DCA Launch C.A.15 at Rose Bay - 1969

Part of the infrastructure needed to operate a water airport was a fleet of marine craft including Control Launches, workboats and fuel launches. This photo shows DCA Control Launch C.A.15 at Sydney/Rose Bay in 1969. This design of Control Launch was introduced post-war.

The function of the Control Launch was to check the alighting area for debris and to provide a local air traffic control service, similar to a Control Tower. The normal station of the Control Launch when flying operations were in progress was on the port (left hand) side of the alighting area, abeam the start of the takeoff or alighting run, and heading into wind. The Control Launch thus marked the swept alighting or takeoff area. At night, the rest of the swept area would be marked by floating flare buoys laid by the Control Launch or an Auxiliary Launch.

In the background is Ansett Flying Boat Services' Short S25V Sandringham Mk IV VH-BRC Beachcomber (c/n 2018/SH.55C). Originally delivered as a Sunderland, post-war this aircraft was converted to civil Sandringham configuration and was used by TEAL and Barrier Reef Airways, before being acquired by Ansett Flying Boat Services on 21 December 1952. In this photo the aircraft carries the Airlines of New South Wales (an Ansett subsidiary) colours with the 'boomerang and spears' logo on the fin. Beachcomber operated the last flying boat return passenger service to Lord Howe Is on 10 September 1974 and was sold to Antillies Air Boats (Virgin Islands) on the same day. It was struck off the Australian register on 28 November, becoming N158C.

This photo was used on the cover of Aviation Safety Digest No. 61 of March 1969.

(Photo: CAHS collection)

Click here to see a photo of the Rose Bay terminal, post-war.

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