Cessna 310C VH-CAZ
DCA Flying Unit logo - click here for more

DCA always liked to introduce the latest types of aircraft as a stimulus to local operators, and to gain local operating experience. In the late 1950s, the Cessna 310 was the hottest thing in light twins, and DCA acquired a single example in VH-CAZ.

Built in the USA (c/n 39023) and registered N6723T, this 'C' model was registered to DCA as VH-CAZ on 18 December 1959. It arrived at Sydney/Mascot on 1 March 1960 following delivery across the Pacific and seems to have been retained in NSW for use by DCA's NSW Region.

The photos above and below show VH-CAZ at Cootamundra, NSW, some time in the 1960s. The colour scheme is a basic Cessna scheme with the addition of DCA Flying Unit logos on the fin and tip-tanks.

The large hangar was occupied by Jack Masling and actually came from Evans Head because DCA had taken the wartime Cootamundra hangars and given them to De Havillands at Bankstown for Vampire construction. This hangar later burned down. The hangar behind with the Aztec tail sticking out was also occupied by Masling and had "MASLINGS PIPER DEALERS" blazened across the front above the doors. Maslings were one of the early Cessna and Piper dealers in Australia.


The railway station in the right background of the shot above was West Cootamundra. In the mid 1930s Cootamundra enjoyed a brief prominence in Australian aviation due to its strategic position on the Melbourne-Sydney rail line, more-or-less half way between the two capitals.

The politics of the day dictated that the mail should go by rail wherever possible, so Butler Air Transport Co. was contracted by the CAB to operate a service from Cootamundra to Charleville, Qld., connecting with the Qantas Empire Airways service to Singapore and beyond. Thus, all the air mails from the southern States to and from the rest of the world passed through Cootamundra!


VH-CAZ DCA logo - click to see more

The photo of VH-CAZ above was taken from the TAA hangar at Adelaide/West Beach in the 1960s.

The photo below shows VH-CAZ in a newer Departmental colour scheme at Bankstown on 1 April 1967.



The magnificent colour photo below shows VH-CAZ at Bankstown in October 1968.
The aircraft was involved in a wheels-up landing at Port Macquarie on 12 December 1968.



The photo above shows VH-CAZ at Port Macquarie at an unknown date, and the image below shows it arriving at an unknown country aerodrome on one of its many trips around NSW.



The photo above shows VH-CAZ, probably at Sydney/Bankstown at an unknown date in or before 1973. The aircraft is finished in its final Departmental colour scheme, still wearing the DCA Flying Unit logos.

It is not known at this time when the aircraft left Departmental service, however it was finally withdrawn from use on 2 January 1981. The photo below shows the derelict hulk of VH-CAZ at the University of New South Wales, Sydney, on 19 September 2006. The current state of the aircraft is not known.



(Photos: 1,2&3-John M. Smith collection; 4-CAHS/Ben Dannecker collection; 5-Greg Banfield; 6,7&8-CAHS/Ben Dannecker collection; 9-Bill Ely)

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