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Tyabb Airport (YTYA), Victoria, Australia
09 March 2014
Photo: © courtesy of Phil Hawks


Manufacturer: Republic Aviation Corporation; Farmingdale, Long Island, New York, USA.
Model: RC-3 Seabee
Type Certificate No: A-769
Serial Number: 668
Manufacturing Date: 1947-04-??
Engine: Franklin 6A8-215-B9F (215 HP at 2500 RPM)
Remarks: Mode S codes: 52067564 / A86F74
Reg. No. Date Remarks
1947-04-?? Manufacturing Date.
1947-04-?? Test flight.
1947-04-15 Officially delivered from Republic Aviation Corporation to Hughes Flying Service; Lansing, Michigan, USA.
????-??-?? James L. Pearce; North American Aviation Inc.; Columbus, Ohio 43085.
1957-10-29 Cancelled from US CAR as "exported".
VH-KNA 1957-07-12 Australian import application to DCA; W. H. Kenny; Sunnybank, Queensland.
1957-??-?? Purchased by W. H. Kenny; Sunnybank, Queensland.
1957-??-?? Shipped from USA to Australia. Assembled at Tamworth NSW by Tamworth Aviation Services, who were Australian agents for Republic Aviation Corporation.
1957-12-09 DCA Registration application: William H. Kenny; Brisbane, Queensland.  Charter & Airwork category. To be based at Rabaul, New Britain.
1957-12-31 Registered VH-KNA W. H. Kenny; Brisbane, Queensland.

Harold Kenny traded as Kenair Air Services; Rabaul, New Britain

1958-01-10 C of A issued. DCA Sydney recommend issue of C of A from 1958-01-10. Head Office issues restricted C of A valid 1958-01-10 to 1958-01-24 while waiting for successful completion of water tests.
1958-03-21 DCA Charter license issued to W. H. Kenny for operations in New Britain & New Ireland.
1958-04-22 Another Australian import application to DCA: W. H. Kenny; Rabau.
1958-08-12 DCA Import Permit issued to W. H. Kenny, Brisbane, for a Grumman G73 Mallard. VH-KNB reserved.  Identity not stated, believed to be J13, which did not arrive until 1962.
1961-03-27 Struck-off Register as "Withdrawn from Service".
1962-08-17 Noted at Archerfield, Queensland, in hangar, all over dark paint scheme
1963-01-23 Noted at Archerfield, Queensland, under maintenance in hangar, panels removed. All over dark paint scheme.
1964-01-23 Noted at Archerfield, Queensland, under overhaul.
1964-01-30 Noted at Archerfield, Queensland, under major overhaul.  All over dark paint scheme.
1964-03-15 Purchased by T. S. Higgins; Perth, Western Australia and Yuna, Western Australia.
1964-04-02 Arrived Perth Airport, Western Australia, on delivery from Archerfield, Queensland, via Kalgoorlie, Western Australia.  Red & cream color scheme.
1964-04-07 Restored to register: W. H. Kenny; Brisbane, Queensland.
1964-04-15 Noted at Perth Airport; Western Australia.
1964-04-20 Noted at Perth Airport; Western Australia.

Change of ownership: Fred L. Connell; Geraldton,  Western Australia.

Connell was Director of the Geraldton Fishermans Cooperative; t/a Abrohlos Air, carrying commercial fishermen from Geraldton to the Abrohlos island group.

1965-09-18 Noted Geraldton, Western Australia.

F. L. Connell fined $50 in Perth Court on DCA charges of having flown a private category aircraft (VH-KNA) on charter operations. Based on his charging a fee to cover his costs to fly fishermen and their families from Geraldton to Wallaby Islands.

1967-05-18 Flew Geraldton - Jandakot, Western Australia.

Forced landing 9 miles NW of Geraldton, Western Australia, while en route to Geraldton from Wallaby Island, pilot David Gibson. Landed on water undamaged. Towed to port by fishing vessel Little Season. Left overnight tied up to the main fishing wharf at Geraldton harbor.

1970-04-06 Struck-off Register at owner’s request.
1970-06-15 Noted at Geraldton, Western Australia, in back of Mike Sasin's hangar, complete but not airworthy. Covered in dust.
1970-09-?? Maintenance at Geraldton for new owners, to prepare for ferry flight.
1970-10-?? Ferried Geraldton - Archerfield, Queensland.
1970-10-04 Noted at Archerfield, Queensland, reported as just arrived from Western Australia.
1970-11-03 Re-added Register: Brian A. Cheras; c/o Cheras Industries Pty Ltd, Brisbane, Queensland.
1971-01-11 Noted at Archerfield, Queensland, in new white color scheme.

Change of ownership: M. I. Hawkins; Brisbane, Queensland.

Graham ”Fatty’ Hawkins was a TAA pilot. At the time he purchased the Seabee he was based at Lae on F-27s. He flew the Seabee for private flights, mainly between Lae and Salamaua. Later he operated the Mission Beach Resort in Far North Queensland. He operated an Aero Commander by 1983.

1973-03-18 Noted at Lae, PNG.
1973-05-12 Noted Mackay, Queensland, in hangar.

Hawkins transferred by TAA to Melbourne. He ferried VH-KNA from PNG to new base Moorabbin, Victoria, late that year.

1974-04-13 Visited Morwell, Victoria, fly-in.
1974-05-18 Noted at Moorabbin, Victoria.  Mustard yellow, dark green & black trim.
1974-07-?? Noted at Moorabbin, Victoria.
1974-12-08 Visited Point Cook, Victoria, fly-in.
1975-02-23 Visited Berwick, Victoria, fly-in.
1975-12-06 Visited Point Cook, Victoria, fly-in.  Mustard yellow, dark green & black trim.
1976-09-11 Noted at Moorabbin, Victoria, under maintenance. Reportedly has not flown much recently.
1976-12-06 Struck-off Register as withdrawn from service.
1977-10-03 Noted at Moorabbin, Victoria, dismantled in Schutt hangar.
1978-03-07 Restored to Register: M. I. Hawkins; Melbourne, Victoria.
1979-06-?? Noted at Moorabbin, Virctoria, up for sale.  Parked in Schutt Aviation sales area.
1979-11-?? Visited Lake Eildon, Victoria, for “splash-in”; blue colour scheme, operated on water.
1981-02-09 Struck-off Civil Register at owner’s request. VH-CBZ reserved for its return to Register.
1983-07-22 Noted at Townsville, Queensland, dismantled in hangar.
1983-11-03 Noted at Townsville, Queensland, dismantled in hangar; blue & white.

Purchased from "Fatty" Hawkins by a syndicate of 5 employees at Schutt Aviation, Moorabbin, Victoria: Ron Lee, Les Coleman, John Burgess, Rus Smedley and John Wundersitz, Melbourne.

Restoration commenced in Schutt hangar, Moorabbin, under LAME Ron Lee. Aircraft painted all white. The rebuild stopped when Ron Lee left Schutts employment and engine was unable to be rebuilt due lack of spare parts worldwide.

1990-07-?? Dismantled fuselage noted under rebuild in Schutt hangar at Moorabbin.

Purchased less engine by syndicate: Graham Hosking, Brian Jones, Jon Burgess, Les Coleman; Tyabb, Victoria.

1999-??-?? Moved by road from Moorabbin, Victoria, to Tyabb Aerodrome (YTYA), Victoria.

Noted in hangar Tyabb, partially rebuilt, VH-CBZ on the instrument panel call sign reminder. A Franklin engine has just been installed in the aircraft: engine had been purchased on eBay from France and shipped to Tyabb, and stripped down for inspection.  Reportedly only needs a few months work to make it airworthy.

Les Coleman; 32 Barclay Drive, Cheltenham, Victoria, Australia.

When Les bought # 668 it had under 1000 hrs total time, and had not flown for twenty years.  Les has restored the airframe and is now (2003) rebuilding an engine purchased on eBay from France; 6A8-215-B9F # 23542.

2008-02-?? Nearing completion at Tyabb Airport (YTYA); owner reported as Les Coleman.
2014-03-09 Noted at Tyabb Airport (YTYA), Victoria.  White overall paint scheme (photo).
  Sources: RAC Seabee Delivery List.
FAA Registry.
Geoff Goodall.
Phil Hawks.


Photo: © John Wegg Collection


Moorabbin (YMMB / MBW), Melbourne, Australia
21 November 1978
Photo: © David Carter

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