Airtourers in front of Lees hangar

A group of Association and Co-operative members converged on Lee Gordon-Brown's hangar by car and aeroplane over the weekend of 23rd and 24th February 2019. They assisted in overcoming one of the greatest challenges to the Coop providing efficient day to day parts support; establishing what parts we actually have in stock.

 

In 1980, a team from the newly formed Airtourer Co-operative went to New Zealand and packed up the Airtourer project including the remaining spares held by AESL. These were held for many years by Alan Wood at Hoxton Park before being moved to Wedderburn and Tocumwal. Some of the spares were held by Millicer Aircraft Industries while they were a going concern. The Wedderburn stock has since been moved to Tinbeerwah in Queensland. The net result of the passage of time and moves was no clear list of what parts existed and where. The only solution would be a new stock take from scratch.

 A complete stock take of parts held in two locations, about 800 NM apart, presented a number of challenges ranging from high level questions like how to record and manage the list to simply getting sufficient people in the right place at the right time.

Andrew Younger, part owner of Airtourer 115 TPY and 150 MWR, was factory manager at the Nestle factory in Gympie in Queensland and developed a system using a spreadsheet. This approach was greatly assisted by the immense amount of work done by Lee Gordon-Brown and Ross McBride in cataloguing the list of drawings.

Over two days 10 volunteers identified, recorded and tagged around 500 parts currently stored in Lee's hangar at Tocumwal. It's estimated about 2/3 of the stock has now been recorded and at least one more session is required at both Tocumwal and Tinbeerwah. The next step is entering the 500 records into the spreadsheet and while this is a daunting task it is small compared to what Lee and Ross has already done.

Many thanks to those who assisted and those members who passed on apologies, including from the UK. 

  • Lee Gordon-Brown, our host and chief coffee maker.
  • Ross McBride
  • John Wynn
  • Tony Self
  • Andrew Clement
  • Stuart Trevaskis, (Andrew's mate from Shepparton who thought he was going for a short flight around Shep with Andew only to end up at TOC counting parts.)
  • Jon and Mon
  • David Wearne
  • Ian Close

group

 Part of the Sunday team, L to R, Lee Gordon-Brown, Tony Self, Jon Pels, Monique Gillett, Andrew Clement, Ross McBride, Ian Close and John Wynn.

Clemmo

Andrew Clement cross checking a part in the Illustrated Parts Catalogue and logging it on the worksheet.

David Wearne

David Wearne working through a variety of parts. The aircraft tail in the background is a de Havilland DH89 Dragon Rapide owned by Airtourer Association member Maurice Rolfe.

Mon Rapide

Monique couldn't resist a quick look in the Dragon Rapide.

Safe Jon

The ever safety conscious Jon Pels handling some brackets with leather gloves. We wondered if he used them when changing the nappies of his and Mon's young family.

 Stewie

Andrew Clement's mate Stuart Travaskis from Shepparton who was 'conned' into helping out. Thank you Stuart!

Tony Lee Ribs

Tony Self and Lee Gordon-Brown with a collection of ribs awaiting identification and tagging.

Lee ribs

Lee Gordon-Brown with yet another armful of ribs to be identified. Lee's hangar includes an eclectic collection of artifacts including the wireless on the left. 

Happy team

A happy team using a variety of sources to identify various mysterious parts. L to R, Ian Close, John Wynn and Ross McBride.

The computers gave access to the parts catelogue as well as the drawings. In some cases the parts had the number printed on them but the years had taken their toll requiring repeated guesses to decide if it was a 3 or an 8 or a 1 or a 4 etc. Quick assess to the drawings helped save time. Nevertheless, a number of parts were unidentified.

Unknown

Unidentified pars were logged and photographed. In the future we'll call upon 'crowd sourcing' by publishing the photos on the website and asking the members to help identify the items.

 Bagged and tagged

 The result of the hard work, parts identified, tagged and in some cases bagged.

Saturday dinner

Relaxing at the local pub for dinner on Saturday night, L to R, John Wynn, Ross McBride, Lee Gordon-Brown, Tony Self and Ian Close.