|SOUTH AUSTRALIAN AIR TAXIS - 2 |
A pictorial history, all photos by Geoff Goodall unless noted otherwise
Enter Richard Cavill, VH-RC registrations and name change to SA and Territory Air Services Pty Ltd.
In June 1963, Nicholas Air Charter Pty Ltd in Melbourne amalgamated with SA Air Taxis Ltd. NAC was founded by Managing Director Richard Cavill, a former RAAF Meteor pilot, financed by the Nicholas family business (manufacturers of Australia's then leading pain tablet Aspro). 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 at Darwin, established new charter bases at Alice Springs and Darwin and changed its operating name to SA and Territory Air Services (SAATAS).
September 1963, Nicholas Air Charter sent their Avro 19 VH-RCC from
Melbourne to join the SAAT fleet in Adelaide. The Avro had |
been flown out from England the previous year by NAC manager Dick Cavill. Little charter work eventuated for it at Melbourne, so VH-RCC
joined the SAAT fleet, but again its large capacity failed to generate much freight or passenger charter work.
rare colour picture of VH-RCC at Adelaide Airport on 15 February 1964
by Barney B. Deatrick. The Avro still wore the blue and gold |
house colours of its previous owner Hawker Aircraft Ltd, whose name can be seen through the flaking paintwork on the tail. Only a week
later it made its last flight on 23 February 1964 and was retired at Adelaide, to be 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 210A VH-RBE at Adelaide in August 1963. The Nicholas Air Charter lettering was in gold.
|NAC Cessna 185A VH-RCB at Adelaide in May 1964 being operated by SAAT.|
|VH-RCB at Adelaide in October 1964, by 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 SAATAS|
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 185|
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.|
|A colour view taken by Mike Madden shows VH-RCI visiting Sydney Airport in April 1965. An addition to the paintwork was the |
Nicholas Air Charter gold "N" on the tail fin.
|Cessna 210A VH-RCL, the former VH-RDJ, at Adelaide in December 1964.
|Cessna 210A VH-RCK, the former VH-TLV, at Adelaide in December 1964 in a new white and blue paint scheme.
|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.
|First of several Cessna 337s was 337C model VH-RCR purchased new in January 1968. Pictured at Adelaide in April 1968.
Dove 6 VH-MJD joined the fleet when SAATAS bought out Chartair Aviation
of Adelaide in 1969. This 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 re-registered as PK-LEA.
|Also acquired from Chartair Aviation was this Aero Commander 680 VH-PSG. Photo at Adelaide Airport in March 1969.|
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