VH-ARY


Type: L-18-40-11/56-11 Lodestar
MSN: 2104
Previous Identities: LT-909
41-909
42-68349
VHCAC (callsign)
W2104 (GAL)
VH-CAC (NTU)
Subsequent Identities: ZK-ALZ

History:

18APR41 Delivered to Netherlands East Indies Air Force (NEIAF) as LT-909. Based Andir, Java
41 Used by B Flight 8 Sqn RAAF at Te Kuantan, Malaya
07MAR42 Arrived in Australia
17MAR42 Impressed by USAAF as C-56B-LO
APR42 Issued to 22TCS as VHCAC (callsign). Also referred to as 56-909
APR42 Issued to 22TCS as 41-909. This was evidently an interim USAAF serial which was allocated "in the field" by adding the prefix 41- to the three digit Dutch serial. This practice was common with impressed foreign civil aircraft at the time. Subsequently the aircraft was retrospectively allocated a formal 42- serial.
17MAY42 Allocated USAAC serial 42-68349 as C-56B-LO
28OCT42 Arrived Parafield on delivery to Guinea Airways Ltd as VHCAC.
NOV42 Immediately after CofA overhaul by Guinea Airways the aircraft positioned to Port Moresby to join the Buna airlift
16NOV42 Provisional CofA issued (as type L18-56-11) to Guinea Airways Ltd., Parafield, Adelaide, S.A. (Source: NAA, MP/113 VH/CAC [433718] & MP/113 VH/ARY [338804])
16NOV42 Aircraft en route Adelaide to Melbourne. (Source: NAA, MP/113 VH/CAC [433718] & MP/113 VH/ARY [338804])
04DEC42 Starboard undercarriage collapsed on landing Popondetta, N.G.
09DEC42 Aircraft at Archerfield for repairs to starboard undercarriage, centre section and flap and change of starboard mainplane. Expected completion in 10-11 days. (Source: NAA, MP/113 VH/CAC [433718] & MP/113 VH/ARY [338804]). It is reported elsewhere that the starboard undercarriage also collapsed at Archerfield. It is more likely that temporary repairs were made after the undercarriage collapse in N.G. and the aircraft ferried to Archerfield for permanent repairs.
21DEC42 CofA # X-4 issued. (Source: NAA, MP/113 VH/CAC [433718] & MP/113 VH/ARY [338804])
30DEC42 Aircraft is configured for 3 crew plus 18 passengers. (Source: NAA, MP/113 VH/CAC [433718] & MP/113 VH/ARY [338804])
31DEC42 Report that the repairs undertaken by Airlines of Australia at Archerfield were highly unsatisfactory. (Source: NAA, MP/113 VH/CAC [433718] & MP/113 VH/ARY [338804])
08JAN43 A further report states that Airlines of Australia were unaware that the aircraft was being operated by Guinea Airways and that it had been repaired in accordance with USAAC standards. The starboard wing has been removed and returned to Airlines of Australia for rectification. (Source: NAA, MP/113 VH/CAC [433718] & MP/113 VH/ARY [338804])
15JAN43 Aircraft back in service. (Source: NAA, MP/113 VH/CAC [433718] & MP/113 VH/ARY [338804])
05FEB43 Undercarriage retracted while the aircraft was stationary at Archerfield causing minor damage. (Source: NAA, MP/113 VH/CAC [433718] & MP/113 VH/ARY [338804])
11MAR43 Aircraft still awaiting repairs. (Source: NAA, MP/113 VH/CAC [433718] & MP/113 VH/ARY [338804])
18MAR43 Aircraft back in service. (Source: NAA, MP/113 VH/CAC [433718] & MP/113 VH/ARY [338804])
11OCT43 Aircraft now operating out of Parafield, S.A. (Source: NAA, MP/113 VH/CAC [433718] & MP/113 VH/ARY [338804])
22OCT43 Aircraft delayed indefinitely at Katherine awaiting an engine change. (Source: NAA, MP/113 VH/CAC [433718] & MP/113 VH/ARY [338804])
DEC43 CofA renewed at Parafield by GAL. Camouflage stripped and aircraft operated in bare metal with USAAF star. Code W2104 added aft of cockpit windows.
20JAN44 Aircraft force landed at Tennant Creek with hydraulic failure while en route Adelaide to Batchelor. Major damage. (Source: NAA, MP/113 VH/CAC [433718] & MP/113 VH/ARY [338804])
27JAN44 CofA suspended after accident. (Source: NAA, MP/113 VH/CAC [433718] & MP/113 VH/ARY [338804])
10FEB44 Forced landing at Alice Springs on return flight to Parafield after Tennant Creek accident
28FEB44 The complete engine installations are being removed from Lodestar VHCAC and being installed in Lockheed 14 VHCXJ. The 100 series engines in VHCAC are better suited for operation in the smaller aircraft VHCXJ and the USAAC series 200 engines forwarded for use in VHCXJ will now be installed in the larger aircraft VHCAC. "This means that when VHCAC is returned to service after the present major repairs are completed, it will actually be a C.60 type Lodestar" (Source: NAA, MP/113 VH/CAC [433718] & MP/113 VH/ARY [338804])
06JUN44 CofA renewed. (Source: NAA, MP/113 VH/CAC [433718] & MP/113 VH/ARY [338804])
07JUN44 Aircraft returned to service on this date. (Source: NAA, MP/113 VH/CAC [433718] & MP/113 VH/ARY [338804])
15AUG44 Aircraft withdrawn from service and replaced by DC-2 VHCDJ. The aircraft was parked on the northern boundary of Parafield. (Source: NAA, MP/113 VH/CAC [433718] & MP/113 VH/ARY [338804]). It is reported elsewhere that the aircraft was returned to the USAAF on this date but stored at Parafield.
22SEP44 Owing to serious engine trouble with VHCDK, Lodestar VHCAC has been substituted. (Source: NAA, MP/113 VH/CAC [433718] & MP/113 VH/ARY [338804])
03JAN45 Aircraft damaged on the ground at Oodnadatta by an American aircraft in gusty winds. Damage confined to an aileron and wingtip. (Source: NAA, MP/113 VH/CAC [433718] & MP/113 VH/ARY [338804])
MAR45 Returned to service with GAL
05JUN45 CofA expired. (Source: NAA, MP/113 VH/CAC [433718] & MP/113 VH/ARY [338804])
07JUN45 Permission granted to operate aircraft on a special flight to Mt Eba with Guinea Airways engineers to rectify Lockheed 14 VH-AEW which was delayed there with engine trouble. (Source: NAA, MP/113 VH/CAC [433718] & MP/113 VH/ARY [338804])
15JUN45 Total Time: 1383.40 hours. (Source: NAA, MP/113 VH/CAC [433718] & MP/113 VH/ARY [338804])
15JUN45 Guinea Airways request an overun on CofA of a further 100 hours as the aircraft is the backup for the two aircraft in service. The request was approved by DCA. (Source: NAA, MP/113 VH/CAC [433718] & MP/113 VH/ARY [338804])
06JUL45 To replace C-49 aircraft VHCDJ during its CofA in August, GAL proposes installing oxygen, IFF and possibly engines with two speed blowers in VHCAC. (Source: NAA, MP/113 VH/CAC [433718] & MP/113 VH/ARY [338804])
01SEP45 An overnight wind storm at Parafield blew VHCAC into Lockheed 10 VH-UZO damaging a wing of VH-UZO. VHCAC had been parked with brakes on but no chocks. (NAA via G. Goodall)
18SEP45 Aircraft now stationed in Brisbane. (Source: NAA, MP/113 VH/CAC [433718] & MP/113 VH/ARY [338804]). It is reported elsewhere that the aircraft was returned to the USAAF on this date.
26OCT45 CofA expired (3 month only). (Source: NAA, MP/113 VH/CAC [433718] & MP/113 VH/ARY [338804])
27OCT45 Handed over to Aircrafts Pty Ltd at Archerfield. (Source: NAA, MP/113 VH/CAC [433718] & MP/113 VH/ARY [338804])
29OCT45 Hangared by Aircrafts Pty Ltd at Archerfield pending finalisation of sale contract by U.S. authorities. This is stated in an internal DCA memo dated 19JUN47 which also states that the aeroplane was undergoing overhaul and conversion from 08OCT45 until 13MAY46.
13DEC45 Aircrafts Pty Ltd requested DCA approval to use the aircraft on several urgent flights arising out of the NSW coal miners strike before the completion of its CofA overhaul. This was approved and the aircraft operated several such flights as VH-CAC. (Source: NAA, MP/113 VH/CAC [433718] & MP/113 VH/ARY [338804])
03JAN46 Sale to Aircrafts Pty Ltd was finalised. (Source: Internal DCA memo dated 19JUN47)
06FEB46 Anticipated completion of CofA overhaul is end of March or early April. (Source: NAA, MP/113 VH/CAC [433718] & MP/113 VH/ARY [338804])
09APR46 Application for CofR and CofA by Aircrafts Pty Ltd, Archerfield. Seating configuration is 3 crew plus 16 passengers. (Source: NAA, MP/113 VH/CAC [433718] & MP/113 VH/ARY [338804])
MAY46 Import Licence #263 issued in respect of this aircraft. (Source: NAA, MP/113 VH/CAC [433718] & MP/113 VH/ARY [338804])
08MAY46 Markings VH-ARY allocated to aircraft. (Source: NAA, MP/113 VH/CAC [433718] & MP/113 VH/ARY [338804])
10MAY46 Memo from DCA, Archerfield to DCA, H.O. "……Mr. Adair advises that the A/Director General signified temporary approval personally to Mr Adair that the regn of the Lodestar would be VH-APL. As this is a matter of sentiment to Mr Adair and as it is known at this office that a DH84 operating in NSW has the regn VH-APL already, would you please investigate and advise a definite ruling for Mr Adair" [No answer to this memo is on the file which appears to have been culled]. (Source: NAA, MP/113 VH/CAC [433718] & MP/113 VH/ARY [338804])
31MAY46 Registered VH-ARY to Aircrafts Pty Ltd (CofR #963). CofA #907 issued same day. Seating configuration 2 pilots plus 1 steward plus 14 passengers. (Source: NAA, MP/113 VH/CAC [433718] & MP/113 VH/ARY [338804])
08JUL46 APL report that they are having great difficulty with Centre of Gravity figures. (Source: NAA, MP/113 VH/CAC [433718] & MP/113 VH/ARY [338804])
19AUG46 CofA 1187 issued on behalf of New Zealand D.C.A.
25AUG46 At 1243, VH-ARY departed Archerfield for Rockhampton but radio failure necessitated a return to Archerfield no-radio at 1343. Later the same day, VH-ARY positioned to Bundaberg to relieve VH-ARZ which had suffered an engine failure on take-off. VH-ARY departed Bundaberg at 1650 but soon after departure a generator failed and the aircraft returned to Bundaberg for a precautionary landing. Captain M.B. Mitchel, First Officer H. Keegan and no passengers. (NAA MP1665/1 via G. Goodall)
09SEP46 Aircrafts Pty Ltd inaugurated a direct, return Lodestar service between Brisbane and Melbourne. It is most probable that this service was operated by VH-ARY (reasoning).
08OCT46 Telegram from DCA, Brisbane to H.O., Melbourne stating aircraft will be "flying to N.Z. for operations by N.Z.N.A.C. No transfer of ownership has been made but understand such will not be done until after a/c arrives N.Z. A/c will fly to N.Z. under Australian registration." (Source: NAA, MP/113 VH/CAC [433718] & MP/113 VH/ARY [338804])
10OCT46 APL discontinued the Melbourne service owing to lack of back loads from Melbourne. (Source: NAA, MP/113 VH/CAC [433718] & MP/113 VH/ARY [338804])
13NOV46 Sold to Union Airways of New Zealand
21NOV46 Departed Brisbane for N.Z. as VH-ARY. Struck off Australian Register same day. (Source: NAA, MP/113 VH/CAC [433718] & MP/113 VH/ARY [338804])
22NOV46 Arrived at Whenuapai from Brisbane via Norfolk Island crewed by Commander A.G. Gerrand, First Officer R.O. Chatfield and Engineer H. Mangham. This was the first Lodestar delivered to NAC. NAC had intended to use the first two Lodestars to operate additional services over the Christmas holiday period but the need to fit different radio equipment delayed their entry into service. (Source: "NAC The Illustrated History" by Waugh, Layne and McConnell)
29NOV46 Registered ZK-ALZ to Union Airways. Named "Korire" (Grey Warbler)
10FEB47 Damaged by fire at Palmerston North, NZ while under overhaul prior to entering service. The underfloor area was being cleaned with petrol when fumes were ignited by a spark from a vacuum cleaner. The original intention was to repair the aircraft but in September 1948 it was deemed to be damaged beyond economical repair and parted out. The burnt fuselage was sold for scrap. (Source: "NAC The Illustrated History" by Waugh, Layne and McConnell)
05OCT48 Cancelled from the N.Z. Register. (Source: "NAC The Illustrated History" by Waugh, Layne and McConnell)


Issue Date Remarks
11 02APR16
Refreshed page layout with no change to data.
10 19SEP15
Added the date of arrival in NZ 22NOV46 and further details of the write-off.
9 13SEP13
Corrected the reference to 21TCS in APR42 to 22TCS.
8 07MAY12
Added the interim USAAF serial 41-909.
7 04MAY12
Added five wartime images thanks to Geoff Goodall and Phil Vabre.
6 05MAR06
Added detail of ground incident on 01SEP45 and details of a typical airline day on 25AUG46. Thanks to Geoff Goodall.
5 04NOV04
Added considerable detail extracted from NAA MP/113 VH/CAC [433718] and MP/113 VH/ARY [338804]. Thanks to Chris O'Neill.
4 07OCT04
It is believed that VH-ARY operated the inaugural APL service from Brisbane to Melbourne on 09SEP46.
3 29AUG04
Clarified the details of the acquisition by Aircrafts Pty Ltd as indicated in an internal DCA memo dated 19JUN47 supplied by Roger McDonald.
2 28JUL99
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