Aero Commander 560E VH-CAW

Along with sister-ship VH-CAU, Aero Commaner 560E VH-CAW (c/n 729-53) was acquired by DCA to replace its fleet of ageing Avro Anson wartime transports. The aircraft was registered new to DCA on 30 March 1959 and delivered by DCA pilots from the USA via Europe and the Middle East, arriving at Melbourne/Essendon on 17 May 1959 - refer to VH-CAU for links to more.

The photo above shows VH-CAW at Gatwick, UK, on its delivery flight. The shot below shows it at Melbourne/Essendon on 14 April 1960 in its delivery colour scheme of mostly polished metal with dark blue trim, however note that the registration marks have been moved and enlarged.


The lovely colour image below shows VH-CAW visiting Latrobe Valley aerodrome in Victoria in 1960. The purpose was for Departmental testing officers to do pilot licence tests for Latrobe Valley Aero Club student pilots.


VH-CAW DCA logo - click here ot read more

VH-CAW became the South Australia/Northern Territory Region's aircraft based in Adelaide. The photo above shows VH-CAW, three and a half years after initial delivery, at Adelaide/West Beach on 15 December 1962 in the new 'standard' scheme for the DCA fleet of white overall with light blue trim and DCA logos on fin and nose.

The photo below was taken two years later at an airshow at Blythe, SA, on 17 October 1964.


VH-CAW DCA Flying Unit logo - click here for more

The photo below shows VH-CAU at Adelaide/Parafield on 9 September 1966, still in the same scheme. The marquee in the background is unusual!



It is not known at this moment exactly when Aero Commander 560E VH-CAW was disposed of by DCA, however in August 1990 it was registered to E.C. Menzies (Electrical) P/L, Melbourne, Vic.
After Departmental service VH-CAW passed through a number of owners. As of Octoter 2008 it was sitting, semi-derelict and de-registered at Melbourne's Moorabbin Airport. It is said to be suffering from corrosion that is uneconomical to repair.

The photo below shows VH-CAW's panel. The layout is original, but many instruments are replacements, as is most of the avionic equipment.


Click here to see the panel 'as-delivered' of sister-ship, Aero Commander 680E VH-CAY

(Photos: 1-Ian D Johnson collection; 2-Graham Hayward/John Hopton collection;3-LVAC via John Willis; 4-Geoff Goodall collection; 5-John M. Smith collection; 6-CAHS/Ben Dannecker collection; 7 & 8-Phil Vabre)


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