The Preservation of Percival Proctor VH-AUC - 1965

In the early 1960s, DCA concerns over the continuing airworthiness of the glues used in the construction of certain wartime and early post-war aircraft led to the wholesale grounding and near extinction of several types. Click here to read more about this.

One of the types affected was the Percival Proctor, a high performance (for its day), all-wood, four-seater. Percival P.28B Proctor I VH-AUC (cn K253) was one such which failed its wood glue adhesion test at Adelaide/Parafield and was pushed to the back of a hangar with its wings folded.

Aviation historian Geoff Goodall remembers, "I told Dick Hourigan of the fledgling Moorabbin Air Museum and talked the owner into donating the Proctor. I towed it behind my Ford Zephyr to a friend's house where it sat in his back garden until Dick, Neil Follett & Roland Jahne arrived to tow it to Moorabbin. The Police permit would not allow us on the main road through the Adelaide hills so we took back roads via Mannum to Murray Bridge and disaster struck on a dirt section (remember this was 1964) when a large rock tore the port main undercarriage leg away from the wing spar. A farmer came to our rescue with his tractor and VH-AUC sat on his farm for several months until Dick reappeared with a rented truck to collect it. It was many years before that woodwork damage was repaired by the Museum."

The upper photo shows Proctor VH-AUC being towed from Parafield to West Beach Aviation Group (WBAG) member Brent Holt's house at Richmond, SA, in June 1965. That's Geoff Goodall with the Zephyr's muffler box which had just fallen off, a regular event.

The lower photo shows WBAG members back at Parafield to collect the Proctor's wings, one at a time. Brent Holt is standing on the Zephyr and Nigel Perkins is leaning on the Proctor's wing.

VH-AUC is today preserved and displayed at the Moorabbin Air Museum.


(Photos: Geoff Goodall collection)

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