De Havilland DH82a Tiger Moth VH-CAD

One of six Tiger Moths acquired by the Department of Civil Aviation after the war as communications aircraft, DH82a Mk2 VH-CAD was built by De Havilland Australia at Bankstown, NSW, (c/n T021/1079) and initially saw RAAF service as A17-748.

After the war it was acquired by DCA from RAAF stock for £400 and converted for civil use with a raked forward undercarriage which permitted the use of a tailwheel. It was registered as VH-AZI in November 1946. In about 1948 it was fitted with a canopy of a style developed by De Havilland Canada. On 17 December 1949 the aircraft was re-registered in DCA’s block as VH-CAD. As far as is known, the aircraft served with the DCA Flying Unit at its Melbourne/Essendon base.

In 1953 the Tasmanian Aero Club purchased two Tiger Moths from DCA: VH-CAD and VH-CAE. Two Aero Club members, Tony Rhedy and Eddie Coates, went over to Melbourne to ferry VH-CAD back to Launceston. The photo above shows VH-CAD at Essendon as they found it. Note the DCA badge on the fin. The lower photo shows VH-CAD after its safe arrival at Launceston/Western Junction. Note that the DCA badge has been crudely obliterated.

Eddie Coates remembers "These Tigers were the creme de la creme, incidentally, since they had canopies and it ain't too warm in Tassie come July. Of course, we couldn't race around in it carrying DCA type rego, so it was re-registered VH-BSB."

The registration change to the new owners occurred on 15 September 1953. The registration VH-CAD was soon re-used for one of five Avro Ansons acquired by DCA.

Click here to see a photo of VH-CAD in its new guise as VH-BSB

(Photos: Eddie Coates collection)

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