VH-BUK. Airspeed AS-57 Ambassador 2. c/n 5227.

Was also registered as: G-AMAE.


This aircraft was built at the Airspeed's Christchurch, Hampshire factory

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

Registered to British European Airways Corporation

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

Certificate of Airworthiness issued - December 19, 1952

Delivered to British European Airways - May 29, 1952

Aircraft was named 'Sir Earl of Essex'

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 in company with the other two Airspeed Ambassadors

Departed Darwin on the 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

Entered onto the Australian Aircraft Register as VH-BUK - October 19, 1957

Registered to Butler Air Transport Pty Ltd

It was configured to seat 47 passengers with 18 rear-facing seat forward and 29 forward facing seats at the rear

Aircraft retained the name 'RMA Earl of Essex'

Operated its first revenue service - December 1957

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

Oakey, Parkes and Walgett

It was damaged whilst taking-off from Canberra Airport with reduced engine power - March 01, 1958

It was engaged in testing the airport's suitability as an alternative port for Cooma

On the third test the aircraft departed with a takeoff weight of 22,200 kg (48,900 lb) from Runway 35

The wind was 320 degrees at 13 knots, giving a headwind of 10 kts with the crosswind component of 9 kts

The ambient temperature was in the high 20s and no flaps were being used

Engine power was reduced on one engine as aircraft reached 'V1'

As the aircraft became airborne the undercarriage was retracted but the aircraft sank back onto the runway

Full power was not being produced by the remaining engine due to incorrect oil being used

Extra drag was also generated from the open undercarriage doors

On settling onto the runway the fuselage skin was scrapped off the belly and propeller tips were bent

Flight crew: Captain J. H. Hailey; F/O W. Garriock; DCA pilots Captain Faulkner and J. Tenebaum

Temporary repairs were carried at Canberra before it was ferried to Melbourne for full repairs - May 13, 1958

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 they were returned to BEA for resale

Operated its final passenger service Sydney - Casino - Oakey - Toowoomba - Sydney August 29, 1958

Operated its final revenue service Sydney - Coffs Harbour - Sydney (Sunday newspaper flight) - August 31, 1958

Departed Sydney (Kingsford Smith) on the ferry flight to the United Kingdom - September 05, 1958

It arrived at London (Heathrow) Airport on completion of the ferry flight - September 13, 1958

Ferry route: Sydney - Cloncurry - Darwin - Biak - Zamboanga - Saigon - Rangoon - Calcutta - Delhi - Karachi-

Teheran - Ankara - Athens - Rome - London

Flight crew: Captain J. Hailey; F/O R. Hillier

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-AMAE - November 12, 1959

Sold to Dan-Air Services (UK) Ltd - March 15, 1960

Operated its first Dan-Air revenue service - June 11, 1960

Operated its final revenue service Ronaldsway - Newcastle - September 29, 1970

Ferried Newcastle - Lasham for storage - ?

Withdrawn from use - October 31, 1970

Scrapped an site at Lasham - June 1971



VH-BUK. Butler Air Transport - 'RMA Earl of Essex' in the standard livery at Sydney Kingsford Smith Airport, date unknown.

(M. Kent / CAHS Collection Copyright Image 1920-033.)

G-AMAE. Dan-Air London - in the standard livery at an unknown airport, March 04, 1969.

(R. N. Smith Collection Copyright Image 1920-676.)

G-AMAE. Dan-Air London - in the standard livery at an unknown airport, date unknown.

(R. N. Smith Collection Copyright Image 1920-740.)

G-AMAE. Dan-Air London - in the standard livery at Lasham Airport, circa 1971.

(R. N. Smith Collection Copyright Image 1920-736.)