|1980s DOUGLAS DC-3s Part 2
Continuing my photographs of Australia's surviving DC-3s during the 1980s
c/n 13459 VH-MIN was with Connair on scheduled passenger services at
Darwin in January 1979
VH-MIN joined Essendon freight company Setair Pty Ltd in April 1981 and
was adorned with radio station advertising.
It flew a long-distance charter to Perth in December that year, carrying lengthy drilling equipment
Setair built up a good freight business before the loss of key contracts forced it shut down in April 1983.
This picture in December 1982 shows VH-MIN, MWQ and UPQ formating near Melbourne. Photo: Ben Dannecker
| VH-MIN was purchased from Setair by Rebel Air
in Sydney. This happy group of Rebel Air pilots, hostesses and supporters
at Essendon on 30 June 1983 for the 2 hr 43 mins ferry flight to Sydney. Rebel Air founder Bill Pike is on the far right
VH-MIN flew a variety of charters with Rebel Air, specialising in group
passenger work. Richmond NSW in October 1988
c/n 33301 VH-MMD. This former MMA DC-3's last owner was Travmar,
which flew charter work from West Maitland NSW.
It was retired at Bankstown Airport, Sydney in 1980 and sold to Setair in Melbourne for parts, but remained at Bankstown.
VH-MMD was looking sad by this shot in June 1984. It was later acquired by the Power House Museum in Sydney
c/n 12540 VH-MMF retired at Essendon in May 1981, in basic Forrestair
scheme with name Spirit of Port Arthur on the nose
VH-MMF was used for scenes in the movie Sky Pirates at locations around Melbourne before being acquired by Geoff Leach
of South Pacific Airmotive in Sydney. Seen at Berwick Vic in February 1988 before it was moved by road to Camden NSW.
After another 25 years in storage, it was restored in 2016 as VH-XUX and departed on ferry flight to a new owner in China
c/n 9583 VH-MWQ ex Masling Commuter Services at Essendon in July 1979,
having just been sold to the fledgling Setair
VH-MWQ in freight service with Setair at Essendon in May 1981
Setair ceased operations in April 1983. VH-MWQ Gooney Bird is seen parked at the Essendon storage area that month.
It was sold at the closing down auction in July 1983 to Air North in Darwin with 64,134 airframe hours
c/n 33102 VH-OVM at Essendon in November 1989, the same month it commenced service with Shortstop Jet Charter.
The superb highly polished finish belies that fact that it was Dakota A65-98 with the RAAF Museum until earlier that year.
c/n 11970 VH-PWM was Rebel Air's first DC-3 in November 1979.
It is shown at Perth in May 1982 while flying a passenger group charter around Australia
VH-PWM arrives at the April 1984 Mangalore airshow from Sydney, adorned
c/n 9286 VH-PWN at Cairns in March 1984 while in service with Air
c/n 12056 VH-SBL
at Essendon in May 1981 with the Essendon operator General
VH-SBL at Essendon in January 1984 now in service with new Essendon
operator Golden Wings Australia
VH-SBL was next acquired by WA agricultural operator Rob Poynton, who formed Travair Western Australia. Following a
lengthy restoration at Essendon and refitting the cabin for passenger use, Rob delivered it to Perth in October 1986
VH-SBL at Rottnest Island off Perth in January 1987, while operating a local sightseeing charter
Passenger stroll back to SBL at Rottnest Island after lunch at the
Rottnest Airlines Islander on the left and Barrack Helicopters S-61N departs for Perth
c/n 6108 VH-SBO at Perth in January 1980 during a promotional tour by
Australian TV spoof character Norman Gunston.
The aircraft was operated by Travmar at West Maitland NSW, which unfortunately ceased operations soon after this tour and
VH-SBO was retired at Bankstown and went derelict, still wearing the short-term Norman Gunston paintwork
| c/n 33300 VH-UPQ at Essendon early April 1983. Setair's Sandra was loading passengers for the annual Mangalore air show.
Only a few weeks later Setair (founded as Scenic and Educational Tours) ceased operations and UPQ was sold to Twin Air
Coolangatta Qld in December 1983, VH-UPQ was based here with the
VH-UPQ at Coolangatta December 1983, Twinair made minimal changes to
the previous Setair paint scheme
Rebel Air purchased VH-UPQ from Twin Air, seen arriving at the March 1985 Mangalore
air show from Sydney
VH-UPQ in a different Rebel Air paint scheme at Richmond NSW in October