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The de Havilland Aircraft
Association of South Africa

de Havilland DH.60G Gipsy Moth
c/n 1147

Registrations carried:
ZS-ABM

For detailed history click here and refer to the c/n in the list.



Painting of de Havilland DH.60G Gipsy Moth c/n 1147 ZS-ABM by Alan Hindle circa 1960
The painting hangs in the clubhouse of the JLPC at Baragwanath (Syferfontein)
Photograph: Noel Otten


A HARD-WORKED "MOTH"


The following letter, received by the Managing Director of the de Havilland Aircraft Co., Ltd., is enlightening as to the work being done by aircraft made by them in the hands of the Johannesburg Light Plane Club:-

A WONDERFUL VETERAN.

You will, no doubt, be interested in the figures given below, which are taken from the log books of one of our machines.

This plane, a "Gipsy I Moth" (ZS-ABM), was graciously presented to our club by that great English sportsman, Lord Wakefield of Hythe. The actual presentation ceremony was conducted by His Excellency the Governor General, the Earl of Athlone, G.C.B., G.C.M.G., G.C.V.O., D.S.O., on behalf of Sir Charles Wakefield (as he was then), at an Air Display given here by the South African Air Force on October 19, 1929.

It was christened " Sir Charles Wakefield," and has been affectionately known as " Sir Charles " ever since, even to our native servants, who always refer to it as "Shir Shals.

"Sir Charles" was given in trust to us to be of service in promoting air-mindedness in South Africa, and I think you will agree that she has - here are her records:-

 

1929

1930

1931

1932

January

-

72 55

92 20

62 15

February

-

81 30

101 30

46 00

March

-

74 45

83 00

76 55

April

-

63 20

72 20

42 10

May

-

58 15

101 20

64 05

June

-

56 20

81 25

59 50

July

-

70 25

63 45

41 15

August

-

79 05

82 20

-

September

-

36 35

80 30

-

October

26 15

81 30

36 10

-

November

65 10

64 50

87 40

-

December

80 15

55 00

25 10

-

Total

171.4

794.3

901.3

392.3

= 2,260.10 hr. (33 months)

Therefore, based on an average speed of 75 m.p.h., she must have flown at least 169,500 miles, but that does not by any means represent the real value of her achievements. She has soared aloft at the tender mercies of ab initio soloists galore - later to be guided by them to all corners of this great sub-continent.

She has flipped almost everything from pigmies in perambulators to plutocratic peers, including parsons, philanthropists, pathologists and "iced prawns." She can only be described as a wonderful veteran, and I would be interested to know if any other club can claim such a record for one machine - I doubt it.

Her maintenance costs have been absurdly low, and I think it speaks volumes for D.H. products.

(Sgd.) S. S. HALSE (Club Captain).