VH-BUI. Airspeed AS-57 Ambassador 2. c/n 5220.

Was also registered as: G-ALZX.


This aircraft was built at the Airspeed Christchurch, Hampshire factory

Entered onto the British Aircraft Register as G-ALZX - April 05, 1950

Registered to British European Airways Corporation

Powered by Bristol Centaurus 661 radial engines of 2,625 hp

Certificate of Airworthiness issued - May 29, 1952

Delivered to British European Airways - May 29, 1952

Aircraft was named 'Sir John Norris'

The purchase of three Airspeed AS-57 Ambassadors was announced by Arthur Butler - May 31, 1957

Sold to Butler Air Transport for approximately 190,000 Pounds - June 06, 1957

Ferried to Australia with the other two Airspeed Ambassadors that were purchased

Departed Darwin on ferry flight to Sydney - June 16, 1957

It arrived at Sydney (Kingsford Smith) in formation with the other two aircraft - June 18, 1957

Ferry route: Darwin - Cloncurry - Charleville - Sydney

Flight crew: Captains G. G. McLanaban, J. Clements, C. E. Riley;

de Havilland Test Pilots Captains G. Errington, R. Clear

Captain J. Clements remained in Australia for some months to train BAT pilots on these aircraft

Entered onto the Australian Aircraft Register as VH-BUI - June 21, 1957

Registered to Butler Air Transport Pty Ltd

Configured to seat 47 passengers with 18 rear-facing seat forward and 29 forward facing seats rear at the rear

Aircraft retained the name ' Sir John Norris'

Operated a Sydney (Kingsford Smith) - Coffs Harbour - Casino publicity flight - July 27, 1957

Operated a Sydney - Narrabri - Coonamble - Bourke - Sydney promotional flight - July 28, 1957

Operated its first revenue service Sydney - Coffs Harbour - Casino - Sydney as BAT1064 - August 05, 1957

Aircraft was used on services to Bourke, Casino, Coffs Harbour, Coolangatta, Dubbo, Moree,

Oakey, Parkes and Walgett

Butler Air Transport Pty Ltd was acquired by Ansett-A.N.A. - March 1958

As result of this take-over the Airspeed Ambassadors were not required and were returned to BEA for resale

Departed Sydney (Kingsford Smith) on the ferry flight to England - August 05, 1958

It arrived at London (Heathrow) Airport on completion of the ferry flight - August 14, 1958

Ferry route: Sydney - Darwin - Biak - Saigon - Calcutta - Delhi - Karachi - Teheran - Ankara -

Athens - Paris - London

Flight crew: Captain R. Stapleton; F/O G. E. Wills; Engineer S. Hobday; Hostess S. Stapleton

Five Butler staff travelled on this flight as passengers

Handed over to BEA and parked at London (Heathrow) Airport in basic BAT livery without titles

Offered for immediate sale by aircraft brokers W. S. Shackleton Ltd

Cancelled from the Australian Aircraft Register - November 06, 1959

Entered onto the British Aircraft Register as G-ALZX - November 12, 1959

Sold to Dan-Air Services (UK) Ltd - February 08, 1960

Operated its first Dan-Air revenue service - February 27, 1960

Operated the inaugural Dan-Air London (Gatwick) - Jersey service - June 18, 1960

Aircraft was damaged beyond repair whilst landing at Beauvais - Tille Airport, France - April 14, 1966

Making a straight-in approach to land on Runway 13 it broke out of cloud too high

Crew executed a 360 degree turn to the left

On touching down on the wet runway beyond the mid-point aircraft could not be stopped in distance remaining

Despite wheels locking under maximum braking the aircraft over-ran the runway

The port undercarriage and nose wheel were torn off as it passed over two trenches

Aircraft came to rest up against a mound of excavated earth

No injuries were sustained by the 4 crew and the 55 passengers onboard

Scrapped an site at Beauvais - 1967



VH-BUI. Butler Air Transport - in the basic livery at London Heathrow Airport, date unknown.

(R. N. Smith Collection Copyright Image 1921-002.)