Miles M.2 Hawk VH-UAI

This aircraft, Miles M.2 Hawk VH-UAI (c/n 155) represents something of a registration conundrum.

Firstly, it is registered in the block VH-UAA to VH-UAZ which was originally set aside by the CAB for its own fleet. Registrations 'UAE to 'UAY, less a number including 'UAI, were allocated to CAB-owned DH60 Moths. Secondly, when Certificate of Registration No. 530 was issued to the Aero Club of South Australia Ltd of Parafield, SA, on 18 June 1935 for this aircraft, the CAB was generally issuing registration marks in the VH-US_ and VH-UT_ blocks.

These facts suggest that CAB had, by then, abandoned the block it set aside for itself and had commenced 'filling in' by issuing previously unallocated registration marks.

The rudder stripes in the photo above suggest that it was taken whilst the aircraft was with the Aero Club. Barely a year after it entered service it crashed at Port Lincoln, SA, on 1 May 1936 however, as was the way in those days, the wreckage was re-built and the aircraft returned to the Register on 25 November of that year.

In November 1940 VH-UAI was sold to G H Mitchell of Hindmarsh, SA, who gifted the aircraft to the RAAF in February 1941. After use by the RAAF's 1EFTS at Parafield, SA, the aircraft was offered back to Mr Mitchell at the end of the war. It seems, however, that the aircraft ended up with another owner, who returned it to the civil Register in October 1946.

The aircraft passed through the hands of two private owners based in Alice Springs, NT, before crashing on landing at Mt Eba, SA, on 10 March 1948. The damage was reported as extensive and the aircraft was struck off the Register on 7 May 1948.

Read more about the registration markings of Australian aircraft

(Photo: CAHS collection)

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