VH-SAE  Auster J/5F Aiglet Trainer                                   (c/n 2735)


                                        This shot of the Aiglet Trainer VH-SAE dropping supplies in outback Queensland in the 1950s is
                                        from the Neil Follett collection.  It was one of seven Austers flown by the diminutive Somerset Air-
                                        ways, most of which were re-registered into the company's VH-SA series.  This one was formerly
                                        VH-BYF and acquired by Somerset in June 1956.       Below it is seen
dismantled in a hangar at
                                        Cairns in an image from the Geoff Goodall collection.    It was withdrawn from use and struck off
                                        the register in 1964 following a September 1963 accident some 20 miles south of Iron Range, Qld.  
                                        In 1987 it appears to have passed to Mick English of  Bathurst, NSW.       Almost a decade later
                                        (1995) it appeared in the Auster Club News as being for sale by Geoff Scott as an unfinished re-
                                        build for $A5,200 (fuselage only rebuilt).   In 1996 an Auster registered VH-BYF to C. Bridgeman
                                        of Maitland NSW appeared on the register.  Both Air Britain and Australian Aviation report this as
                                        being ex VH-SAE.   However, an IAC Newsletter for 1999 indicates that Graeme Smith of Kemp-
                                        sey, NSW is seeking a suitable fuselage for an Auster project. based on VH-SAE (despite the fact
                                        that the 1995 report said it was complete).  There is registered today an Aiglet Trainer restored to
                                        the registration VH-BYF carrying the serial FM170 owned by Graeme Smith of Dondingalong,
                                        NSW.    However, 170FM  (a reversal of this spurious c/n) was the frame number for the Aiglet
                                        Trainer VH-BYE (c/n 2733, which was struck off  the register in August 1969), so whether the
                                        current -BYF  is made up the fuselage of that aircraft and the wings VH-SAE is, at the moment,
                                        a matter of conjecture.