Monday, February 22, 2016

Whitsunday Air Services Takes Delivery of a Pair of DHC-2 Beaver Float Planes VH-OHU and VH-OHD

It was interesting to note that in late 2015, Whitsunday Air Services / Hamilton Island Air took delivery of a pair of De Havilland DHC-2 Beaver float planes from the United States of America (USA).

The first Beaver to break cover was VH-OHU (c/n 826) which was spotted wearing an attractive colour scheme for the 'One&Only' resort at Hayman Island.

VH-OHU has had an interesting history with the airframe first delivered to the US Army in 1955.  After a series of re-registrations and two accidents in 1987 and 1999, the Beaver has most recently been operating in Bear, Delaware as N88G, before being de-registered and exported to Australia in mid-2015.

David Lednicer /

It was noted in a crate at the Chrisair maintenance facility at Mackay Airport in late 2015 before being re-built and then taking to the air and commencing operations out of Hamilton Island Airport shortly after.

The other Beaver is (to be) registered VH-OHD (c/n 1590) and has yet to be seen around the Whitsundays.  This slightly younger Beaver first flew in 1965 and was operated by Field Air and then Float-Air Picton in New Zealand before being re-built by Wrightair at Tauranga in New Zealand.  It wore the New Zealand registration marking of ZK-CMU.

Dirk Septer /

It operated in New Zealand until the mid-1990s when it was exported to the USA.  It then operated as N97FW for Barnstormer Classic Aviation Inc at Fairfield, Connecticut until mid-2015 when it too was dismantled and exported to Australia.  It was also noted in a crate at the Chrisair maintenance facility at Mackay Airport in late December awaiting re-build.

Of interest, Whitsunday Air Services / Hamilton Island Air also operates DHC-2 Beaver float plane VH-ZDA (c/n 803) which too has had an interesting history following its initial delivery to the US Army in 1955.  It joined the Whitsunday Air Services / Hamilton Island Air fleet at Hamilton Island Airport in late 2010 after previously wearing the registration of N317DH in the USA.

For this post I referred to the fantastic website devoted to the classic de Havilland Canada DHC-2 Beaver - - which incidentally features a great photo of VH-OHU as its cover photo!

Chris Roughan /

The website is chock-full of fascinating information and photographs of pretty much every DHC-2 Beaver ever built.  Well worth checking out!

Additional photos taken by 'AC'  ©

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