De Havilland DH60 Moth G-AUFR


Unlike the majority of De Havilland DH60 Moths owned by the CAB, G-AUFR was not purchased new.

In 1926 there were no flying training schools in Queensland. With the advent of the DH60 Moth, the first really practical light aircraft, the enterprising Queensland And Northern Territory Aerial Service (Q.A.N.T.A.S.) saw an opening. Securing the agreement of his Board and the support of the Queensland Aero Club, Q.A.N.T.A.S. founder and Managing Director Hudson Fysh travelled to Melbourne to meet CCA Lt Col H C Brinsmead with a proposition to establish flying schools in Longreach and Brisbane. The CAB's approval was necessary because at that time flying training was seen as a defence-related activity and was subsidised by the CAB.

Purchasing four 80 hp Cirrus Mk II powered DH60 Moths, of which G-AUFR was one, Q.A.N.T.A.S. duly opened their flying schools at Longreach on 27 December 1926 and Brisbane/Archerfield on 26 March 1927. G-AUFR (c/n 351) was registered a few days before the latter event, on 21 March.

A lack of pupils soon forced the closure of the Longreach school, but the Archerfield school flourished until 1929 when, in accordance with CAB policy, the training operation was handed over to the Australian Aero Club (Queensland Section). As part of this transition, the CAB purchased G-AUFR from Q.A.N.T.A.S. for loan to the Aero Club. The aircraft was re-registered to the CAB on 22 May 1929.

As part of the general change of registration prefix, G-AUFR was required to become VH-UFR, and this was completed by 31 October 1930.

VH-UFR soldiered on with the Aero Club until it crashed at Brisbane on 11 February 1934. It was subsequently struck off the Register on 26 March.

As was the way in those days, the wreckage was purchased and re-built, being re-registered to Skyways Australia Ltd of Brisbane on 12 June 1936. The aircraft lasted another three years before finally being destroyed by fire whilst under overhaul by Q.A.N.T.A.S. on 28 June 1936.


(Photo: Qantas/Phil Vabre collection)

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