VH-ABH Silver City


Type: L-12A Electra Junior
MSN: 1236
Previous Identities: VH-ABH
Owner: Ross Smith, Rolleston, Queensland


09SEP37 Issued with U.S. Export Certificate of Airworthiness #E-3202.
10SEP37 Handed over to Broken Hill Associated Smelters Pty Ltd.
11OCT37 Arrived at Port Melbourne on the "Momba". Trucked to Essendon for assembly by Ansett Airways.
15NOV37 Registered to Associated Airlines Pty Ltd as VH-ABH. (CofA #627, CofR #670).
17NOV37 Entered service from its Essendon base as "Silver City" flying B.H.P. officials to Newcastle. Chief Pilot, Pat Hall.
24NOV37 Certificates reissued in the name of The Broken Hill Associated Smelters Pty Ltd.
22JUN38 Certificates reissued in the name of Associated Airlines Pty Ltd.
30JUN38 Aircraft had accumulated 210.45 hours.
05MAR39 First flight by Associated Airlines' new Chief Pilot, Len Diprose.
30APR42 As a result of wartime congestion at Essendon, an agreement was reached whereby VH-ABH would be based at a new airstrip at Tullamarine, Melbourne. By this time, VH-ABH had been painted in camouflage although the aeroplane had escaped military impressment because it was deemed essential to the war effort.
22FEB43 Starboard wing and engine cowl damaged at Essendon by Beaufort A9-39.
04MAR43 Returned to service after repairs.
c.43 Camouflage removed.
20DEC57 Sold to Robert Glen Carswell t/a Carsair Air Service (PNG) Pty Ltd for use as a freighter in New Guinea and northern Australia.
MAR60 Sold to Doug Muir, Darwin NT.
18MAR60 Registered VH-DMC to Muir Aviation.
APR62 Acquired by South Australian Air Taxis Ltd and ferried to Adelaide SA.
31MAY62 Registration changed to VH-TLX.
OCT62 Starboard undercarriage collapsed on landing at Pelican Waterhole SA. Due to the remoteness of the location, the aeroplane was deemed a write off and abandoned.
01JAN63 Ferried to Moorabbin VIC having been acquired by Allan Rae of Air Surveys Australia.
APR63 Registered to Air Surveys Australia as VH-ASV.

Competed in the Ansett Brisbane to Adelaide Air Race under Race Number 69. The aircraft was entered in the Open Handicap Category under the name D.B. McClure of Mentone, Vic. Handicaps for the aircraft were: Sydney 23 mins, Melbourne 21 mins, Adelaide 19 mins. (Source: Official Race Program)

Actual times for VH-ASV were:

Net Handicap
Net Time
Race Time

The Open Handicap section was won by Cessna 182A VH-CWB Race Number 67 entered by D.G. Wills of Brewarrina NSW with a Total Race Time of 6:04.

(Source: The Ansett Air Race Report, Supplement to Aircraft magazine April 1964)

65 Traded in to Masling Aircraft Sales & Service, Cootamundra with 7,827 hours on the airframe. Used for general charter work.
JAN66 Cancelled from the Register.
02FEB66 Aircraft struck by Cessna 172 VH-CNA causing minor damage.
11NOV66 Registered to Business Aviation Pty Ltd after repair and overhaul.
29JUN67 Sold to Coronet Cars Pty Ltd and shortly thereafter to Australian Aircraft Sales (ACT) Pty Ltd.
11JAN72 Registered to Carnarney Pastoral Co Pty Ltd (Dr Tony Fisher).
JUL75 Purchased by John Love.
MAR76 Operated in bare metal, but still as VH-ASV.
17JUL76 Damaged in a collision with aviation enthusiast/photographer Reg Swinnerton at Pakenham Aerodrome VIC. Aircraft and photographer survived!
06JUN78 Re-registered VH-ABH to John Love by which time the aeroplane had been restored in its original livery as Silver City.
JUN85 Acquired by the Airworld museum at Wangaratta VIC where it is currently on display.
15JUL03 Change of ownership to Ross Smith of Rolleston, Queensland. The aircraft is still located at Wangaratta pending restoration to airworthiness. (The Airworld collection was dispersed after the closure of the museum).
01DEC04 Rob Poynton (Panama Jack's Vintage Aircraft Company) and Harvey McBain (chief engineer for Nelson Aircraft Company) performed two successful test flights at Wangaratta. At the time, Rob Poynton was the only pilot in Australia still current on type. The aircraft had been prepared by Harvey and Ross Smith. (Source: Ross Smith)
02DEC04 The aircraft departed Wangaratta for Rolleston, Queensland with Rob Poynton in command and Ross Smith as co-pilot earning his endorsement. It was again a hitch-free trip even though the weather was very hot. The aircraft then flew to Emerald. The arrival of the Lockheed at Emerald Airport caused a short delay in the loading of the Dash 8 flight for Brisbane that afternoon as the passengers and crew were all interested in the arrival of the vintage aircraft. (Source: Ross Smith)
03DEC04 Rob Poynton did some endorsement training at Emerald with Ross Smith and Hedley Watts (Aero Professional Services). (Source: Ross Smith)

The current owner of VH-ABH will be pleased to hear from anyone who has been associated with the Silver City over the years. Please contact Ross Smith via the Webmaster.

Issue Date Remarks
12 04DEC22
Added a slideshow.
11 20SEP22
Added details of the Ansett Air Race from sources shown.
Added an image of VH-DMC thanks to Eric Allen.
Added four images of VH-ASV during the Ansett Brisbane to Adelaide Air Race in 1964 thanks to Eric Allen.
Image 1 Image 2 Image 3 Image 4
10 10JUN21
Added an image of VH-ABH thanks to Eric Allen.
9 03APR16
Refreshed page layout with no change to data.
8 07SEP12
Added an image of VH-ABH with Carsair in PNG. Thanks to Phil Vabre of the CAHS and Mac Job.
7 02SEP12
Added a magnificent image of VH-ASV running-up at Moorabbin in 1964. The photographer was Barney Deatrick. Thanks to Geoff Goodall.
6 09FEB05
Added an update on the delivery flight to Rolleston contributed by the new owner of the aeroplane, Ross Smith. Thanks Ross!
5 16JUL04
Added an image of the aeroplane in Carsair livery. The photo was taken by Captain Keith Virtue and contributed by Graham Martin.
4 03SEP03 -

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