Sunday 27 July 2008

Question time #14 Answer

What you are looking at is the overhead panel in the cockpit of the Cessna 180E , c/n 51144 , now ZK-TUA. I believe this was a local Aussie mod.
It was delivered to the Australian Army on 30-08-1962 having briefly been tested using the US registration of N2644Y. Interesting to note here that in earlier days Cessna used to register their aircraft using the last two numbers of the c/n as the last two numbers of the US registration.
In a similar vein the Australian military use the last three numbers of the c/n as the last three numbers of the military serial number - preceeded by a type number (98 for the Cessna 180) and the letter "A" for Australia.
In the case of this C180 it became A98-144. Its colour scheme in the early 1970's was full military scheme.
This particular C180 joined the Queensland Police Force in 1975 as VH-PFT, followed by a fist full of private owners until by 1992 it was with the Western Australia Skydiving Academy. In October 1994 it ended down in the mangroves near Broome.
It was shipped to NZ and over a four year period was rebuilt by Kim Christophers and registered as ZK-TUA on 24-09-1998 and first flew on 27-09-98. Why "TUA" well the next owner from 10-11-98 was Tim U Austin.
Hugh & Sam Bethell became the listed owners from 17-03-06, but when they both obtained C185's it moved on to David Sinclair of Balclutha from 25-10-2006.
No winner. Pic taken at Christchurch in November 1998

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