Last updated 1 October 2020


Compiled by Geoff Goodall

Among the last Yeoman YA-1 Cropmasters remaining flying was VH-CYW (c/n 106) seen on its owner's farming property near Dalwallinu WA in May 1977, fitted for spraying.

Photo by Geoff Goodall

               The Yeoman YA-1 Cropmaster 250 was the ultimate development of the CAC CA-6 Wackett Trainers modified for agricultural spraying and dusting by Kingsford Smith Aviation Service at Bankstown in 1957-58. Five of these KS.3 Wackett Cropmasters had been completed when the Australian Department of Civil Aviation advised KSAS that it would not approve any more agricultural aircraft with wings of wooden glued structure. Having proven the concept, the KSAS directors formed a new company Yeoman Aviation Pty Ltd effective 8 August 1958, to specialise in developing the design into a modern agricultural aircraft. It would have a metal mainplane and tailplane and be powered by a current American flat-six engine: from this concept the YA-1 was designed.

                A new design single-unit metal wing duplicated the dimensions of the CA-6 Wackett's wooden mainplane but reduced the empty weight by 200 pounds. The Wackett's rounded wingtips and slots were deleted but the fabric-covered wooden ailerons were retained. The windscreen, canopy and turtledeck were of new design and extensive use was made of fibreglass, then new to aircraft construction, including engine cowlings, lower fuselage forward of the wing, front and rear turtledeck, dorsal fin and removable rounded wingtips. The new design 145 gallon hopper was also made from fibreglass.

               Twenty Yeoman YA-1 Cropmasters were constructed in the Yeoman Aviation hangar at Bankstown between 1960-1966 with constructor's numbers 101 to 121 (c/n 109 was not completed).  It was a new design, using a new metal making much use of fibreglass panels, using American horizontally opposed 250hp Lycoming or Continental engines. At first the basic structure was the CA-6 fuselage frame, but as Yoeman production continued the use of Wackett parts was reduced. The initial engine chosen was the 250hp Lycoming 0-540A engine with a Hartzell constant speed propeller. The stainless steel exhaust augmenter tubes to provide engine cooling removed the need for cowling flaps, and became a distinctive identification feature of the aircraft.


  L-R Bill Baldwin, Bill Smith, Brian Wagner with the first YA-1 c/n 101.             Photo: Allyn Eckford collection


  Three CA-6 Wackett Trainer fuselage frames on the YA-1 production line.                Allyn Eckford collection


  The new metal YA-1 tailplane being fitted.                                                            Allyn Eckford collection

              The first YA-1 c/n 101 was test flown at Bankstown on 15 January 1960, flown by Peter Brown. Yeoman Aviation was under-capitalised which restricted their ability to develop a new metal tailplane at the same time as the metal wing was being designed and tested. DCA were persuaded to allow the early YA-1s to enter service fitted with CA-6 Wackett wooden tailplanes. A fibreglass dorsal fin disguised the shape.  

When the new metal tailplane design featured a stabilator, attractive swept-back fin and large rudder. The first unit was testflown on a Wackett Trainer VH-CYB in December 1961 and January 1962, then the fuselage frame and new tailplane of that test Wackett was used to construct the next production YA-1 c/n 106 VH-CYW which first flew 13 April 1962 as the first Cropmaster 250 with the metal tailplane.

               DCA had delayed full Type Approval waiting on further operational experience, and the metal tail unit. After flight tests of VH-CYW, the Type Approval Certificate was issued in June 1962. As YA-1 production continued, CA-6 components were replaced by new-build parts.  By 1966 the only original Wackett Trainer components remaining were the undercarriage structure, comprising only 3% of the total airframe.

New Zealand sales

                Yeoman Aviation held high hopes for sales to the aerial topdressing industry in New Zealand. As early as July 1961 Bill Smith and Jim Hazelton had written to the NZ Civil Aviation Authority advising that they wished to make a NZ demonstration tour in a YA-1 Cropmaster 250. The Australian DCA responded that an export CofA would not be granted until an approved metal tailpane is fitted. In the meantime they will issue a normal CofA for demonstration purposes and if the aircraft carries Australian registration it could operate in NZ.  

In 1962 Yeoman appointed Farmers Aerial Topdressing Co Ltd at Invercargill as their NZ agents. The first Cropmaster despatched to NZ was the newly completed c/n 108 which left Sydney on 1 October 1962 on board Qantas freighter Lockheed 1049H VH-EAA. Accompanying it were Yeoman Aviation directors Bill Smith and Peter Brown, with Keith Death of Hazair, Albury who flew the initial demonstration flights in NZ.  Farmers Aerial Topdressing retained this first Cropmaster for their own fleet and ordered a second c/n 110. But sales to other NZ operators failed to materialise.

In November 1964 Farmers relinquished the NZ franchise.  They had been taken over by James Aviation who were manufacturing and marketing the Fletcher Fu 24, competing for the same market.  Southern Aviation Ltd at Charlton Airport, Gore was appointed as NZ distributor and ordered their first Cropmaster c/n 117 which was packed at Bankstown in February 1965 for shipping to NZ.

On 14 July 1965 Southern Aviation issued a press release announcing it had formed a new company Cropmaster (NZ) Ltd as an associate of Cropmaster Aircraft Pty Ltd at Bankstown. The new company would be based at Charlton Airport, Gore to undertake future assembly and marketing of the type in New Zealand. Their first Cropmaster c/n 118, the fourth in NZ, was due dock at Bluff this week on the ship Kaitoke. Southern Aviation were to import two more Cropmasters under their own company name, bringing the total of Kiwi Cropmasters to six.

After it was retired from topdressing, c/n 110 was rebuilt as a private 3 seater with all agricultural equipment removed and an extended cockpit canopy fitted over three passenger seats, to become the unique Yeoman-Hanes 250.

Yeoman Aviation Pty Ltd

This was the new company established in August 1958 during a company restructure of Kingsford Smith Aviation Service Pty Ltd. The prime KSAS business had been Auster dealership, having imported almost 300 new Austers from Britain. But that market had been lost to new Cessnas, and KSAS was reorganised. New associate companies were:

- Austerserve Pty Ltd:  Auster sales and service. Managing Director J.T.Brown

- Yeoman Aviation Pty Ltd: develop agricultral aircraft: Directors J.T.Brown, P.G.Brown, C.W. Smith

- Kingsford Smith Flying Service Pty Ltd, an associate company since 1951 operating a successful flying school at Bankstown, continued the school but also took over KSAS maintenance and sales.

Yeoman Aviation Pty Ltd designed the YA-1 Cropmaster 250 and commenced production in a hangar at Bankstown. During 1963 Don Cameron, an experienced Bankstown aviation engineer, took over Yeoman Aviation and changed the name to Yeoman Aircraft Pty Ltd.  A reorganisation two years later resulted in the company changing its name to Cropmaster Aircraft Pty Ltd, with Don Cameron as Managing Director.

In 1966 after failing to get Government tariff support to compete against imported agricultural aircraft, Cameron made a deal with Donald Gray of the Plastidyne Manufacturing Co, Los Angeles to move YA-1 production to the USA. A new company was formed, Cameron Gray Aircraft Co, Gardena, Los Angeles California, with Don Cameron as a director.

In December 1966 the first crate containing manufacturing equipment and an uncompleted YA-1 airframe was shipped from Sydney. Despite the high hopes, the Yeoman Cropmaster did not enter production in USA.  Total production was 20 aircraft built at Bankstown.

  Yeoman YA-1 Cropmaster models:

Model Engine
YA-1 Cropmaster series 1 250hp Lycoming 0-540-A metal wing and CA-6 wooden tailplane
YA-1 Cropmaster 250 250hp Lycoming 0-540-A metal wing and tailplane
YA-1 Cropmaster 250R 250hp Continental IO-470
series G,R or E
metal wing and tailplane:
“R” due to Continental engine distributor in Australia being Rolls Royce
YA-1 Cropmaster 250R Series 2 250hp Continental IO-470
series G, R or E
undercarriage mounts moved 2 inches further forward of the mainspar to correct the tendency to nose over on braking. Introduced from c/n 117 onwards. Identified by the undercarriage side stay attachments on the underside of the wing skin
YA-1B 250hp Lycoming 0-540-A announced in a 1959 Yeoman brochure, but not built: tricycle undercarriage and metal tail
YA-1 Cropmaster 285 285hp Continental IO-520 Announced in 1964 but not built:
larger hopper and additional wing and flap area by increasing the root chord by 4 inches giving increased payload
YA-5B Fieldmaster 285 285hp Continental IO-520 Yeoman produced drawings but not built:
Side-by-side seating for pilot and loader-driver, increased overall dimensions. In reality it was just a marketing ploy to compete with the Fletcher Fu24
YA-1 Cropmaster 300
Yeoman produced drawings but not built although reported that metal had been cut: major redesign: monocoque rear fuselage with access hatch to stow equipment, 3 feet additional wingspan, strengthened undercarriage, side by side seating and forward opening doors

Agricultural development of the CAC CA-6 Wackett Trainer is also covered in the FROM WACKETT TO CROPMASTER and
CAC CA-6 WACKETT TRAINER pages in this series


C/n 101                  YA-1 Cropmaster series 1, to Cropmaster 250                                                                             VH-BJF, VH-CXS

59/60 Built at Bankstown Airport, Sydney by Yeoman Aviation Pty Ltd.
250hp Lycoming O-540 engine driving a Hartzell CS propeller
Retained the original CA-6 Wackett Trainer wooden tailplane.
Painted in a scheme of white blue and orange.
15.1.60 Log book: first flight at Bankstown, pilot Peter Brown. Early test flights were made with no registration painted on aircraft.
16.1.60 Log book: Further test flights
17.1.60 Log book: Completed a total of 8 test flights over 3 days, 4.5 hours total
4.4.60 Registered VH-BJF Yeoman Aviation Pty Ltd, Bankstown Airport, Sydney NSW
4.4.60 CofA issued as YA-1 Cropmaster 250
60 Leased to Air Spraying & Spreading Pty Ltd, Albury NSW
8.11.60 Change of ownership: Air Spraying & Spreading Pty Ltd, Albury NSW
24.11.60 Cropmasters VH-BJF & VH-MSS both flew demonstrations at the Australian Aerial Agricultural Association convention at Wagga NSW between 24-26 November 1960.
Two examples of the new PA-25 Pawnee were also displayed.
17.5.61 CofA expired. DCA state that CofA will not be renewed until a program for the conversion of the tailplane to all metal construction has been approved.
61 Air Spraying & Spreading Pty Ltd owner Tom J. Fleming sold his business to Jim Hazelton and Keith Death, who formed new operation Hazair Agricultural Service, Albury.
7.6.61 Change of ownership: Hazair Agricultural Service, Albury NSW
Company later renamed as Hazair Agricultural Services (Albury) Pty Ltd, Albury NSW
7.6.61 Reregistered VH-CXS
6.61 Undergoing overhaul to renew CofA. DCA has agreed to a 6 month renewal period and further renewals of CofA will not be considered until wooden tailplane replaced by metal.
62 Flown to Bankstown to have new metal tailplane fitted by Yeoman Aviation
17.3.62 noted at Albury, fitted with metal tail, "Hazair Albury" titles
28.1.64 noted at Albury, white with black trim
13.9.64 noted at Albury, cream with red trim
3.12.64 noted at Albury
16.4.65 noted at Albury
9.65 noted at Albury
3.2.66 Accident on ag strip Rosewood near Tumbarumba NSW. On commencing to taxi the aircraft's tail lifted and the propeller struck the ground. The brake either did not release or was not released before power was applied. Pilot R. Williams unhurt.
25.2.66 noted at Wagga NSW, visiting from Albury with Cropmaster VH-DCC both Hazair
23.7.66 noted at Orange NSW parked outside Hazair hangar, engine removed. Reportedly has been replaced by Pawnee VH-TOI at Albury
6.10.66 noted at Albury with VH-DCC
13.11.66 noted at Albury
31.1.67 Crashed in forced landing near Barnawatha Vic. At a height of about 40 feet after takeoff from an ag strip, the engine lost all power. After jettisoning the load the pilot made a forced landing on unfavourable terrain. The right landing gear strut broke off and the aircraft sustained substantial damage but pilot J. Moroney was unhurt.
DCA investigation found pilot had inadvertently set the fuel selecter to "off" in attempting to change tanks just before this takeoff. He had been flying Hazair Albury’s other Cropmaster VH-DCC for a considerable time, and fuel selectors were different in each aircraft.
14.5.67 noted at Albury, departed for ag work
8.1.70 noted at Albury
4.3.70 Starboard undercarriage leg broke off at the oleo strut during landing at Cudgewa Vic. Damage to wing tip, engine cowling, undercarriage. Pilot R. Eastick unhurt.
28.9.70 noted at Holbrook NSW
7.2.71 noted at Albury
17.9.71 Change of ownership: Murrayair (Albury) Pty Ltd, Albury NSW
28.11.71 noted at Albury
noted at Albury
15.6.72 noted at Albury
28.12.72 noted at Wee Waa NSW
11.1.73 Change of ownership: Eveready Airspray Pty Ltd, Wee Waa NSW
Company formed by Peter Meek, George Greig and Bill Spence. Specialised in cotton spraying including low-level night spraying using spotlights on wingtips.
9.5.73 noted at Lismore NSW
9.74 noted at Wee Waa
22.12.74 noted at Wee Waa
20.4.75 noted at Wee Waa, in service
2.6.75 noted at Wee Waa, fitted with spreader under belly
15.8.76 noted at Wee Waa, fitted as sprayer, faded orange & blue paint
25.9.76 noted at Wee Waa
c5.79 Eveready Airspray ceased operations
11.6.79 Change of ownership: John A. Dunnicliff, Coonamble NSW
25.8.79 noted at Wee Waa, reportedly for sale by the liquidators of Eveready Airspray
11.79 Liquidation auction at Wee Waa of Eveready Airspray's assets: CXS purchased by
John A. Gallagher, Sydney NSW
Gallagher was a professional restorer of vintage aircraft. He had DoT approval for the use of a YA-1 metal mainplane in his restoration of CAC CA-6 Wackett Trainer VH-DGR.
11.1.80 Struck-off Register
27.1.80 Departed Wee Waa by road, dismantled on a trailer. Arrived 28.1.80 at David Morris' farm at Rylestone NSW for temporary storage. Left in open weather on farm.
9.80 Dismantled components of VH-CXS damaged by a wind storm at the farm. Fuselage was a writeoff but the mainplane was repairable for the CA-6 project
10.84 Components still stored at Rylestone. Gallagher still intends to use the mainplane when he commences the restoration of his Wackett Trainer at his new hangar at Wedderburn airfield near Sydney.
By 05 Acquired from Gallagher by Powerhouse Museum, Sydney.
11 Restoration being completed by Gallagher for display at the museum. Historically significant because it is the first YA-1 Cropmaster


  Prototype YA-1 c/n 101 during test flights at Bankstown early 1960.                                                             Allyn Eckford collection


  Prototype VH-BJF with Wackett wooden tailplane.                                                                                     Allyn Eckford collection


  Now VH-CXS, at Albury in September 1965 metal tailplane.                                                                  Photo by Geoff Goodall


  Deniliquin NSW, December 1972.                                                                                                             Photo by Mike Madden


  VH-CXS & -ENM with night spraying wingtip spotlights, Wee Waa June 1975.                                            Photo by Geoff Goodall

C/n 102                  YA-1 Cropmaster series 1, to Cropmaster 250                                                                                       VH-MSS  

60 Built at Bankstown Airport, Sydney by Yeoman Aviation Pty Ltd.
Retained wooden CA-6 Wackett Trainer tailplane.  
250hp Lycoming O-540 engine driving a Hartzell CS propeller.
Painted in a scheme of red, orange and white similar to VH-BJF
10.60 noted at Bankstown nearing completion, painted red and white. Reportedly will be VH-MSS.
24.11.60 Registered VH-MSS Marshall Spreading Service, Albury NSW
24.11.60 Cropmasters VH-BJF & VH-MSS both flew demonstrations at the Australian Aerial Agricultural Association convention at Wagga NSW between 24-26 November 1960.   Two examples of the new PA-25 Pawnee were also displayed.
28.7.61 Crashed destroyed by fire near Deniliquin NSW.  During superphosphate spreading operations, pilot Ralph Dennis was killed. Reported that the pilot ran a fuel tank dry.
DCA accident report: The pilot lost control of the aircraft at low altitude, following loss of engine power, which probably arose from fuel mismanagement. The aircraft stalled, crashed to the ground in a near vertical attitude and was burnt out.


  The short-lived VH-MSS at Albury NSW on 18 December 1960.                                                                         Photo by Lindsay Nothrop

C/n 103                    YA-1 Cropmaster series 1, to Cropmaster 250                                                                                  VH-CXH    

60/61 Built at Bankstown Airport, Sydney by Yeoman Aviation Pty Ltd.
Wooden CA-6 Wackett Trainer tailplane.  
250hp Lycoming O-540 engine driving a Hartzell propeller
17.2.61 First flight at Bankstown. White with black trim.
2.61 Log book shows 41 minutes flying prior to delivery
17.2.61 Registered VH-CXH Hazair Agricultural Services, Orange NSW
18.2.61 Delivered from Bankstown to Orange
15.4.61 flew agricultural demonstration at airshow Scone NSW
Crashed destroyed Blackheath near Katoomba NSW.
Pilot Timothy R. O'Neill was ferrying the aircraft from Bankstown to Orange after an engine change when he made a forced landing near Blackheath and received minor injuries. Position near a 300 feet cliff made salvage difficult so wreck was pushed over the cliff edge.

DCA accident report: Following a loss of engine power of undetermined origin, the pilot attempted a forced landing during which the aircraft struck power lines, dived into a rocky gorge.
5.1.62 Struck-off Register


  Bankstown during test flying in February 1961, pilot Peter Brown.                                                                        Photo by Eric Allen

  VH-CXH crash site on the side of a gorge in the Blue Mountains on 21 December 1961.                           Department of Civil Aviation

  VH-CXH's wreck was pushed off the cliff to the floor of the gorge, where it remains tioday.                                                            Greg Thom collection

C/n 104                  YA-1 Cropmaster series 1, to Cropmaster 250                                                                                                 VH-CXQ    

61 Built at Bankstown Airport, Sydney by Yeoman Aviation Pty Ltd.
Wooden CA-6 Wackett Trainer tailplane.  
250hp Lycoming O-540 engine driving a Hartzell propeller
Painted white with dark blue trim.
16.5.61 Registration application: Air Culture Pty Ltd, Perth WA
5.6.61 First flight Bankstown
5.6.61 DCA internal memo: latest YA-1 Cropmaster has been completed at Bankstown with the original wooden tailplane and is ready for issue of CofA. The Department agrees to issue of CofA for 12 months, after which metal empennage must be installed.
6.6.61 Registered VH-CXQ
6.6.61 Handed over at Bankstown to Air Culture.
6.61 Delivered Bankstown-Perth by Jim Hazelton of Hazair Agricultural Services.  En route he demonstrated the aircraft at Kangaroo Island SA
6.61 Jim Hazelton made a precautionary landing near Forrest WA due low fuel.  A tyre was punctured during landing and he stuffed the tyre with grass.  Transcontinental railway workers cleared a strip for his takeoff.
10.6.61 noted at Maylands Aerodrome, Perth
16.6.61 Loader driver compartment door blew open on takeoff from Maylands and torn away.
Pilot William G. Boulden, Managing Director of Air Culture.
31.1.62 Air Safety Incident report: CXQ penetrated Perth Control Zone inbound to Maylands, pilot John Grummels
27.2.62 Tipped on nose landing at Northampton WA. Pilot D.Switzer.
6.62 Ferried from Perth to Sydney for retrofit of the YA-1 metal tail unit by Yeoman Aviation and annual CofA renewal overhaul.
12.62 Overhaul and modifications completed at Bankstown
15.12.62 Testflown Bankstown by W.G.Boulden of Air Culture
1.63 noted at Bankstown, metal tailplane, white with blue trim, "Air Culture" titles
23.2.63 noted Maylands in Air Culture hangar. white with blue trim
23.3.63 noted Maylands in Air Culture hangar
22.11.63 Forced landing 5 miles east of Katanning WA due engine failure.  Undercarriage collapsed and wing damaged in groundloop. Pilot Peter Maarleveld.
11.63 Trucked to Jandakot Airport, Perth for repairs. Air Culture had moved to a new hangar at Jandakot after DCA closed Maylands Aerodrome in June 1963.
1.64 noted at Jandakot in newly built Air Culture hangar, with CYW
6.3.64 Testflown at Jandakot after repairs, pilot W.G.Boulden
13.5.65 Air Safety Incident report: CXQ flying in Perth area, pilot R. Adams
20.6.65 Crashed destroyed Highbury near Narrogin WA.  7 miles south east of Narrogin while spraying for web-worm infestation.
DCA accident report: "At the completion of a spray run the pilot misjudged the pull up. The aircraft struck a tree and crashed to the ground."
Struck top of a 60 feet high tree during a climbing turn after completing the sixth spraying run of the morning. Struck a second tree and nose-dived into the ground and skidded 30 feet before coming to rest upside down. The engine was torn out and the whole wing structure separated from the fuselage. Fuel tanks remained intact and there was no fire.
Pilot Richard B. Adams was killed. He was an American citizen who had been flying commercially in Australian for two years, 5,963 hours total experience.
20.6.65 Struck-off Register
7.65 Callair A9A VH-MPG delivered to Air Culture at Jandakot to replace CXQ.


  Bankstown in January 1963 after having the metal tailplane installed.                                                             Photo by Dave Eyre


  VH-CXQ and CYW share Air Culture's hangar at Jandakot 1965.                                                                   Photo by Merv Prime


  Crash site near Narrogin WA 20 June 1965.                                                                                         Geoff Goodall collection

C/n 105            YA-1 Cropmaster series 1, to Cropmaster 250, 250R                                                                         VH-TSD, VH-COE

61 Built at Bankstown Airport, Sydney by Yeoman Aviation Pty Ltd.
Wooden CA-6 Wackett Trainer tailplane.  
250hp Lycoming O-540 engine driving a Hartzell propeller
Painted white with red and black trim.
Registered VH-TSD: Trojan Aerial Spraying Pty Ltd, Parafield Aerodrome, Adelaide SA.
Starboard undercarriage collapsed during spraying operations at Fleurieu Peninsular SA in the McLaren Vale area, pilot Bob Beattie.  Moved by road to Parafield for repair
noted at Parafield, in service, "Trojan Aerial Spraying" titles.  Also 7.62
Flown to Bankstown to have new YA-1 metal tailplane fitted by Yeoman Aviation. Annual CofA renewal overhaul was also carried out.
Test flight Bankstown on completion of work at Yeoman Aviation
noted at Parafield, new metal tailplane, “Trojan Aerial Spraying" titles. Cowlings had Rolls Royce insignia due to the Continental engine.
noted at Adelaide Airport, while spraying mosquitoes in swamps in Adelaide beachside suburbs
Logbook shows total time 520 hours
Test flown at Bankstown by Peter Brown after overhaul by Yeoman Aviation, during which it was repainted tan and white with “Coveair” titles. The Lycoming engine was replaced by a 250hp Continental IO-470-G.
This was the first installation of the Continental engine in a YA-1
Civil Register change of ownership and registration: VH-COV Coveair Pty Ltd, Adelaide SA.  
This company had been formed by Pat Crowther with a Tiger Moth, based at a small strip at Snug Cove, Kangaroo Island SA. Also had a Cessna 185 VH-COV.
noted at Bankstown as VH-COE outside Yeoman's hangar
VH-COE arrived Parafield from Bankstown
Crashed on landing at an ag strip near Myponga SA. Port undercarriage collapsed, skidded on nose, engine torn away. Pilot Sid Keronkevecios was unhurt.
DCA accident report: "Following a heavy downwind landing in which a wheel hub fractured, the pilot applied braking causing the aircraft to nose down and then ground-loop."
Damaged aircraft arrived Parafield by truck
Wreck noted in Aerokair hangar at Parafield. Under repair by 9.5.64
noted parked outside at Parafield, rebuild has just been completed at Aerokair
Damaged in accident near Gladstone SA.  One wheel brake remained locked during landing roll and aircraft nosed over. Pilot unhurt.
Traded in to Yeoman Aircraft Pty Ltd, Bankstown on Piper Pawnee VH-COD (ex VH-BAK) which Yeoman had taken as trade on new YA-1 Cropmaster VH-BAK.
Change of ownership: Westair Aviation Service Pty Ltd, Coonabarabran NSW
noted at Bankstown, under overhaul by Yeoman Aviation for Westair.
noted at Orange NSW. Still had fabric covered rear fuselage despite having been retrofitted with metal tail and Continental engine by Yeoman Aviation
Civil Register change of ownership: Hazair Agricultural Service, Orange NSW
Crashed on takeoff ag strip 20 miles north west of Orange NSW.  Pilot Jim Hazelton was unhurt. DCA accident report:
"Engine power ceased after takeoff due to water contamination of the fuel and in the ensuing forced landing, the aircraft ground-looped collapsing the port undercarriage."
Struck-off Register
noted at Orange, damaged airframe dismantled in Hazair hangar. Also 12.66, 11.67
donated to Orange Technical School as an instructional airframe

Later moved to Sydney Technical College, Ultimo


  Parafield April 1962 with original wooden tailplane, fitted with spraybars.                                                            Photo by Geoff Goodall


  Adelaide Airport in December 1962, with newly installed metal tailplane.                                                             Photo by Geoff Goodall


  Parafield March 1963, configured for crop dusting.                                                                                Photo by Geoff Goodall


  Rregistered VH-COE, at Bankstown March 1964.                                                                                                   Photo by Dave Eyre


  Orange NSW in October 1965, with Coveair titles roughly sprayed over.                                                                 Photo by Mike Croker

C/n 106                   YA-1 Cropmaster 250                                                                                                                                          VH-CYW

61/62 Built at Bankstown Airport, Sydney by Yeoman Aviation Pty Ltd.
Based on the airframe of CA-6 Wackett Trainer VH-CYB (c/n 257) ex VH-AIV which had been flown on air testing of the Yeoman designed metal Cropmaster tailplane, referred to by Yeoman as the Yeoman 175.
4.62 Completed as YA-1 c/n 106 as the first production Cropmaster with the metal tail unit. This was a newly built tailplane unit because the prototype fitted to VH-CYB had later been tested to destruction.
250hp Lycoming O-540 engine driving a Hartzell propeller
Painted white with dark blue trim.
2.4.62 noted at Bankstown, almost completed in Yeoman Aviation hangar, metal tailplane. No registration or paint scheme yet applied.
13.4.62 First flight Bankstown, pilot Peter Brown
4.62 Extensive test flying program during April and May 1962, pilot Peter Brown.
1.5.62 VH-CYW noted at Bankstown outside Yeoman hangar, no owner titles.
24.5.62 Registered VH-CYW Yeoman Aviation Pty Ltd, Bankstown
11.6.62 Change of ownership: Air Culture Pty Ltd, Perth WA
6.62 Arrived Maylands Aerodrome, Perth in early June on delivery from Bankstown
23.2.63 noted Maylands, in Air Culture hangar, white with blue trim
4.3.63 noted Maylands, "Air Culture" titles on fuselage
6.63 Maylands aerodrome closed to operations by DCA. Tenants moved temporarily to Perth Airport (Guildford) while waiting for the new Jandakot Airport facilities to be completed.
25.8.63 noted at Guildford, parked on grass
12.9.63 noted at Guildford
1.64 noted at Jandakot in newly built Air Culture hangar, with CXQ
28.2.64 Damaged near Mingenew WA. DCA accident report:
"In attempting to land close to a loading vehicle the pilot misjudged the distance, and the mainplane struck an oxygen cylinder standing upright on the back of the vehicle.
3.3.66 Overturned on landing at Quindanning WA.  DCA accident report:
"When braking was applied during the landing run the starboard wheel locked causing the tail to rise. The propeller then struck the ground and the aircraft overturned. The wheel locking was due to incorrect assembly of the wheel brake mechanism."
Pilot Harold Summerfield unhurt.

Trucked to Jandakot where rebuilt
20.11.66 noted at Jandakot, rebuilt and in a new paint scheme
28.11.66 Damaged on landing at an ag strip 20 miles north east of Geraldton WA.
DCA accident report: "Soon after touchdown the port wheel struck and dislodged a rock which in turn removed the hydraulic brake bleed nipple. A swing to the right developed into a ground-loop and the port undercarriage collapsed."
Pilot Harold Summerfield was unhurt.
12.66 Air Culture leased YA-1 VH-BAK to replace CYW while being repaired
30.7.67 noted at Jandakot, at Air Culture hangar. No company titles on fuselage.
20.9.67 noted at Jandakot, in service with Air Culture
7.10.67 noted at Jandakot
29.10.67 noted at Jandakot
7.4.69 noted at Jandakot, repainted and Air Culture markings removed. Parked outside Air Culture hangar with canvas cover over cockpit
28.5.69 noted at Jandakot
22.7.69 flew Jandakot-New Norcia
18.9.69 noted at Jandakot, departed
20.11.69 noted at Jandakot, arrived
22.11.69 noted at Jandakot, departed for Esperance
19.12.69 Arrived at Jandakot after a month's absence, for auction of Air Culture's assets. Left parked in Air Culture's cleaned-out hangar
12.69 Air Culture winding-up auction held in their hangar at Jandakot.
13.1.70 noted Jandakot, in Air Culture hangar
30.3.70 noted Jandakot, in Air Culture hangar
13.6.70 noted Jandakot, in Air Culture hangar
6.7.70 Change of ownership: Eric C. R. Stein, Perth WA t/a Falcon Aerial Enterporises Pty Ltd, York WA    
25.7.70 noted at Jandakot, parked outside the former Air Culture hangar
18.12.70 noted at Jandakot, in main aircraft park
29.1.71 noted at Jandakot, arrived
13.2.71 noted at Jandakot, at CFS hangar
6.3.71 noted at Jandakot, landed and parked in the tree parking area
29.5.71 noted at Jandakot, in main aircraft park
4.7.71 noted at Jandakot, in main aircraft park
9.10.71 noted at Jandakot, in main aircraft park
12.10.71 noted at Jandakot, in main aircraft park
21.3.72 noted at Jandakot, in main aircraft park
6.4.72 Change of owner's name: Falcon Super Spread Pty Ltd, Perth
5.12.72 noted at Jandakot, had commenced a major overhaul in Bernies Aviation hangar. Completed 6.73. Repainted in a new blue and white scheme
VH-CYW was sold on 9.4.73 by Perth aircraft dealer Brian Hooey to I.L.Dunn, Ballidu WA while it was on overhaul .
Dunn resold it on 15.6.73 to Ian Chambers before the overhaul had been completed

15.6.73 Change of ownership: Ian C. Chambers, Perth WA trading as Chambers Agspray Aviation.
Based at Northam WA.
15.6.73 noted at Jandakot, outside Bernies Aviation hangar after overhaul completed. New blue & white paint scheme
8.7.73 noted at Jandakot, in main aircraft park
9.7.73 Departed Jandakot for Northam after lengthy stay for overhaul and repaint
2.1.74 noted at Jandakot, parked on agricutural hangars apron, no titles
3.2.74 noted at Jandakot, outside Bernies hangar
16.3.74 noted at Jandakot, outside Bernies hangar, now had "Chambers Agspray Aviation" titles
25.5.74 noted at Jandakot, commenced overhaul in Bernies Aviation hangar
15.6.74 noted at Jandakot, outside Bernies hangar, overhaul completed and resprayed in a new yellow and white scheme
22.6.74 noted at Jandakot, yellow and white scheme, no titles, spraybars
22.9.74 noted at Jandakot main aircraft park, "Chambers Agspray Aviation" titles, fitted with spraybars, parked with Cessna 188 VH-EJU
15.10.74 noted at Jandakot main aircraft park, "Chambers Agspray" titles, with Cessna 188 VH-EJU
14.12.74 noted at Jandakot main aircraft park, "Chambers Agspray" titles
5.7.75 noted at Jandakot, outside Bernies hangar
1.8.75 noted at Jandakot, in main aircraft park
3.8.75 noted at Jandakot, in main aircraft park, spraybars, titles now "Agspray Aviation"
10.10.75 noted at Jandakot
9.11.75 noted at Jandakot, in main aircraft park
8.12.75 Struck-off Register, at owner's request
11.5.76 noted at Jandakot, at Bernies hangar, resprayed in a new red and white scheme
15.6.76 Restored to register: W. W. Sutherland, Kalannie WA.
Based on Sutherland's farm "Erindale" near Xantippe, 20 miles east of Dalwallinu
12.5.77 noted on "Erindale", parked in a shed on the farm, red & white paint scheme. Fitted out for spraying. Total log time 4,860 hours
6.8.78 Crashed near Ballidu WA.  Crashed in forced landing after loss of engine power while spraying 13 miles north of Ballidu.
9.8.78 Struck-off Register
  Wreck acquired by Maylands TAFE, Perth in conjunction with Civil Aviation Historical Society (WA) as part of a plan to restore Captain Horrie Miller’s CA-6 Wackett Trainer VH-AIY which was in poor condition at Broome WA. Because its wooden wing had deteriorated to such an extent due 40 years in a tropical climate, it was proposed to restore the Wackett for display in Perth, using the YA-1 Cropmaster metal wing.
  Collection of the Wackett in Broome was frustrated by local issues
  In 2002 the Wackett VH-AIY was collected from Broome by Aviation Heritage Museum, Perth. After a 6-year restoration, it was displayed inside their museum with rebuilt wooden wing.
c90 Wing of VH-CYW acquired from Perth by Leigh Giles & Mark Pilkington, Lara, Victoria. Stored for eventual use in their CA-6 restoration projects of VH-AGP & -BLV.


VH-CYB at Bankstown December 1961, flight testing the metal YA-1 tailplane.                                             Photo by Eric Allen


  VH-CYB became YA-1 Cropmaster 250 c/n 106, seen at Bankstown April 1962.                                             Photo by Dick Hourigan


  Bankstown 1 May 1962 prior to delivery to Air Culture.                                                                          Geoff Goodall collection


  Maylands Aerodrome, Perth in March 1963 with Air Culture.                                                                      Photo by Mike Madden


  Jandakot July 1973, now in a blue and white paint scheme.                                                                    Photo by Geoff Goodall


  Jandakot June 1974, repainted yellow and white by Chambers Agspray.                                               Photo by Roger McDonald

C/n 107                    YA-1 Cropmaster 250R                                                                                                                      VH-BAQ

62 Built at Bankstown Airport, Sydney by Yeoman Aviation Pty Ltd.
250hp Lycoming O-540 engine driving a Hartzell propeller
Painted white with blue trim.
7.62 nearing completion at Bankstown, Continental engine
16.8.62 Registered VH-BAQ Boorowa Air Services Pty Ltd, Boorowa NSW
25.7.64 noted at Cootamundra, white and blue
24.10.64 Crashed destroyed near Boorowa NSW.  While conducting agricultural operations on "Vine Lodge", 26 miles north of Boorowa, crashed and was destroyed by fire.
Pilot John Waddell, Director of Boorowa Air Services, was killed. It was suggested that the pilot was conducting aerobatic manoeuvres at the completion of the ag operation at the property and the sale of his company.
DCA accident report : "The aircraft struck the ground in a flat attitude with a high vertical component, probably in a pull out from a dive, but the cause of the accident could not be determined."
24.10.64 Struck-off Register
64 Wreck was moved by road to Bankstown to Yeoman Aircraft Pty Ltd for parts


  Bankstown August 1962, just completed in the Yeoman hangar behind.                                                                    Photo by Eric Allen

C/n 108                  YA-1 Cropmaster 250R                                                                                                                           VH-DCB, ZK-CCP

62 Built at Bankstown Airport, Sydney  by Yeoman Aviation Pty Ltd.
250hp Lycoming O-540 engine driving a Hartzell propeller
Painted white with red trim as VH-DCB
9.62 First flight at Bankstown
28.9.62 Flown from Bankstown to Sydney Airport, where dismantled for airfreighting to NZ
1.10.62 Departed Sydney for Wellington NZ on board Qantas L1049H Super Constellation freighter VH-EAA. Accompanied by Bill Smith, Peter Brown (both of Yeoman Aviation) and Keith Death (of Hazair Albury) who would supervise the assembly and demonstration flying in NZ
1.10.62 VH-EAA departed Wellington for Sydney same day with a load of race horses
2.10.62 Registered VH-DCB Yeoman Aviation Pty Ltd, Bankstown NSW
3.10.62 Struck-off Register as sold to NZ
4.10.62 First flight at Wellington Airport.
4.10.62 Registered ZK-CCP  Farmers Aerial Topdressing Co Ltd, Invercargill NZ.
Farmers ATD had been appointed Yeoman agents for NZ
5.10.62 Minor damage when blown on to nose by wind gust while taxying at Wellington Airport, with a pilot from Farmers ATD. Quickly repaired.
10.10.62 Arrived at Invercargill after demonstrations en route
12.10.62 Flew demonstrations at Invercargill
15.2.63 Took part in flying display for HRH Queen Elizabeth's visit to Inverary Research Station
5.4.66 Crashed at Browns, Southland NZ. Struck a fence on takeoff at a farming property, the damage jammed the elevators causing the aircraft to violently climb, stall and sideslip into the ground. Aircraft wrecked but pilot Ian Petit unhurt.
5.6.66 Struck-off Register


  Invercargill NZ 12 October 1962, during demonstration flights.                                                                       Photo by Dennis Kelly


  Three years later and looking hard-worked, at Christchurch NZ.                                                             Photo by Ray Deerness

C/n 109                     YA-1 Cropmaster 250                                                                                                              Not completed 

25.1.63 noted on the YA-1 assembly line in Yeoman Aviation hangar at Bankstown Airport

not completed

Anecdotal report says the structure was damaged during the early phase of construction and replaced by the next on the production line

C/n 110                   YA-1 Cropmaster 250,  to Yeoman-Hanes 250                                                                      VH-DEQ, ZK-CDI, VH-FBC

62/63 Built at Bankstown Airport, Sydney by Yeoman Aviation Pty Ltd.
25.1.63 noted on the YA-1 assembly line in Yeoman Aviation hangar at Bankstown
10.1.64 YA-1 noted in Yeoman hangar at Bankstown, almost completed, "Farmers Aerial Topdressing Co Ltd" titles but no registration.
250hp Lycoming O-540 engine driving a Hartzell CS propeller.
Painted white with red trim.
28.1.64 Registered VH-DEQ Yeoman Aviation Pty Ltd, Bankstown NSW
28.1.64 First flight at Bankstown

Shipped from Sydney to Invercargill NZ
10.2.64 Arrived crated at Invercargill Airport, painted as VH-DEQ.  Assembled by Farmers Aerial Topdressing Co
11.2.64 Struck-off Australian Register
14.2.64 noted Invercargill, now painted as ZK-CDI, still has plastic protective wrapping
17.2.64 First flight at Invercargill after assembly
20.2.64 Registered ZK-CDI Farmers Aerial Topdressing Co Ltd, Invercargill NZ.
8.3.64 Flew agricultural demonstrations at Air Exposition at Christchurch
1.65 ZK-CDI flown on a demonstration tour around NZ by pilot Hunter McEwan
6.66 Retired by Farmers ATD at Gore. Has been advertised for sale in Australia.
Returned to service
31.1.67 NZ CAA report: total airframe time 1683 hours
.67 Farmers were taken over by James Aviation, Hamilton NZ. The YA-1 did not fit the James fleet, so was retired at Hamilton
16.3.68 noted at Hamilton, parked
17.10.68 Change of ownership: Ivan H. Hanes t/a Hanes Engineering Co Ltd, Horotiu
69 Rebuilt at Hamilton NZ as 3 seater passenger aircraft, all agricultural equipment removed. Modifications to install 3 seats and new extended cockpit canopy design prepared by John Frost of Air New Zealand with NZ CAA certification assistance from Bill Smith and Brian Wager in Sydney. Other changes included metallised ailerons. Named Yeoman-Hanes 250
.69 Modification completed late 1969.
1.73 noited at Omaka as Yeoman-Hanes 250
11.11.75 noted at Hamilton as Yeoman-Hanes 250
76/77 flying regularly
7.1.77 noted at Pukekohe  
12.2.79 noted at Hamilton, repainted white with brown & black trim, registration "CDI", name on nose changed to "Yeoman 250"
80 based at Hamilton, flown regularly by I.H.Hanes.
12.4.87 noted at Christchurch, white & tan "CDI", name on nose "Yeoman 250"
6.11.89 Change of ownership: Frank Pike, Murrays Bay, Auckland NZ
12.90 Damaged when nosed over. Stored damaged Auckland-Ardmore, then Auckland-Dairy Flat
29.3.99 Struck-off NZ Register as withdrawn from service
.01 Acquired by Fred Burke and David James, Wagga NSW. Exported from NZ to Australia
5.12.01 Registered VH-FBC  Fred D. Burke, Wagga NSW
Australian Civil Register quotes type as YA-1-200
10.10 stripped bare fuselage frame and wing sections in AgCat hangar at Wagga.
Long term restoration project by Fred Burke, son of pioneer Wagga agricultural operator Fred Burke, who owned YA-1 VH-FPB.


      ZK-CDI just assembled at Invercargill 14 February 1964.                                                                  Photo by Dennis Kelly


  The unique Yeoman-Hanes 250, at Omaka January 1973.                                                                 Ray Deerness collection


  April 1971 showing cabin passenger hatches.                                                                                      Tony Arbon collection


  Christchurch April 1987, wearing only the “last three” of the registration.                                                           Tony Arbon collection


  Wagga NSW in July 2010, stripped for restoration as VH-FBC.                                                                        Photo by Phil Vabre

C/n 111                  YA-1 Cropmaster 250                                                                                                                         VH-DCC, VH-ENM

62/63 Built at Bankstown Airport, Sydney by Yeoman Aviation Pty Ltd.
25.1.63 noted on the YA-1 assembly line in Yeoman Aviation hangar at Bankstown.
250hp Lycoming O-540 engine driving a Hartzell CS propeller.
Painted white with red and black trim.
11.4.63 First flight at Bankstown
11.4.63 Registered VH-DCC  Hazelton Air Services, Cudal NSW
1.5.63 Change of ownership: Hazair Agricultural Services (Albury) Pty Ltd, Albury NSW
28.1.64 noted at Albury, white with red and black trim
13.9.64 noted at Albury,white with red trim, "Hazair Albury Pty Ltd" titles
14.9.64 noted at Coolamon NSW, working from an ag strip with Hazair Cessna 180 VH-BBW
3.12.64 noted at Albury
20.9.65 noted at Albury
25.2.66 noted at Wagga, visiting from Albury with Hazair Albury's other YA-1 VH-CXS
11.3.66 noted at Corowa Vic, arrived from Albury
6.10.66 noted at Albury
14.5.67 noted at Albury
12.12.67 While the engine was being run-up prior to takeoff at Albury, the tail lifted and the propeller struck the ground. Propeller blade tips were bent. Pilot J.Nairn was not injured.
28.9.68 noted at Holbrook NSW in Hazair hangar
15.12.68 Crashed near Holbrook NSW. Pilot lost directional control during the takeoff run from a strip near Holbrook due to starboard hydraulic brake line becoming detached. Aircraft ground-looped and was substantially damaged. Pilot I.(Bob) Hervey unhurt.
15.12.68 Struck-off Register due accident.  
8.1.70 noted at Albury, dismantled, damaged fuselage against the wall of the Hazair hangar
28.9.70 noted at Albury
15.6.72 noted at Albury, dismantled in Hazair hangar. Wings in the rafters
5.5.73 noted at Albury, dismantled in Hazair hangar. Wings in the rafters
.73 Dismantled aircraft moved to Lismore NSW for rebuild by Aircraft Engineers Associates for new owner Peter Meek
1.74 noted at Lismore NSW being rebuilt
29.1.74 Restored to Register VH-ENM Peter W. Meek t/a Eveready Airspray Pty Ltd, Wee Waa NSW. The company formed by Peter Meek, George Greig and Bill Spence. Specialised in cotton spraying including low-level night spraying using spotlights on wingtips.
5.8.74 noted at Wee Waa, spray bars. Orange and blue with white trim. Spotlights on wingtips.
20.4.75 noted at Wee Waa, spray bars. Spotlights on wingtips, in service
18.7.76 noted at Wee Waa, in service
25.9.76 noted at Wee Waa
21.2.78 Crashed while spraying near Wee Waa NSW.  Struck power lines while spraying, aircraft a writeoff. Pilot Richard Powdrill was seriously injured.
22.2.79 Struck-off Register

Wreck stored at Peter Meek’s house in the town of Wee Waa

Wreck acquired for parts by John Gallagher, Sydney NSW

Gallagher gave ENM's rear fuselage frame to Malcolm Long, Coolangatta Qld as parts for a CA-6 Wackett frame held at Chewing Gum Field Air Museum, Tallebudgera Qld: (Refer CA-6 page in this series: “Wackett Trainer Display Fuselage”)

Gallagher moved one wing to his house at Loftus, Sydney for storage. The other wing was wrecked in the crash.


  Albury NSW March 1965, configured for dusting.                                                                                    Photo by Dave Eyre


  Albury July 1967, departing on a foggy morning for a day’s dusting.                                                            Photo by Geoff Goodall


  VH-ENM at Wee Waa, September 1976 with night spraying wingtip spotlights.                                                     Photo by Mike Vincent

C/n 112                   YA-1 Cropmaster 250                                                                                                             VH-FPB, VH-SWC, (VH-SWQ)

62/63 Built at Bankstown Airport, Sydney by Yeoman Aviation Pty Ltd.
25.1.63 noted on the YA-1 assembly line in Yeoman Aviation hangar at Bankstown.
250hp Lycoming O-540 engine driving a Hartzell CS propeller.
Painted white with pale blue trim
1.7.63 First flight at Bankstown.  Titles "Agspray, Wagga" painted on fuselage
3.7.63 Registered VH-FPB Agricultural Aviation Pty Ltd, Wagga NSW
Director & Chief Pilot was Fred W. Burke. The registration referred to Fed and Patti Burke, his wife.
27.7.63 noted at Bankstown, "Agspray Wagga" titles
3.8.63 Agricultural spray pump blades broke away in flight, one blade pierced the fuselage, pilot Fred Burke unhurt.
5.8.63 noted at Bankstown, "Agspray Wagga" titles
9.63 noted at Bankstown, "Agspray Wagga" titles
27.12.63 noted at Wagga
9.1.64 noted Wagga, white with blue & black trim
4.64 Advertised for sale. Fred Burke believed the YA-1 was too fast for spraying and the downwash and vortices were unsatisfactory for good spray ingress. He put VH-FPB up for sale and ordered a new Grumman Agcat.  At this time, Swiftair had lost an aircraft in an accident and needed a replacement immediately so purchased VH-FPB sight-unseen.
4.64 Change of ownership: Swiftair Aviation Services Pty Ltd, Casino NSW
4.64 photo on first day in operation with Swiftair at Dyrabba Station, near Casino. Pilot Cec Swift, loader driver Ted Blanch. "Swiftair Aviation Services Casino" painted on fuselage, still painted as VH-FPB
4.64 Re-registered VH-SWC
23.9.64 noted at Archerfield Qld
15.12.64 Tail lifted by gust of wind during loading of agricultural chemicals with engine was running in northern NSW, pilot Wetherstone unhurt.
12.6.66 While being taxied in gusty wind conditions prior to parking at Casino Aerodrome NSW, the tail lifted and propeller struck the ground. Pilot Cec Swift.
3.4.67 Damaged landing near Lismore NSW.  In a gusty crosswind, the pilot ran off the wet strip and both undercarriage legs struck tree stumps. Pilot J. Crother was unhurt
4.67 noted at Archerfield Qld (probably for repair)  
6.10.68 noted at Lismore NSW airshow. By now repainted in a new white & red scheme, no titles
14.8.70 Struck-off Register, owner's request
22.9.70 noted at Lismore, dismantled in hangar
11.2.72 Restored to Register: Swiftair Aviation Services Pty Ltd, Lismore NSW
31.12.72 noted at Lismore, white with red trim, spray bars
9.1.73 noted at Lismore, white with red trim
9.5.73 noted at Lismore
11.3.74 submerged by flood waters at Lismore aerodrome. Returned to service.
8.8.74 noted at Lismore
16.8.74 noted at Lismore, parked outside, elevators removed, fitted with spraybars. White & red.
13.3.75 Struck-off Register

Reportedly continued flying after being removed from Register
19.4.75 noted at Lismore
12.6.75 noted at Lismore
8.75 Sold to Peter W. Meek t/a Eveready Airspray Pty Ltd, Wee Waa NSW.  
Sale included all YA-1 spares held by Swiftair.
8.75 Ferried Lismore-Wee Waa by Peter Meek.  This was its last flight.

Parked at Wee Waa. Planned to be returned to service as a backup for Eveready's YA-1s VH-ENM & CXS but no immediate need for a third Cropmaster at that time.
18.7.76 noted at Wee Waa
15.8.76 noted at Wee Waa, parked in open on town strip
25.9.76 noted at Wee Waa
3.79 Moved from Wee Waa to Peter Meek's farming property and horse stud "Tallowfield" Pindimar near Newcastle NSW.  VH-SWC was dismantled at Wee Waa by John Gallagher and Peter Meek, fuselage, engine and parts taken by road to "Tallowfield".  The mainplane and undercarriage was initially loaned to Gallagher who moved it to his home in the Sydney suburb of Loftus, where it was used to evaluate attachment to the fuselage frame of Gallagher's CA-6 Wackett Trainer VH-DGR. Then the mainplane was moved to "Tallowfield" where the components were stored, pending a planned rebuild to fly
17.4.79 Registration VH-SWQ reserved by P.W.Meek. VH-SWC had by now been allocated to a Cessna 550 Citation owned by Sea World, Surfers Paradise.
21.4.79 CA-6 fuselage frame successfully attached to mainplane of SWQ at Gallagher's home
19.3.80 Telex to DoT from RAAF Williamtown requesting owner of aircraft VH-SWC which was "parked in the wrong area" on the base and also parts marked VH-TPN were on the base.   DoT replied that both aircraft were no longer on the Civil Aircraft Register.
8.80 Report: all parts of VH-SWQ are stored on "Tallowfield", Pindimar NSW. Meek plans to rebuild it as a 3 seater similar to the Yeoman-Hanes 250 ZK-CDI, however retaining more of the Cropmaster outline.
.84 Peter Meek sold VH-SWQ to a pilot at Albury NSW as a restoration project
Reportedly Bob Eastick, an Albury ag pilot: see accident 4.3.70 for c/n 101
8.84 Moved dismantled by road from "Tallowfield" to Albury Airport NSW. Originally planned to be rebuilt to airworthy by Albury-based aircraft engineer Jim Williams
3.97 YA-1 advertised for sale by Tony Edwards, Wagga NSW "complete rebuild project"
.97 Dismantled airframe acquired by Mark Pilkington, Lara Vic.
  Engine sold to John Gallagher, Sydney. The cowlings, canopy and tailplane were swapped with John for CA-6 parts for Pilkington’s Wackett restoration projects
.14 VH-SWC fuselage and wings stored by Mark Pilkington. The metal wing is intended to be used for the airworthy restoration of CA-6 Wackett Trainer VH-AGP

    Bankstown 5 August 1963 soon after completion.                                                                                          Photo by Dave Eyre


  Casino NSW 1967, covered with overnight dew.                                                                                            Geoff Goodall collection


  VH-SWC at Lismore NSW in April 1975 with Swiftair.                                                                                                  Tony Arbon collection

  Wee Waa NSW in August 1976, held as a spare aircraft by Eveready Airspray.                                                  Photo by Mike Vincent


  VH-SWC’s wing attached to CA-6 VH-DGR’s fuselage frame, Loftus,       Sydney April 1979.                                                  Photo by Peter Anderson

C/n 113                    YA-1 Cropmaster 250R                                                                                                                  VH-CYY, VH-AGL

62/63 Built at Bankstown Airport, Sydney by Yeoman Aviation Pty Ltd.
25.1.63 noted on the YA-1 assembly line in Yeoman Aviation hangar at Bankstown.
Originally to be Lycoming powered, but completed with 260hp Continental IO-470-G as a Cropmaster 250R
Painted white with blue and black trim
3.64 First flight Bankstown
7.4.64 Registered VH-CYY Westair Aviation Service Pty Ltd, Coonabarabran NSW
Charter and agricultural company founded at Coonabarabran in 1959 by David Knight
21.5.64 Exhaust flame on engine start ignited fuel vapour inside the wings and the resulting explosion blew out the top and bottom skins on both wings. Aircraft was spreading gypsum at Mount Errin via Merriwa NSW . Pilot H. Monod de Froidville
10.10.64 flew an agricultural display at an airshow, Coonabarabran
27.11.65 noted at Coonabarabran, "Westair Aviation Service Pty Ltd Coonabarabran" titles on fuselage, fitted for dusting
24.7.66 noted at Coonabarabran
31.8.66 testflown Coonabarabran by David Knight after Westair replaced the Continental IO-470G with a 260hp IO-470E.
1.9.66 further testflight. Westair advised DCA that aircraft handling was unaffected and engine ran with less vibration. Rolls Royce engineers and DCA airworthiness surveyors conducted testing at Coonabaran.  DCA approved the IO-470E for the Cropmaster 250R.
2.9.66 noted at Coonabarabran
10.12.66 noted at Coonabarabran
15.3.67 noted at Coonabarabran with YA-1 ABH
3.7.67 noted at Coonabarabran with YA-1 ABH, both departed at dawn, both with spraybars
1.9.68 noted at Coonabarabran with YA-1 ABH
27.10.68 noted at Coonabarabran with YA-1 ABH
19.2.69 Tipped on nose while turning on soft ground at the loading site on an agricultural strip near Zinnaway NSW. Propeller blades were damaged.
11.11.69 Change of ownership: Avia Guard (Vic), Ballarat Vic
11.11.69 Reregistered VH-AGL

Avia Guard purchased VH-CYY to replace their PA-25 Pawnee VH-AGL which crashed 7 June 1969 near Bullarto Vic. In a phonecall to DCA, verbal approval was given for VH-CYY to be changed to VH-AGL and the new registration was painted on the Yeoman. A short time later DCA wrote to Avia Guard stating it had just been recognised that the re-use of the registration of a crashed aircraft was against (then) policy, and cancelled the approval.
Avia Guard refused to repaint the Yeoman's registration again and after some weeks of dispute, DCA allowed the reregistration.
30.12.69 noted at Ballarat, "Avia Guard " titles, white with green trim, also 10.1.70, 14.9.70,1.1.72
5.72 Negotiations completed between Avia Guard and Eveready Airspray, Wee Waa for the purchase of VH-AGL and the wreck of their YA-1 VH-ABH. VH-AGL was currently having a new 260hp Continental IO-470E engine installed by engineers at Mafair at Ballarat.
.72 VH-AGL ferried Ballarat-Cootamundra for overhaul and repaint by Airland.
21.7.72 Change of ownership: Peter W. Meek t/a Eveready Airspray, Wee Waa NSW
7.73 Modified with spot lights on each wingtip for night cotton spraying
.74 Change of ownership: Horst Rhode, Pittsworth Qld
5.8.74 noted at Moree NSW, "EA" motif on tail, spraybars
3.6.75 noted at Pittsworth Qld, "EA" motif on tail still, spraybars
26.9.75 Change of ownership: B. J. Canty, t/a Emerald Aerial Treatments, Emerald Qld
Based on an agricultural strip on property "Emerald Downs" near the town of Emerald
29.1.76 Forced landing near Emerald Qld. Landed in a ploughed paddock due engine power loss. Minor damage.
76 Corrosion in the airframe made a rebuild uneconomical, abandoned on site
.76 Purchased in damaged condition by John A. Gallagher, Sydney NSW.
Planned to use the mainplane for restoration of his CA-6 Wackett Trainer VH-DGR.
.76 VH-AGL dismantled airframe moved from Emerald to Sydney on a large trailer towed by Gallagher's car. During the night a cigarette thrown from a passing vehicle lodged between the wing and fuselage and generated a fire which caused significant damage, particularly to the rear fuselage section.
76/80 Stored dismantled in backyard of Gallagher's house in the Sydney suburb of Loftus
8.4.78 YA-1 undercarriage legs noted in grass on the strip at "Emerald Downs", Emerald Qld
8.2.79 Struck-off Register as "Withdrawn From Service 20.12.78"
6.80 John Gallagher sold dismantled VH-AGL to aircraft restoration enthusiasts Leigh Giles and Mark Pilkington, Lara Vic. Also included were wings of VH-TPN and tailplane of VH-ENM. They planned to swap VH-AGL with Moorabbin Air Museum for the airframe of CA-6 Wackett Trainer VH-AGP held in storage by the museum.
12.10.80 VH-AGL moved by road from Loftus, Sydney to Victoria
.80 Swapped with Moorabbin Air Museum, Moorabbin Airport, Melbourne. Fuselage still painted with "EA" motif from Eveready Airspray days. Also delivered to the museum were the wing of VH-TPN and tailplane of VH-ENM.
14.12.80 Complete fuselage of VH-AGL noted in Moorabbin Air Museum compound. Fitted with cowlings from a different Cropmaster
  Current. Renamed Australian National Aviation Museum, YA-1 held in storage in the museum parts store in the museum compound.


  Warming up at dawn at Coonabarabran, July 1967.                                                                      Photo by Geoff Goodall


  Reregistered VH-AGL, seen at Ballarat Vic during 1970.                                                                        Photo by Mike Vincent


  VH-AGL at Avia Guard's home base Ballarat in December 1971.                                                         Photo by Mike Madden


  Moree NSW August 1974, in Eveready Airspray's markings.                                                                Photo by Mike Madden


  Pittsworth Qld June 1975, based here owned by Horst Rhode.                                                                 Photo by Geoff Goodall


  Emerald Qld 1976 after a forced landing, about to be taken by road to Sydney.                                               Photo by John Gallagher

The fuselage of VH-AGL on the day it arrived at Moorabbin Air Museum, 14 December 1980.                                        Photo by Neil Follett

C/n 114                  YA-1 Cropmaster 250R                                                                                                                               VH-ABH

64 Built at Bankstown Airport, Sydney by Yeoman Aircraft Pty Ltd.
250hp Continental IO-470-R engine driving a Hartzell CS propeller.
Painted white with blue and black trim

Has been reported that VH-ABY was allocated to this aircraft, but not taken up and it was registered as VH-ABH, which was said to refer to "Benders Hobart"
18.8.64 First flight Bankstown
20.8.64 Registered VH-ABH Benders Spreading Service Pty Ltd, Cambridge Airport, Hobart Tas
11.9.64 noted Bankstown, waiting for delivery
21.9.64 Arrived Cambridge Airport, Hobart on delivery flight from Bankstown. White with blue & black trim
10.5.66 Accident near Lady Barren, Flinders Island. During takeoff just prior to becoming airborne the engine separated from the airframe. The aircraft returned to land on the airstrip. It was found that a propeller blade had fractured at the root and detached, wrenching the engine from its mountings. Pilot R. Lewis unhurt.
19.8.66 Struck-off Register

Damaged aircraft sold to Jim Hazelton, Orange NSW.  Moved to Orange for rebuild
10.12.66 noted at Orange NSW having new paint scheme applied after rebuild
22.12.66 Restored to Register: Westair Aviation Service Pty Ltd, Coonabarabran NSW
5.3.67 noted at Coonabarabran, with CYY
3.7.67 noted at Coonabarabran, with CYY. Both departed at dawn
1.9.68 noted at Coonabarabran, with CYY
27.10.68 noted at Coonabarabran, with CYY
30.12.69 noted at Ballarat, red and white "Westair Aviation Service, Coonabarabran" titles.  Has been purchased by Avia Guard, who intend getting a third Cropmaster
10.2.70 Change of ownership: Avia Guard (Vic), Ballarat Vic
Crashed Murrundindi 9 miles south of Yea Vic.
Pilot Geoffrey Noak received minor injuries
Accident report:  The pilot was carrying out aerial spreading operations in hilly terrain using a left hand racetrack pattern. The superphosphate was being spread on both the straight sides of the pattern working inwards. As the pattern became narrower it became necessary to carry out a procedure turn at the end of each run. At the end of the second run during his eighteenth flight for the day, the pilot was carrying out a procedure turn in a blind gully. The area where the turn was made was such as to take the aircraft over progressively rising terrain during the turn because of the ridge structure. The aircraft was approximately half way around the turn when the pilot noticed his airspeed was 70 knots instead of his anticipated 90 knots. He lowered some flap, decreased the rate of turn and, as the aircraft appeared to sink, he operated the dump lever to jettison the remainder of his load. While still in the left turn the aircraft struck trees on a small ridge within the gully. The pilot closed the throttle, pulled back on the stick, and the aircraft sheared through several trees before falling inverted to the ground 240 feet beyond the first point of impact with the trees.
2.2.71 Struck-off Register
5.72 Wreck of VH-ABH sold to Peter W. Meek t/a Eveready Airspray, Wee Waa NSW
Included in the sale of Avia Guard's YA-1 VH-AGL and spares to Eveready.

Broken up for parts
25.9.76 Tailplane of VH-ABH noted stored at Peter Meek's house at Charles Street, Wee Waa

Wing spar and parts of VH-ABH acquired by John A. Gallagher, Sydney

Bankstown August 1964, just rolled off the production line.                                                                        Photo by Dave Eyre


  Coonabarabran July 1967, dawn departure with loader-driver in rear seat.                                                    Photo by Geoff Goodall

C/n 115                  YA-1 Cropmaster 250R                                                                                                                      VH-BAK  

64 Built at Bankstown Airport, Sydney by Yeoman Aircraft Pty Ltd
250hp Continental IO-470-R engine driving a Hartzell CS propeller.
Painted white with green trim.
9.64 noted at Bankstown almost completed in Yeoman Aircraft hangar, for Boorowa Air Services, Boorowa NSW whose Pawnee VH-BAK had been traded to Yeoman on the new YA-1. Yeoman immediatey on-sold the Pawnee to Coveair, Adelaide as VH-COD, taking Coveair's YA-1 VH-COE as a trade on the Pawnee.
12.64 noted Bankstown early December. Delivery to Boorowa Air Services cancelled due to the death of company founder A. J. Waddell in the crash of YA-1 VH-BAQ on 24.10.64 and the sale of the company to Max Hazelton’s Hazelton Air Services Pty Ltd.
16.12.64 Registered VH-BAK Hazelton Air Services Pty Ltd, Cudal NSW
6.2.66 noted at Cudal
12.66 Leased to Air Culture Pty Ltd, Jandakot Airport, Perth WA
Short-term lease to replace Air Culture's YA-1 VH-CYW which had crashed near Geraldton on 28.11.66
12.66 Ferried from Cudal to Perth
25.12.66 noted at Jandakot, white with blue trim, "Air Culture" stickers on fuselage
5.3.67 noted at Jandakot, "Air Culture" stickers on fuselage
6.3.67 noted at Jandakot
27.3.67 noted at Jandakot
.67 Ferried from Perth to Cudal NSW at end of lease
9.5.67 Struck a power line near Molong NSW while on an agricultural ferry flight.  Aircraft sustained only minor damage and continued it flight and landed without further damage. Pilot A.C.Nye
7.7.67 noted at Cudal
25.9.67 Change of ownership: Ron Thompson Haulage Pty Ltd, Grafton NSW
Ron Thompson established an aerial agricultural operation with this aircraft.
VH-BAK had “No.13” painted on nose, presumably part of their truck fleet numbering
10.67 noted at Archerfield Qld
Crashed on takeoff at "Cinnebar", Baryulgil near Grafton NSW.   Pilot William Whetherstone unhurt
Accident report: While taking off from strip 35 miles north-west of Grafton, one blade of the propeller detached during the takeoff run. The imbalance tore the engine from its mounts, the engine then striking the wing and rupturing the fuel tank. The aircraft was destroyed by fire. The investigation found that the blade detached as a result of the progression of a fatigue fracture in the blade root.
15.3.68 Struck-off Register

Tail section and small parts salvaged. Burnt airframe left on the site
25.9.76 Tail section of VH-BAK noted at Peter Meek's house, Charles Street, Wee Waa NSW. Stored for spare parts for Eveready Airspray's YA-1s  
1.8.90 Burnt fuselage frame and wing sections unmoved on "Cinnebar"


  Cudal NSW in 1965 soon after delivery, no HAS company name yet applied.                                                      Geoff Goodall collection


  VH-BAK Jandakot WA in December 1966 on arrival for Air Culture.                                                                Photo by Merv Prime


  Jandakot March 1967, Air Culture stickers replacing HAS.                                                                            Photo by Merv Prime


  Only photograph found of VH-BAK in service with Ron Thompson Haulage at Grafton NSW.                             Allyn Eckford collection


  VH-BAK’s remains were still on "Cinnebar" near Grafton in August 1990.                                                         Photo by Allyn Eckford

C/n 116                    YA-1 Cropmaster 250R                                                                                                                                      VH-RPB

64 Built at Bankstown by Yeoman Aircraft Pty Ltd, Bankstown.
250hp Continental IO-470-R engine driving a Hartzell CS propeller.
Painted white with blue & black trim.
9.64 noted at Bankstown, nearing completion in Yeoman Aviation hangar
23.10.64 Registered VH-RPB Benders Spreading Service Pty Ltd, Cambridge Airport, Hobart Tas
1.11.64 noted at Moorabbin on delivery flight from Bankstown to Hobart, white and blue
Crashed destroyed on takeoff Kempton Tas.
While conducting dusting operations, immediately after becoming airborne on takeoff, dived into the ground from approximately 100 feet. No fire. Pilot William K. Pearson killed
11.65 Replaced by Beaver VH-IDT leased by Benders until they took delivery of Pawnee VH-BSB early the following year
1.10.66 Struck-off Register


  VH-RPB at Cambridge Airport, Hobart 1965, with Benders' VH-ABH behind.                                                     Geoff Goodall collection

C/n 117                  YA-1 Cropmaster 250R Series 2                                                                                                                (VH-TPH), ZK-CLW

64 Assembled at Bankstown Airport, Sydney by Yeoman Aircraft Pty Ltd
250hp Continental IO-470-R engine driving a Hartzell CS propeller.
Painted white with dark blue trim
9.64 fuselage noted completed at Bankstown in the Yeoman hangar
12.64 full airframe noted partially completed at Bankstown in the Yeoman hangar
65 Registration allocated VH-TPH.
No Certificate of Registration issued.
20.2.65 noted at Bankstown painted as VH-TPH, complete and due to go to NZ next month
26.2.65 VH-TPH noted at Bankstown being dismantled for shipment to NZ

Assembled at Gore NZ by Southern Aviation
8.4.65 First flight at Gore NZ after assembly
14.4.65 Registered ZK-CLW  Southern Aviation Ltd, Gore
2.66 Southern Aviation pilot Bill Dowden set himself a target to spread 1,000 tons of fertilizer with ZK-CLW in that calendar month. He achieved 1,064 tons in a flying time of 131 hrs 25 mins.
10.1.67 crashed at Clinton NZ. The aircraft slid sideways on a wet airstrip and impacted a fertiliser bin. NZ CAA report: total airframe time 1285 hours

Damaged aircraft stored pending rebuild
23.2.73 Testflown Dunedin after rebuild
2.73 Delivered to Wanganui Aero Work
25.2.73 noted at Wanganui, all white paint scheme
28.3.73 noted at Wanganui, now white, black & orange, no company titles
29.5.73 Official change of ownership:  Wanganaui Aero Work Ltd, Wanganui
9.73 noted at Wanganui, in service with spraybars
14.10.73 noted at Wanganui, in service as a duster
11.73 Traded on a new Cessna A188 Agwaggon to Rex Aviation (NZ) Ltd, Auckland-Ardmore
24.3.74 Leased to Barr Bros Ltd, Auckland-Ardmore
5.7.74 Retired at Ardmore. Last flight date.
74-76 Parked behind Rex hangar at Ardmore and became semi-derelict
9.11.75 noted at Ardmore
6.12.75 noted at Ardmore, outside, no prop and cowlings not closed
6.76 noted at Ardmore, unmoved behind Rex hangar in weathered condition. Still registered to Wanganui Aero Work
.76 Reportedly sold to a local owner who intends to convert the aircraft to a 3 seater, similar to the Yeoman-Hanes 250 ZK-CDI
11.7.77 noted at Ardmore, faded paintwork. parked outside with engine and wing control surfaces removed,cockpit left open to the weather
6.9.78 Change of ownership: Aviation Glass Reinforced Plastics Ltd, Auckland
7.80 Under rebuild at Ardmore as a long-term restoration project by the owner who makes plastic components. He intends installing a one-piece canopy similar to a P-51D Mustang.
.84 Dismantled airframe purchased by Ivan Hanes, Hamilton NZ
To provide parts to maintain his YA-1 c/n 110
87 Reported stored dismantled at Hamilton as spares for ZK-CDI
17.12.90 Struck-off Register as withdrawn from service at Ardmore effective 5.7.74
02 Acquired by Lindsay A. McNicol, Oamaru who also owns ZK-CPW
02/10 Stored dismantled at Thames NZ as a future restoration project.
Arrived dismantled at Omaka Airport NZ for restoration by JEM Aviation as a private passenger aircraft for owner Lindsay McNichol


  VH-TPH during testflights at Bankstown, before being crated for NZ.                                                      Geoff Goodall collection


  ZK-CLW with Southern Aviation at Gore, being hosed hosed off.                                                             Ray Deerness collection


  Wanganui March 1973, just after a repaint by Wanganui Aero Work.                                                     Photo by Ray Deerness


  Wanganui July 1973, additional paintwork including a playboy bunny on the fin.                                    Photo by Ray Deerness


  ZK-CLW at work dusting near Wanganui in 1973.                                                                                           Photo by Ray Derrness


  Ardmore NZ in July 1977, retired with faded paintwork.                                                                                   Photo by Geoff Goodall

C/n 118                   YA-1 Cropmaster 250R Series 2                                                                                                        VH-TPK, ZK-COE

65 Built at Bankstown Airport, Sydney by Yeoman Aircraft Pty Ltd.
250hp Continental IO-470-R engine driving a Hartzell CS propeller.
Painted white with green trim
27.4.65 noted in Yeoman Aviation hangar at Bankstown, nearly completed

Ordered by Western Aerial Services, Cunderdin WA. Order cancelled due delays in delivery because of delayed supply of Continental engine
21.5.65 noted in Yeoman Aircraft hangar at Bankstown, nearing completion, white with green trim
15.6.65 Registered VH-TPK Yeoman Aircraft Pty Ltd, Bankstown Airport, Sydney NSW

Sold to Cropmaster (NZ) Ltd, Invercargill NZ
6.65 dismantled at Bankstown for crating for shipment to NZ
6.65 Shipped from Sydney to NZ in late June
14.7.65 NZ Press release: Southern Aviation Ltd of Gore announced that it had formed an associated company Cropmaster(NZ) Ltd which would undertake assembly and marketing of YA-1 Cropmasters in New Zealand from Charlton Airport, Gore. Their first Cropmaster, the fourth in NZ, was due to arrive at Bluff this week.
15.7.65 Arrived at Bluff NZ on ship Kaitoke
19.7.65 Struck-off Register, sold to NZ
6.10.65 Registered ZK-COE Cropmaster (NZ) Ltd, Invercargill, operated by Southern Aviation Ltd
4.66 Leased for two months to Manawatu Aerial Topdressing Co, Fielding
4.7.66 Change of ownership: Southern Aviation Ltd, Gore
4.9.66 Crashed at Waikana, 8 miles from Mataura, Southland.
The pilot made a low run along an airstrip on a farm to clear grazing sheep prior to landing, followed by a steep climbing turn.  The aircraft stalled and struck the ground in a flat attitude. Aircraft wrecked, pilot and passenger received minor injuries.
4.10.66 Struck-off Register


  VH-TPK at Bankstown in June 1965, just rolled out on completion.                                                          Photo by Dave Eyre


  ZK-COE at Gore in 1965, soon after its arrival from Australia.                                                                            Ray Deerness collection

C/n 119                    YA-1 Cropmaster 250R Series 2                                                                                                     VH-TPM, ZK-CPW

65 Built at Bankstown Airport, Sydney by Cropmaster Aircraft Pty Ltd, Sydney NSW
250hp Continental IO-470-R engine driving a Hartzell CS propeller.
Painted white with blue trim

Ordered by Western Aerial Services, Cunderdin WA. Order cancelled due delays in delivery because of delayed supply of Continental engine
7.7.65 VH-TPM noted at Bankstown, complete outside Cropmaster hangar, white & blue
19.7.65 Registered VH-TPM Cropmaster Aircraft Pty Ltd, Bankstown Airport, Sydney NSW
20.9.65 VH-TPM noted at Bankstown, parked outside the Cropmaster hangar
10.1.66 Struck-off Register as sold to NZ

Shipped to NZ agents Southern Aviation Ltd, Gore
5.66 Assembled from crate at Gore NZ, painted as VH-TPM, white with blue trim
3.5.66 First flight after assembly at Gore
6.5.66 Registered ZK-CPW Southern Aviation Ltd, Gore
5.66 Leased to Air Contracts Ltd, Masterton, while a Beaver was being repaired
7.5.66 noted at Hood aerodrome, on hire to Air Contracts Ltd.
1.7.66 First flight at Gore after assembly
66 photo at Gore, factory paint scheme with "Southern Aviation Ltd" titles
31.1.67 NZ CAA report: total airframe time 486 hours
26.2.67 flew a topdressing demonstration at aero club rally at Gore
12.67/69 Leased to Air Contracts Ltd, Masterton NZ
4.69 Leased to Air Services (Wairarapa) Ltd, Masterton
21.6.69 noted at Masterton, in service, "Southern Aviation Ltd" titles
12.12.69 noted at Masterton, in service, "Southern Aviation Ltd" titles
7.71 noted at Gore with YA-1 ZK-CTX, both owned Southern Aviation, both blue & white
26.4.74 noted at Gore, worn original paintwork, "Southern Aviation Ltd" titles, duster
15.5.74 Damaged at Mataura, tipped on nose while taxing, pilot W. Thompson
6.74 Repairs completed
8.7.74 Port undercarriage oleo failed on takeoff at Fortification, Southland. Aircraft slid to a stop
7.74 Repairs completed
31.8.74 Retired at Gore by Southern Aviation Ltd.  Total airframe time 2,832 hours
76 Stored dismantled at Gore
78 Rebuilt at Gore, using the mainplane of ZK-CTX (c/n 120) which had been retired at Gore.
21.11.79 ZK-CPW test flight at Gore after rebuild. Teturned to service by Southern Aviation Ltd
4.1.80 noted at Gore, repainted yellow & blue, registration "CPW", "Southern Aviation Ltd" titles
5.11.83 noted at Invercargill, additional red cheat line added, "Southern Aviation Ltd" titles
1.85 noted at Gore, white with yellow, blue & red trim, "Southern Aviation Ltd", registration as "CPW", parked in hangar in good condition but has not flown for some time
1.85 Commenced a freight charter, carrying whitebait fish between Big Bay and Invercargill.
By now the aircraft’s ailerons had been metallised.
4.87 advertised for sale, located at Gore
1.6.89 Change of ownership: Lindsay A. McNichol, Oamaru
23.2.91 noted at Mandeville
13.4.92 noted at Timaru, yellow & blue paint scheme no titles or registration, appears to have just been repainted into this colour scheme
16.8.94 noted at Timaru

Loaned by McNicol to Ashburton Aviation Museum, Ashburton NZ
1.5.96 noted at Ashburton Aviation Museum, yellow & blue paint scheme no titles, registration painted in red as ZK-CPW, aircraft on loan from Lindsay McNichol
9.4.98 noted at Ashburton Aviation Museum, unchanged, also 1.02, 2.09, 2.10, 1.11
4.12 flying at Warbirds Over Wanaka Air Show NZ, equipped as a duster
Advertised for sale by Lindsay McNichol.
“This is the only example of a genuine Yeoman Cropmaster left flying in the world. Engine Continental IO-470R. Airframe in excellent condition, cockpit interior 10/10. Also available a complete Yeoman Cropmaster as a spares package.”


  Bankstown on 7 July 1965, completed but not yet formally registered.                                                                Photo by Dave Eyre


  Bankstown September 1965, parked outside Yeoman’s hangar awaiting a buyer.                                      Photo by Geoff Goodall


  ZK-CPW at Masterton 1966 still in gleaming factory paint scheme.                                                     Ray Deerness collection


  Masterton in June 1969 in worn paintwork with changes to the tail.                                                     Photo by Ray Deerness


  ZK-CPW at Ashburton in May 1996.                                                                                                 Photo by Dave Eyre


  Flying at the annual Warbirds Over Wanaka Airshow in NZ, April 2012.                                                   Photo by Ron Cuskelly

C/n 120                   YA-1 Cropmaster 250R Series 2                                                                                                                                    ZK-CTX

65 Built at Bankstown Airport, Sydney by Cropmaster Aircraft Pty Ltd, Sydney NSW
Painted white with blue trim
8.65 noted at Bankstown in Cropmaster hangar, nearing completion. Will be fitted with Lycoming engine because of delays in the supply of a new Continental engine.
3.5.66 noted Bankstown parked outside Cropmaster hangar, complete, no registration
12.66 noted Bankstown inside Cropmaster hangar, no registration
12.66 John Cameron of Cropmaster Aircraft Pty Ltd finalised the sale of the last remaining unsold YA-1 to a New Zealand buyer
24.1.67 Cropmaster Aircraft Pty Ltd wrote to DCA advising that c/n 120 had been sold to Southern Aviation in NZ. Intended to ship aircraft to NZ less engine, mounts and propeller. Southern intend to assemble the aircraft and install a serviceable Continental from their stocks.
2.67 "Completed" at Bankstown

Crated and shipped to NZ
30.5.67 Registered ZK-CTX  Southern Aviation Ltd, Gore NZ

Delay in NZ certification was due to NZ CAA deciding whether the Flight Manual needed amendment because a 260hp Continental had been installed
24.7.67 First flight Gore after assembly
10.11.67 noted at Gore "Southern Aviation Ltd" titles
7.71 noted at Gore with YA-1 ZK-CPW, both Southern Aviation, both white & blue
21.9.71 Retired at Gore by Southern Aviation, total airframe time 2,008 hours
1.1.72 noted at Gore, parked outside, worn paint, no propeller, "Southern Aviation Ltd" titles
72 Peter Meek of Eveready Airspray, Wee Waa NSW had correspondence with Southern Aviation to purchase ZK-CTX, but as the negotiations continued the price increased, and sale not completed
13.11.73 Struck-off Register

Dismantled and stored
19.5.87 noted at Gore on a farm near the airfield. Fuselage in good condition, wings stacked alongside are from ZK-CPW. The single-piece mainplane of ZK-CTX had been fitted to ZK-CPW in 1978 by Southern Aviation after CTX was retired.
Purchased by Colin Smith t/a Croydon Aircraft Company, Mandeville. Stripped airframe remained stored in shed at Gore
23.5.12 Purchased from Colin Smith by Craig Dowden, Gore. Craig is son of Bill Dowden, who became Southern Aviation's chief pilot, logging 4,000 hours on YA-1 Cropmasters between 1965 and 1971.
13/20 Long-term airworthy restoration project by Craig Dowden. Missing components being acquired in NZ and from John Gallagher in Australia. 


  ZK-CTX at Southern Aviation's home base Gore NZ in November 1967.                                                    Ray Deerness collection

Fuselage frame of ZK-CTX commencing restoration, January 2013.                              Photo by Craig Dowden

ZK-CTX coming back together again, as at June 2020.                                                                   Photo by Craig Dowden

c/n 121                    YA-1 Cropmaster 250R Series 2                                                                                                                                  VH-TPN

65 Built at Bankstown Airport, Sydney by Cropmaster Aircraft Pty Ltd, Sydney NSW
250hp Continental IO-470-R engine driving a Hartzell CS propeller.
Painted white with blue trim
24.1.66 Registered VH-TPN  Mervyn Ward, Archerfield Airport, Brisbane Qld
Ward operates as Pastoral Aviation (Qld) Pty Ltd
4.7.66 noted at Archerfield "Pastoral Aviation", white with dark blue trim and registration
3.10.66 Minor damage when propeller struck power lines while attempting to spray close to the boundary of a field in gusty wind conditions, Clifton near Warwick Qld. Pilot Merv Ward was unhurt.
31.5.67 noted at Archerfield, titles "Pastoral Aviation (Qld) Pty Ltd  Spraying Fertilizing Seeding"
15.12.67 noted at Coolangatta Qld, dismantled in hangar
4.1.68 noted at Blackall Qld with Merv Ward's DH.89 Rapide VH-ECW
30.1.69 Change of ownership:  Rex Aviation Ltd, Bankstown NSW
Traded to Cessna dealers Rex on Cessna A188 Agwaggon VH-KVC
6.2.69 noted at Archerfield, still marked "Pastoral Aviation (Qld) Pty Ltd  Spraying Fertilizing Seeding"
20.6.69 Change of ownership: Swiftair Aviation Service Pty Ltd, Lismore NSW
23.9.70 noted at Archerfield, also 28.9.70
2.6.71 Crashed on takeoff Ewenmar, near Tabulam NSW.  
Struck trees during attempted climb after a downwind takeoff near Casino NSW, with agricultural load and two passengers on board. Pilot Cecil Swift, his father and the loader driver were all seriously hurt.
9.9.71 Struck off Register
.75 Wreck purchased by Peter W. Meek, Wee Waa NSW as parts source for his company Eveready Airspray's YA-1 Cropmasters
75 Wreck stored at Meek's house in Charles Street, Wee Waa
25.9.76 VH-TPN's rear fuselage, tail, wing sections noted at Meek's house. Charles Street,
Wee Waa. Titles "Swiftair Aviation" on fuselage.

After Peter Meek sold Eveready Airspray, he moved YA-1 VH-SWC and his YA-1 parts collection from Wee Waa to his property near Newcastle NSW
19.3.80 Telex to DoT from RAAF Williamtown requesting owner of aircraft VH-SWC which was "parked in the wrong area" on the base and also parts marked VH-TPN were on the base.
DoT replied that both aircraft were no longer on the Register.
Assumed SWC & wreck of TPN were temporarily left at RAAF Williamtown by Meek

The one-piece wing of VH-TPN acquired by Moorabbin Air Museum, Moorabbin Airport, Melbourne. The museum also held fuselage of VH-AGL and tailplane of VH-ENM, for a possible composite rebuild for display


  Archerfield July 1966, with Pastoral Aviation.                                                                                      Photo by Ron Cuskelly


  This view of VH-TPN displays the Cropmaster's clean lines.                                                               Photo by Ron Cuskelly


  Wreck at Peter Meek's house at Wee Waa in September 1976.                                                                 Photo by Mike Vincent

Unidentified YA-1 Accidents

19.5.64 near Benalla Vic Pilot hand-started engine with throttle wide open and aircraft jumped chocks, eventually colliding with tree. Pilot unhurt
21.8.64 near Kerang Vic Overturned due to excessive use of wheel brakes after touch down. Pilot unhurt

Alan Knight took these photographs just on first light one morning in 1976 on his property near Wee Waa. At that time Alan engaged Eveready Airspray at Wee Waa to routinely spray insecticides on his cotton crop. VH-ENM is seen at work, flown by Eveready’s chief pilot Peter Meek.
They illustrate the low level at which cotton spraying was conducted, at night or just on dawn, with wheels inches above the crop.


- Australian Civil Aircraft Register - Department of Civil Aviation and its successors

- Flypast A Record of Aviation in Australia, Neville Parnell & Trevor Boughton, CAA 1988

- Annual Survey of Accidents, DCA publications 1960-1968 editions

- National Library of Australia, Trove website, newspaper archive search

- DCA aircraft registration files, WA Region, National Archives of Australia, Perth WA

- DCA Airwork Licence files: Airwork and Air Culture, National Archives of Australia, Perth WA

- DCA Accident Reports, courtesy Dave Prossor

- Cropmaster, Allyn Eckford, AHSA Aviation Heritage, June 2004

- Allyn Eckford, Brisbane: interviews and correspondence with Yeoman founders and YA-1 operators

- Peter Brown’s pilot log book, courtesy Allyn Eckford

- Aviation Historical Society of Australia Journal, monthly, 1960-1970

- South Australian Air Journal, monthly, 1963-1965

- Australian Air Log, monthly journal, 1965-1968

- Tiger Moth, CT-4, Wackett & Winjeel in Australian Service, Stewart Wilson

- Aerial Agriculture in Australia, Derrick Rolland, Aerial Agricultural Assoc of Australia, 1996

- Wackett CA-6 Aircraft - Use for Agricultural Operations, DCA Central office file 1957-58,

- National Archives of Australia, accession MP726 reference 16/11/141



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