VH-BAD (3)  Hughes 369HS                            (c/n  119-0211S)


                                     If I were a rotary wing aficionado (which I am not) I would make an effort to try  to decipher the
                                     odd looking c/ns Hughes gave to its production runs .  There must be a rhyme and reason to their
                                     apparently widely differing numbering system.  The 369HS, or to give it its full title of Hughes 500
                                     Model 369HS, series began life in response to a US Army requirement for a light observation
                                     helicopter   Hughes' Model 369 won the contest against competition from Bell and Hiller and was
                                     produced as the OH-6 Cayuse, first flown in February 1963      Several civilian versions were
                                     produced.   VH-BAD was at Bankstown on 5 March 1989 when Greg Banfield took the above
                                     shot.  It barely creeps in, so far as inclusion in my photographic collection is concerned, being
                                     first registered on 17 July 1970 to Vowell Helicopters of Tyabb, Victoria.  Vowell operated it for
                                     many years while they grew into a major rotary wing player.   This chopper later participated in
                                     several exploration stints,  including trips to Antarctica (where it was badly damaged in February
                                     1980) and in a scientific expedition to Heard Island in 1986-87.     It was finally written off in
                                     July 1995 when it crashed at Scone, NSW while owned by John Weymouth of Heli-Muster, out
                                     of VRD Station, NT.