the grass at Bankstown for the next ten years. VH-AIS continued on survey contracts until 1979 when it joined them on the grass adjacent to the Aerial Agriculture hangar. In 1984 Tom Watson and his pilots agreed to a reorganisation in which the company's assets and aircraft were sold to the pilots to allow them to form their own small specialist operations in preferred regions. The Bankstown maintenance hangar continued under new management.

A late resurgence in tourism
           After languishing on the grass at Bankstown for many years, the three remaining Malaysian Twin Pioneers were acquired by Mr. Ralph Clark of Clark Film Services and Ventura Trading Co. He saw their roomy cabins and high wings as perfect for a new scenic flight venture named Capricorn Air at the Queensland tourist meccas Gold Coast and Sunshine Coast.   
          VH-EVB was made airworthy fitted with 11 passenger seats, air-conditioned cabin, drinks bar, bubble windows for scenic viewing and repainted in a bright scheme with the clever name Double Scotch on the nose. The other two Malaysian aircraft were used only for engines  and parts. In 1993 Capricorn Air added the ex-survey Twin Pioneer VH-AIS which had been stored with former Aerial Agriculture Beavers in a hangar at Deniliquin NSW. It was fitted out for sight-seeing and delivered to Queensland.
           During 1997 Capricorn Air's two aircraft changed ownership to Sherwell Aviation at Coolangatta Qld. Ray Sherwell continued the tourist operation under the name TwinPionAir. VH-AIS was given a cabin upgrade with comfortable seats previously in a Compass Airways Airbus A300.  But by 2002 both Twin Pioneers were retired and advertised for sale "including spare engines and 3 truck loads of spares". Both were eventually sold, but only VH-EVB was made airworthy again by its enthusiastic Sydney owner Sy Allsep. Following his death the subsequent owner Richard Thompson re-registered it VH-SYS in tribute to Allsep. A great effort has kept this last Australian Twin Pioneer flying, based at Wedderburn airfield near Liverpool in outer Sydney.

Australian Twin Pioneers in order of appearance on the Civil Register:

              Twin Pioneer Series 1  c/n 504        Yampi Pioneer                                                                   VH-BHJ
.56
Built at Prestwick Airport, Scotland by Scottish Aviation Ltd.
1.10.55
Registered G-AOEP Scottish Aviation Ltd., Prestwick Airport
27.12.56
First flight Prestwick
3.1.57
British CofA issued
4.1.57
Departed Prestwick on a demonstration tour to Middle East, Far East and Australia under the command of Captain Roy Smith. He was quoted in the press saying he hoped to sell the aircraft during the tour.
4.5.57
Australian press release by The Zinc Corporation group:
 "A Twin Pioneer aircraft will be purchased by Consolidated Zinc group, for survey work in the aluminium field on Cape York Peninsular in Queensland. The plane is especially designed for this type of work: its chief assets are an ability to fly so slowly as to almost hover, and to land "on a postage stamp"."
17.7.57
Registered VH-BHJ The Zinc Corp Ltd, Melbourne Vic

The VH-BH registration series was used by Broken Hill Pty (BHP) and its group of associated mining companies. Executive transport was provided by the group-owned Associated Airlines, Melbourne.

Operated in Tasmania and Netherlands New Guinea
.57
From late 1957 based at Cairns Qld for operations connected with the Weipa bauxite mine established by Comalco.
1.2.60
Ownership transferred to associate company Australian Iron & Steel Pty Ltd, Melbourne Vic
2.60
Ferried from Cairns to Derby WA where it was based to service AIS iron ore mines on Koolan Island and Cockatoo Island in Yampi Sound, 100 miles north of Derby. Aircraft was named Yampi Pioneer.
11.60
Major inspection and CofA renewal by MMA at Perth Airport
23.12.60
Wrecked by cyclone while tied down at Koolan Island WA


G-AOEP at Melbourne-Moorabbin during the 1957 Australian demonstration tour.      Photo by Alan Carter


Melbourne-Essendon 19 April 1958. VH-BHJ taxies away from BHP's Associated Airlines terminal.
Photo by John Hopton


VH-BHJ at Cairns August 1959.                                                             Maurice Austin collection


VH-BHJ wrecked by a cyclone while tied down on Koolan Island WA on 23 December 1960.
Photo by its pilot Joe Salfass via Ben Dannecker collection


              Twin Pioneer Series 1 to Series 3  c/n 540        Yampi Pioneer                                             VH-AIS  
.58
Built at Prestwick Airport, Scotland by Scottish Aviation Ltd. Production Twin Pioneer Series 1
29.9.58
Registered G-APPH  Scottish Aviation Ltd, Prestwick Airport, Scotland
6.11.58
First flight Prestwick
7.11.58
CofA issued
11.11.58
Departed Southend on delivery to Iraq on lease to Iraq Petroleum Transport Co Ltd, Basra, Iraq
5.5.59
G-APPH visited Bahrain 5.5.59 Iraq Petroleum Co; also on 22.7.59
.60
Returned to Scottish Aviation Ltd after lease in iraq
6.60
Rebuild at Prestwick by SAL as Twin Pioneer Series 3
15.7.60
visited Belfast, Scottish Aviation name Elipadana
9.60
Demonstrated at Farnborough Air Show, painted with "Scottish Aviation" titles
1.61
Sold to Australian Iron & Steel Pty Ltd to replace VH-BHJ wrecked by cyclone Koolan island WA 12.60
23.2.61
G-APPH departed Prestwick on delivery to Australia, "Scottish Aviation" titles. Demonstrations were to be conducted in India en route.  Crew was Captain J. Blair, engineer W. Clark both of Scottish Aviation, plus engine engineer N.Philp from Alvis Engine Co.  
27.3.61
Arrived Darwin, flew to Derby WA next day. Operated initially on its British CofA
61
AIS crew at Derby was Captain Joe Salfuss and engineer K.Fox, operating regular flights between Derby, Koolan Island, Cockatoo Island carrying personnel and supplies.
4.4.61
G-APPH arrived Perth for Australian certification inspection by MacRobertson Miller Airlines
4.5.61
Australian CofA issued Perth. Registered VH-AIS Australian Iron & Steel Pty Ltd, Melbourne Vic
61-69
Based Derby WA to support AIS iron ore mines on Koolan Island and Cockatoo Island in Yampi Sound, 100 miles north of Derby. Aircraft given the same name as its predecessor Yampi Pioneer.
7.5.66
noted at Sydney-Bankstown outside Hawker De Havilland's maintenance hangar following a major overhaul and repaint white and grey with red trim
1.69
MMA introduced a DHC-6 Twin Otter VH-MMY at Derby to replace DC-3s on scheduled services through the Kimberley region of northern WA. The Twin Otter took over the Twin Pioneer's operations on a charter contract with Australian Iron & Steel.
3.5.69
Struck-off Civil Register, withdrawn from service in hangar at Derby WA.
1.70
Sold to Ian McRostie, Mebourne reportedly planned to be used for parachuting operations
1.2.70
Arrived Essendon Vic after ferry flight from Derby WA. Inspection for CofA renewal began by Forrester Stephen Aviation
9.12.70
Restored to Civil Register: Ian McRostie, Mebourne Vic
15.12.70
First flight Essendon after extended overhaul, ferried to Moorabbin same day to take up residence
1.71
VH-AIS noted at Moorabbin parked outside with For Sale sign; same 29.3.71 
4.4.71
visited airshow Whittlesea Vic
.71
Sold to Aerial Agriculture Pty Ltd, Sydney.
9.71
Ferried Moorabbin to Bankstown Airport, Sydney where Aerial Agriculture began engineering work to install magnetometer equipment in the cabin, a sensor boom between the vertical tailplanes and a nose probe. Decca navigation system was also installed.
25.10.71
Civil Register change of ownership: Aerial Agriculture Pty Ltd, Sydney-Bankstown NSW

Operated on aerial mineral survey
13.2.73
visited Essendon, “Aero Service (Australia) Pty Ltd” on fuselage, magnetometer boom from tailplane.
Retained the same paint scheme grey and white with red trim, but the name on the nose “Yampi Pioneer” was now just "Pioneer".            
7.73
based Broome WA on survey “Aero Service (Australia) Pty Ltd” on fuselage. Pilot was John Edwards who became Chief Pilot for Geoterrex on their Catalina VH-EXG, CASA 212 VH-TEM and other types.
23.7.74
noted at Bankstown parked on grass adjacent to Aerial Agriculture hangar
11.1.75
noted at Bankstown repainted blue and white with “Aero Exploration Pty Ltd” on fuselage, also 29.8.75
27.10.78
noted Parafield SA same blue & white scheme “Aero Exploration Pty Ltd” titles
15.11.79
Damaged during windstorm Bankstown when struck by Twin Pioneer 9M-ARU parked alongside
79-88
Retired parked on grass at Bankstown, later ferried to Deniliquin NSW for storage
90-93
Retired at Deniliquin NSW, stored in hangar with other Aerial Agriculture group ag aircraft
.93
Change of ownership: Peter Flanagan trading as Capricorn Air, Coolangatta Qld
.93
Ferried Deniliquin-Bankstown for overhaul, passenger seating installation and repaint into Capricorn Air's tropical tourist scheme
21.11.94
Nominal change of ownership: QM Properties, Brisbane Qld
94
VH-AIS & VH-EVB based Coolangatta, Capricorn Air tourist sightseeing flights along beaches and to islands. Both have 16 passenger seats
23.4.95
VH-AIS visited airshow Cowra NSW, same blue & white scheme,  no titles
5.5.96
Change of ownership: South Sea Air
.97
Change of ownership: Ray Sherwell/ Sherwell Aviation trading as Pion-Air, Coolangatta Qld
27.1.98
Testflown Coolangatta after overhaul and cabin refit with Airbus A300 seats ex Compass Airlines, repainted in tropical scheme as "Twin PionAir"
18.2.00
Change of nominal ownership: Sherwell Holdings Pty Ltd, Talla Qld

Continued to operate from Coolanagatta as Twin PionAir on tourist sight-seeing flights.
2.03
Advertised for sale: two Twin Pioneers VH-AIS TT 7760 and VH-EVB (under maintenance TT3543) plus spare engines and 3 truck loads of spares
20.7.03
VH-AIS visited airshow Bunbaberg Qld, “PionAir” titles, palm trees paint scheme
6.9.03
noted at Archerfield, “PionAir” titles, palm trees paint scheme
8.05
noted at Coolangatta, cabin seating removed, reportedly soon to be ferried to Bradbury Qld for storage
06--07
VH-AIS & VH-EVB retired at Bradbury Qld parked awaiting sale by Brett Sherwell following the death of Ray Sherwell
17.9.06
Both failed to sell at auction.
.07
Martin Slater of Air Atlantic Classic Flight, Conventry, England visited Coolangatta to negotiate the purchase of the advertised spares stock. The seller required VH-AIS & VH-EVB must be included in any deal, so Air Atlantic Classic Flight purchased both aircraft as well as the spares stock.
The announced plan was for VH-AIS to remain flying in Queensland with Air Atlantic as part-owner and a new owner found in Australia for VH-EVB. 
28.5.07
Change of ownership: Aviation Heritage Ltd trading as Air Atlantic Classic Flight, Conventry, England
12.11.18
Change of ownership: Anthony R.W.Hannam, Montville Qld
4.19
 Parked at airfield Coominya Qld pending maintence there to return to airworthy         


G-APPH on arrival at Derby WA in March 1961 after the delivery flight from Scotland.
Photo by Joe Salfass via John Hopton Collecton


Two months later as VH-AIS "Yampi Pioneer" at Perth Airport after Australian certification inspection by MMA.
Ben Dannecker collection


VH-AIS flying near Derby WA early 1960s, photographed from a Cessna by its usual pilot Joe Salfass.
Ben Dannecker collection


Sydney-Bankstown May 1966, after a major overhaul and repaint by Hawker DeHavilland Australia.
Photo by Kevin Kerle via Ben Dannecker collection


VH-AIS in the AIS hangar at Derby Airport WA in March 1967. This was its home base for 9 years.   
Photo by Lindsay Nothrop


Melbourne-Essendon February 1973, now operated on geophysical survey for Aero Service (Australia) Pty Ltd.
Photo by Gordon Reid


Bankstown October 1975 now repainted in Aerial Agriculture's standard Beaver fleet blue and white,
with new operator's name Aero Exploration Py Ltd.                                 Photo by Mike Vincent


Retired parked on the grass at Bankstown in July 1987.                            Photo by Tony Arbon


Brisbane Airport in October 1994 while with Capricorn Air.                                      Photo by Peter Gates


In Twin PionAir's colourful paint scheme, flying joyrides at a Bundaberg Qld airshow in July 2003.
Photo by Phil Vabre


VH-AIS in weather-faded paintwork, stored at Coominya Qld in April 2019.          Photo by Ian McDonell


              Twin Pioneer Series 3 c/n 582                                                                       VH-EVA, N48207, C-GNIS
63
Built at Prestwick Airport, Scotland by Scottish Aviation Ltd. Production Twin Pioneer Series 3

Built to Royal Federation of Malaya Air Force order for 14 Twin Pioneer Series 3s
26.6.63
First flight Prestwick
6.63
Taken on charge as FM1071 Royal Federation of Malaya Air Force, renamed Royal Malaysian Air Force
30.6.63
FM1071 departed Prestwick on delivery flight to Malaya
 by 70
Retired at Kuala Lumpur, parked pending disposal
.72
Four RMAF Twin Pioneers purchased by Aerial Agriculture Pty Ltd, Sydney-Bankstown NSW
10.72
Registered 9M-ARS for test flying and ferry to Australia
7.11.72
9M-ARS ferried via Singapore-Seletar on delivery to Australia
2.12.72
Arrived Sydney-Bankstown
72-75
Parked on grass at Bankstown

Australian registrations VH-EVA, EVB, EVC & EVD allocated to the four Aerial Agriculture Twin Pioneers. VH-EVA was reserved for c/n 582.
28.9.74
9M-ARS noted Bankstown parked on grass complete but RMAF paintwork affected by weather exposure.
SAL plate in cockpit quoted c/n TP-582. Also parked were 9M-ART, 9M-ARU, 9M-ASB
18.4.75
VH-EVA noted Bankstown, at Aerial Agriculture hangar, freshly painted in the blue and white scheme used on the company's Beavers.
1.5.75
Registered VH-EVA Aerial Agriculture Pty Ltd, Sydney-Bankstown NSW
5.75
To be operated by associate company Aviation Industries of Australia Pty Ltd, Sydney
13.6.75
Struck-off Australian Register as sold to USA
21.6.75
Registered N48207 Murrayair Aviation
11.8.75
Departed Bankstown on delivery flight to USA. Due range limitations routed via Noumea, Port Vila, Majuro, Midway Island, Adak, Anchorage Alaska.
Ferry flight encountered severe icing en route, because aircraft not fitted with any de-icing equipment, it had to be flown just above the ocean for lengthy periods.
8.75
On arrival Anchorage Alaska, US Customs disputed the declared aircraft value and levied Import Duty 10 times higher. When payment was refused, US Customs impounded the aircraft at Anchorage-Merrill Field. 

Internal cable from US Customs Anchorage 5 September 1975 (via Wikileaks)
THOMAS J. WATSON, GENERAL MANAGER, AERIAL AGRICULTURE PTY. LTD., HANGAR 17, BANKSTOWN AIRPORT NSW AUSTRALIA COMPLAINED RE SEIZURE AND PLACING IN BOND OF AN AIRCRAFT AT ANCHORAGE ON ARRIVAL THERE FROM
SYDNEY.

WATSON STATES US CUSTOMS AUTHORITIES SEIZED A SCOTTISH AVIATION TWIN PIONEER AIRCRAFT SERIAL 582, US REGISTRATION N48207, BEING EXPORTED FROM AUSTRALIA TO US FOR DEMONSTRATION AND IN CONTEMPLATION OF SALE TO US OR CANADIAN COMPANY.  CUSTOMS ALLEGED AERIAL AGRICULTURE MADE A FALSE DECLARATION OF AIRCRAFT'S VALUE AND HAS DEMANDED PAYMENT
OF US DOLLARS 40,000 AS A DEPOSIT TO ENABLE AIRCRAFT TO BE RELEASED.

AERIAL AGRICULTURE DENIES FALSE INFORMATION WAS SUPPLIED AND HAS
DOCUMENTS SHOWING PURCHASE OF AIRCRAFT FROM ROYAL MALAYSIAN
AIR FORCE IN 1972 AT PRICE OF US DOLLARS 2553 AND WAS IMPORTED INTO AUSTRALIA AT THAT VALUATION. IT CLAIMS VALUATION FOR US IMPORTATION OF US DOLLARS 5000 WAS REASONABLE VALUATION.   
.75
When a court hearing was filed by Aerial Agriculture Pty Ltd against US Customs, the aircraft was released on condition it was exported from USA. It was flown to Smithers BC. 

After 3 years of delays with the filed court hearing, Tom Watson was advised that under US law, he could not be awarded damages for the actions of US Customs.  He attempted to sell the airworthy aircraft to a Canadian freight operator at Prince Rupert BC but despite lengthy negotiations, it was never granted a Canadian CofA and the sale fell through.
7.8.80
Struck-off US Register as sold to Canada: US Register owner Jack Anderson, Prince Rupert BC Canada
.81
Canadian registration reserved C-GNIS Jack Anderson trading as North Coast Air Services Ltd,
Prince Rupert BC


C-GNIS was ferried from Smithers to Woodcock Airport, Cedarvale BC for storage pending issue of Canadian CofA. That was its last flight. Airframe total time 2,104 hours

Canadian DoT would not issue a CofA because Canadian type certification was for Pioneer Series 1. Canadian sale cancelled, ownership reverted to Aerial Agriculture.

While parked at remote Woodock Airport, the Twin Pioneer was broken into and parts stolen: long-range fuel tanks in the cabin, cabin door, flight and navigation instruments, pilots seat, inertia reels, seat belts. Vandalism occurred, including shotgun shells fired at the aircraft.
6.91
noted at Woodcock as stripped hulk, windscreens smashed, rudders slashed.
4.97
Tom Watson, Sydney sold the aircraft for a token price to Jim Patterson/ Quesnel Heritage Aircraft Association, Quesnel BC  
.98
It was planned to move aircraft by road to Quesnel, but road transport restrictions forced a move instead to Terrace BC where its restoration for display would be supervised by Hawkair Aviation.

No recent reports


9M-ARS at Bankstown December 1972 a few days after its arrival from Malaysia.     Photo by Chris O'Neill


N48207 outside Aerial Agriculture's hangar at Bankstown August 1975 just before departure to USA.
Photo by David Carter


Anchorage-Merrill Field Alaska in February 1977, windows taped over while impounded by US Customs.
Ben Dannecker collection


C-GNIS parked in the weather at Woodcock BC in 1990s after it was unable to obtain a Canadian CofA.
The cabin door has been stolen and windows smashed by vandals.


             Twin Pioneer Series 3 c/n 586         Double Scotch                                                   VH-EVB, VH-SYS
62
Built at Prestwick Airport, Scotland by Scottish Aviation Ltd. Production Twin Pioneer Series 3

Built to Royal Federation of Malaya Air Force order for 14 Twin Pioneer Series 3s
1.3.62
First flight Prestwick
28.5.62
Delivered as FM1066 Royal Federation of Malaya Air Force, renamed Royal Malaysian Air Force
 by 70
Retired at Kuala Lumpur, parked pending disposal
.72
Four RMAF Twin Pioneers purchased by Aerial Agriculture Pty Ltd, Sydney-Bankstown NSW
12.72
Registered 9M-ART for test flying and ferry to Australia
2.73
Arrived Sydney-Bankstown on delivery flight from Malaysia

Open storage parked on grass at Bankstown
27.3.74
Twin Pioneers 9M-ART, 9M-ARU & 9M-ASB noted on grass at Bankstown. Complete but RMAF paintwork faded from weather exposure. 9M-ART cockpit SAL plate quoted c/n TP-586.

Australian registrations VH-EVA, EVB, EVC & EVD allocated to the four Aerial Agriculture Twin Pioneers. VH-EVB was reserved for c/n 586.
5.2.75
9M-ART noted Bankstown being paint-stripped, FM1066 readable etched into metal of fuselage   
29.8.75
VH-EVB noted Bankstown at Aerial Agriculture hangar, now painted in same blue and white scheme used on the company's Beavers.

Returned to open storage on the grass at Bankstown
7.1.82
Registered VH-EVB Aerial Agriculture Pty Ltd, Bankstown  NSW
17.6.82
Struck-off Register. No indication the aircraft was put into service.
12.6.87
Restored to Register VH-EVB: Ventura Trading Company Pty Ltd, Sydney

Mr. Ralph Clark of Clark Film Services was proprietor of Ventura Trading Co. Clark acquired the aircraft for a planned tourist venture in Queensland to be named Capricorn Air.
VH-EVB was made airworthy in AirAg hangar Bankstown (successor company to Aerial Agriculture). Fitted with 11 passenger seats, air conditioned cabin, drinks bar, bubble windows for scenic viewing.  Painted with titles "Capricorn Air", "Skygear International", "Clark", name on nose Double Scotch
89
Based Coolangatta Airport on Queensland Gold Coast operating scenic flights
21.8.93
visited airshow Murwillumbah NSW same paint scheme Double Scotch
4.95
VH-AIS & VH-EVB noted at Coolangatta in service with Capricorn Air on tourist flights.
VH-EVB has 16 seats with toilet, VH-AIS has 16 ex Compass A300 Airbus pax seats.
27.11.95
Change of ownership: QM Properties Pty Ltd, Brisbane Qld
5.5.96
Change of ownership: South Sea Air Pty Ltd, Brisbane Qld
8.8.96
visited Watts Bridge Qld fly-in bringing a load of passengers, blue and white 
13.11.96
Change of ownership: Sundown Airways Pty Ltd, Gold Coast Qld
19.4.97
Change of ownership: Ray Sherwell/ Sherwell Aviation Pty Ltd, Coolangatta Qld trading as Pion-Air
98-05
Major overhaul at Coolangatta for planned tourist and scenic flights
24.10.99
noted Coolangatta in hangar under maintenance, paint stripped, hand-painted "VH-RAY"
6.02
noted Coolangatta in hangar, painted all white, wings removed
2.03
Advertised for sale by Sherwell: VH-AIS TT 7760 & VH-EVB TT3543 (under maintenance) plus spare engines and 3 truck loads of spares
8.05
noted Coolangatta painted all white, cabin stripped
05-07
VH-EVB and VH-AIS stored at Bradbury Qld while offered for sale
17.9.06
Both failed to sell at auction following the death of Ray Sherwell, they remained in the ownership of Brett Sherwell
.07
Martin Slater of Air Atlantic Classic Flight, Coventry England visited Coolangatta to purchase the spares stock to maintain their airworthy Twin Pioneer.  Sherwell insisted that the sale must include VH-AIS and VH-EVB, so deal was negotiated for Air Atlantique to purchase the lot. VH-AIS would remain operational in Queensland part-owned by Air Atlantique and VH-EVB would be sold within Australia.
28.5.07
Change of ownership: Stephen "Sy" Allsep, Mount Pritchard NSW
07
Restored to airworthy, flying all white
2.11
VH-EVB visited HARS airshow at Albion Park NSW, all white
.11
Retired at Wedderburn airfield NSW pending major maintenance.
12-15
Ongoing maintenance at Wedderburn. After Sy Allsep's death 20.1.15 the aircrfat was placed up for sale
12.6.15
Change of ownership: Richard N. L. Thompson, Sydney NSW  

Work continued on overhaul at Wedderburn
15.3.17
Reregistered VH-SYS to recognise Sy Allsepp's efforts to save the aircraft
25.11.17
First test flight Wedderburn after six years of maintenance, painted all white. Crew for test flights were  Richard Thompson, Errol Pillemer, John Land.

Current, airworthy based Wedderburn


9M-ART at Bankstown in April 1973.                                                  Photo by Chris O'Neill


Bankstown July 1982 in Aerial Agriculture's standard blue and white paint scheme.     Photo by Mike Vincent


Now with Capricorn Air, VH-EVB caught by Bob Livingstone flying near Sydney in June 1986


"Double Scotch" displayed at the October 1988 Australian Bicentenary airshow at RAAF Richmond NSW. 
Two views by Geoff Goodall




Visiting an airshow at Murwillumbah NSW in August 1993 with a full load of passengers.
Photo by Ben Dannecker


Local flying at Wedderburn NSW in November 2009 after being returned to airworthy by Sy Allsep.
This and photo below taken by Lindsay Nothrop




Two views by Phil Vabre of VH-EVB attending a HARS airshow at Albion Park NSW in February 2011




Reregistered VH-SYS, seen at home base Wedderburn NSW in March 2019.      Photo by Tony Arbon


            Twin Pioneer Series 3   c/n 578                                                                                      (VH-EVC)
61
Built at Prestwick Airport, Scotland by Scottish Aviation Ltd. Production Twin Pioneer Series 3

Built to Royal Federation of Malaya Air Force order for 14 Twin Pioneer Series 3s
5.10.61
First flight Prestwick

Delivered as FM1061 Royal Federation of Malaya Air Force, renamed Royal Malaysian Air Force
16.1.62
Departed Prestwick on ferry flght to Malaysia
 by 70
Retired at Kuala Lumpur, parked pending disposal
.72
Four RMAF Twin Pioneers purchased by Aerial Agriculture Pty Ltd, Sydney-Bankstown NSW
2.73
Registered 9M-ARU for test flying and ferry to Australia
5.73
9M-ARU arrived Sydney-Bankstown on delivery from Malaysia. Parked on grass with other RMAF Twin Pioneers
27.3.74
Twin Pioneers 9M-ART, 9M-ARU & 9M-ASB noted Bankstown parked together on grass.
9M-ARU cockpit SAL plate quotes c/n "TP-578".

Australian registrations VH-EVA, EVB, EVC & EVD allocated to the four Aerial Agriculture Twin Pioneers. VH-EVC was reserved for c/n 578.

Open storage Bankstown pending civil conversion when work found for the aircraft
15.11.79
9M-ARU damaged when it was blown by a windstorm into Twin Pioneer VH-AIS parked alongside at Bankstown. 
79-87
Remained on grass at Bankstown, some parts removed. Painted allover white no markings
.87
Sold to Ventura Trading Company Pty Ltd, Sydney
.87
The two unconverted Twin Pioneers 9M-ARU & 9M-ASU were included in the sale of VH-AIS & VH-EVC to Mr. Ralph Clark of Clark Film Services, proprietor of Ventura Trading Co.
The two spare aircraft were stripped for parts by Aerial Agriculture, which was contracted to overhaul VH-AIS and VH-EVC for their new role on tourist scenic flights in Queensland

9M-ARU donated to Bankstown Airport Rescue Fire Fighting Service.
Towed to their practice drill ground on the airfield.
.97
Acquired from fire service "as is" by Stephen "Sy" Allsep, Mount Pritchard NSW

Wheels were fitted the stripped airframe and it was towed across the airfield to the Hawker De Havilland hangar for sn assessment on the viability of making it airworthy. Allsep was an aviation enthusiast who flew DHC-2 Beaver VH-SYS and wanted to save this last Twin Pioneer in Sydney.
00-18
Loaned to Australian Aviation Museum, Bankstown Airport NSW
2.00
Stripped airframe noted inside AAM hangar, all over faded white paintwork with no markings
.18
Australian Aviation Museum closed. Majority of its collection advertised for sale
.19
Acquired by Robert Walker/ Walker's Aviation Museum, Barellan NSW.
Museum display of aircraft and aviation models established in a large shed on the owner's farm near Griffith NSW.
5.19
VH-EVC and Devon VH-DVE had arrived at the Barellan property after being dismantled at Bankstown and moved by road transport.


9M-ARU at Bankstown in May 1973 just after arrival from Malaysia                   Photo by Chris O'Neill


VH-EVC in the storage yard Australian Aviation Museum, Bankstown 2007.      Photo by Ian McDonell


             Twin Pioneer Series 3   c/n 590                                                                                            (VH-EVD)
.62
Built at Prestwick Airport, Scotland by Scottish Aviation Ltd. Production Twin Pioneer Series 3

Built to Royal Federation of Malaya Air Force order for 14 Twin Pioneer Series 3s
2.7.62
First flight Prestwick
20.7.62
Delivered as FM1070 Royal Federation of Malaya Air Force, renamed Royal Malaysian Air Force
by 70
Retired at Kuala Lumpur, parked pending disposal
.72
Four RMAF Twin Pioneers purchased by Aerial Agriculture Pty Ltd, Sydney-Bankstown NSW
2.73
Registered 9M-ASB test flying and ferry to Australia
.73
Ferried to Australia, arrived Sydney-Bankstown. Parked on grass with other RMAF Twin Pioneers
27.3.74
Twin Pioneers 9M-ART, 9M-ARU & 9M-ASB noted Bankstown parked together on grass.
9M-ASB cockpit SAL plate quotes c/n "TP-590".

Australian registrations VH-EVA, EVB, EVC & EVD allocated to the four Aerial Agriculture Twin Pioneers. VH-EVD was reserved for c/n 590.

Open storage Bankstown pending civil conversion when work found for the aircraft
15.11.79
9M-ASB damaged when it was blown by a windstorm into an airfield drainage ditch
79-87
Remained on grass at Bankstown, some parts removed. Painted allover white no markings
.87
Sold to Ventura Trading Company Pty Ltd, Sydney
.87
The two unconverted Twin Pioneers 9M-ARU & 9M-ASU were included in the sale of VH-AIS & VH-EVC to Mr. Ralph Clark of Clark Film Services, proprietor of Ventura Trading Co.
The two spare aircraft were stripped for parts by Aerial Agriculture, which was contracted to overhaul VH-AIS and VH-EVC for their new role on tourist scenic flights in Queensland
2.88
noted at Bankstown parked in high grass, stripepd of control surfaces and other parts. All white.

Moved to Australia's Wonderland theme park, Eastern Creek, Sydney. Displayed as a crashed aircraft in a jungle diaroma among dinosaurs.
98
Offered for sale as scrap metal. Acquired by Stephen "Sy" Allsep, Mount Pritchard NSW
11.98
Airframe sections of a white Twin Pioneer noted at Hoxton Park airfield
01
Forward fuselage section at Australian Aviation Museum, Bankstown Airport NSW
.17
Australian Aviation Museum closed, collection advertised for sale


9M-ASB at Bankstown in May 1973.                                                                    Photo by Chris O'Neill

                                                     •                            •                             •                            •                         •

Endpiece:
The first aircraft delivered to the newly-established Royal Federation of Malaya Air Force in 1962 was Twin Pioneer FM1001, which after retirement was displayed at a Kuala Lumpur memorial for many years. Photographed there in 1975 by the compiler.


References:
- Australian Civil Aircraft Register, Department of  Civil Aviation and its successors
- British Civil Aircraft Register: g-info site
- British Civil Aircraft Since 1919, Volume 3, A.J.Jackson, Putnam London 1974
- Journal Aviation Historical Society of Australia - 1960 onwards
- Essendon Newsletter, Gordon Reid editor, 1970-1973 reports
- Air Britain journals, monthly, 1957 onwards
- The Flying Scotsman, Craig Justo, Classic Wings Down Under magazine, January 1999 
- Flight Path, Classic Wings, Australian Aviation magazines

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