VH-AJZ  Aeronca 11AC Chief   (c/n  11AC-184)


                                  Another of my favorite 'Classic' aircraft.  Not built in as many numbers as its smaller sister, the
                                  7AC Champion (see VH-AJX) it  was nevertheless very popular in the US and Canada in the
                                  late 1940s and 50s.  However, I believe this was the only example to be registered in Australia,
                                  possibly for the reasons I give under VH-AJX.   It is seen above at Bankstown in 1955.  The
                                  image below, from the Howard Morris collection, via Greg Weir, shows the aircraft in its
                                  original livery at Bankstown, circa 1947. 
                                  The following historic note was received (March 2006) from Paul Hockey:                 

                                      "As a young lad living in the Wollongong area at that time, I recollect that this a/c was being
                                       used for shark spotting flights along the Illawarra beaches when it crashed into the sea near
                                       Windang Island just south of Wollongong.   I vividly remember seeing this a/c flying overhead
                                       with a red patch (doped fabric I assume) on the lower fuselage. I believe that the passenger
                                       was killed during this accident but the pilot Tony Bevan later resumed shark patrols using a
                                       C172 VH AFB then later on he used a C172A also registered VH AFB (his initials). Further
                                       on a C182 VH RKC was used & this a/c still carries out shark patrol work now registered
                                       VH APN, in service with Australian Aerial Patrol at Albion Park."