Tuesday 15 January 2019

Hunting Percival P.56 Provost

Over the summer break I dropped in to see what was going on at Palmerston North airport. There was nothing to be seen anywhere so I decided to head over to nearby fielding. This proved to be very rewarding with lots of flying going on and to my amazement the P.56 made an appearance! Its early history is covered here.

The Information that I have been able to put together for this wonderful aircraft is as follows:

PAC/F/226 • T Mk. 1   WW397       RAF BOC 20.9.54: last airworthy RAF Provost       69
                                                          RAF Coltishall: inst. airframe                                   69
                                                          (last RAF Provost flight, Shawbury-Halton    30.10.69)
                                                          RAF Halton: inst. airframe:                          7.11.69/79
                                                          (del. to Halton ex RAF Shawbury                  30.10.69)
                                                          Flt Lt M. J. Crymble, RAF Lynham .                   78/79
                                                          (trucked to Lyneham 4.79 ex Halton for planned use as
                                                          gate guard but instead rest. to fly Lyneham, ff   28.5.83)
                                   G-BKHP        Flt Lt Michael J. Crymble, RAF Lyneham      26.8.82/93
                                                         (flew as RAF “WW397/N-E”)
                                                         op: Vintage Aircraft Team, Cranfield 91/92
                                                         Keith Clarke, Gosford NSW: shipped to Australia .93/94
                                   VH-OIL         Keith C. B. Clarke, Gosford NSW                    13.7.94/02
                                                         (rest. Sydney-Bankstown 94, flew as RAF “WW397/N-E”)
                                  ZK-SGN        James Slade/ Old Stick & Rudder Co, Omaka .        02/08
                                                         (shipped in container to NZ .02, ff Omaka            15.11.02,
                                                         flew as RAF “WW387/N-E”, flew in Japanese WW2
                                                         scheme for airshows 04 as “WW397”, repainted 04
                                                         as camouflaged Sultan of Oman AF “WW397”)
                                  ZK-PPP          Robert Young, Fielding NZ, later Las Vegas NV 6.6.11/15
                                                         (shipped from NZ to USA, to be based Boulder City NV)
                               N397WW          reg. res: Robert Young, Las Vegas NV                      2.2.12

                                                          I can not find any detail between 2011 and 2017!

                                  Zk-PPP           Back in New Zealand with MPJ Wilson                   3.12.17


  1. Great post . Thanks Mini Cooper .lots of research work ..Yes Fielding can be very interesting . Had an idea way back this aircraft was for sale .

  2. Nice catch Minicooper. Did you see what hangar it is based in? When I was last at Feilding there was a new hangar across on the far side away from any other hangars but no one could tell me what was hangared in it. See you at Wings Over Wairarapa.

  3. Thats where we first saw it so I would assume it would be there! yep I have everything sorted for the show.

  4. My understanding is that Edward John Shere learned to fly in this aircraft in the RAF. He went on to fly Vampire and was the first to eject from that type. He eventually converted to early C130 Hercules. In later years, John moved from the UK to Perth WA before eventually retiring in Blenheim in the South Island. He was reunited with this Provost and, I’m told, regained his pilots licence and took the aircraft on a few demonstration flights. John died about five years ago (2017ish). PC (Pete) Smith