AUSTRALIAN AIR TAXIS - 2
Enter Richard Cavill, VH-RC registrations and name changed to SA and Territory Air Services Pty Ltd.
In June 1963, Nicholas Air Charter Pty Ltd based in Melbourne amalgamated with SA Air Taxis. NAC was financed by the Nicholas family (manufacturers of Australia's then leading pain tablet Aspro) and founded by Managing Director Richard Cavill, a former RAAF Meteor pilot. Cavill changed the registrations to his VH-RC series and had ambitious plans for expansion into the Northern Territory. In July 1965 SAAT acquired Muir Aviation's operation at Darwin, established new bases at Alice Springs and Darwin and changed its operating name to
SA and Territory Air Services (SAATAS).
|Nicholas Air Charter sent their Avro 19 VH-RCC
from Melbourne to join the SAAT fleet in Adelaide from September 1963.
The Avro had been flown out from England the previous year by NAC manager Dick Cavill. Little charter work eventuated at
Melbourne, so VH-RCC joined the SAAT fleet from September 1963, but again its large capacity failed to generate much freight
or passenger charter work.
|VH-RCC photographed at Adelaide Airport in
February 1964 by Barney B. Deatrick. The Avro still wore the blue and gold
colours of its previous owner Hawker Aircraft Ltd, whose name can be seen through the flaking paintwork on the tail. It was retired
here after its last flight on 23 Febrary 1964 and eventually burnt for fire practice.
|Nicholas Air Charter Cessna 180B VH-ALL was
sent to SAAT for periods in 1963. Seen at Adelaide Airport in July 1963
|Nicholas Air Charter Piper Aztec B VH-AVU
was also used by SAAT in 1963/64. Seen at Moorabbin Airport in May 1964
|NAC Cessna 185A VH-RCB at Adelaide in May
1964 being operated by SAAT.
|VH-RCB at Adelaide in October 1964, now with
SA Air Taxis markings.
|VH-RCC was reallocated to this Cessna 205.
Photo by Peter Limon at Darwin NT in October 1967.
|Registration quickstep. This Cessna 185A
VH-DMD was purchased from Muir Aviation at Darwin. It is seen at Adelaide-Parafield
on arrival from Darwin in February 1965. It was intended to become VH-RCQ but in the event became VH-RCE.
|Same location as the previous picture, in
August 1965. VH-DMD is seen on completion of an overhaul and painted with
markings as VH-RCQ. A week later DCA realised that they had issued a prohibited "CQ" combination, which the Department
banned in 1949 due possible confusion with operational AFTN messaging, in which "CQ"means cancel or disregard.
|The same aircraft as the above two pictures,
now registered VH-RCE with SAATAS.
|VH-RCM photographed at Adelaide in May 1965
was the former VH-RLA, reregistered two months earlier The Cessna
Skywagons were flown extensively to support oil and gas survey and drilling camps in remote desert areas of SA and NT.
|The Dove VH-TLU became VH-RCI and was repainted
in at attractive white & blue scheme. Adelaide October 1963.
|An excellent colour view taken by Mike Madden
shows VH-RCI visiting Sydney Airport in April 1965. Note the addition of
Nicholas Air Charter gold "N" on the tail fin.
|Cessna 310G VH-RCJ was the former VH-TLY.
Seen at Adelaide in October 1966, with "SAATAS" on the tail, but with the
original "SAAT"titles still on the fuselage and tip tanks. It was a hard-worked aircraft in constant charter service.
|Cessna 310J VH-RCP at the opal mining town
of Coober Pedy SA in June 1967.
|Beech D50B Twin Bonanza VH-RCN was a 1959
model, ferried from USA in June 1965 as N202EA in this attractive bronze
and white paint scheme. Photographed at Adelaide in March 1966.
|DH.104 Dove 6 VH-MJD joined the fleet when
SAATAS bought out a smaller rival, Chartair Aviation of Adelaide in 1969.
The Dove was sent to West Irian that year for a survey contract, leading to the formation of SAAATS (East Indonesia), with
whom the Dove was reregistered PK-LEA.
|Also acquired from Chartair Aviation was
this Aero Commander 680 VH-PSG. Photo at Adelaide Airport in March