VH-FTA  DHC-1 Chipmunk T.10                (c/n  C1/0499)

                                This Chipmunk was one of a batch built for the RATG (Rhodesian Air Training Group), was
                                delivered, but, along with several others, never used.   Its RAF serial was WG425.  VH-FTA
                                was, therefore, brand new when acquired the Royal Aero Club of NSW in 1955. This aircraft
                                was mercifully spared the standard navy blue fuselage with black rego (probably because it was
                                owned by a second party and operated by the club).   All three images on this page were taken
                                at Bankstown: mine (above), in October 1955, Greg Banfield's (center) in March 1964 (wearing
                                Illawarra type tail stripes, although still apparently with the RACNSW). and Greg's lovely color
                                shot (bottom of page) taken in January 1967.     The livery had by then been replaced with the
                                checkered Ace of  Spades tail and yellow fuselage band.    VH-FTA crashed on 27 January
                                1968 at Cobbitty, near Camden, killing RACNSW Instructor Arthur Kell, DFC and Bar, and
                                his student, who had gone out to do a session of spins.  The subsequent investigation revealed
                                that a 20-cent coin had jammed the controls, preventing the stick from moving.  It was ironic
                                that Arthur Kell had survived all the Germans had thrown at him during WW II war but was
                                killed by a coin someone had lost in the cockpit.   Moral:  Never do aerobatics with anything
                                in your pockets.