WWII plane on the move to Evans Head

This vintage plane might be in pieces now, but she’s got every chance of returning to the skies.

Helen Field has had an old World War II plane sitting in her shed for the last 16 years, waiting for the right person to come through to restore it.

The Avro Anson MK 1 aircraft was used in World War Two as a training craft for pilots and carried out numerous patrols before being decommissioned and sold in 1953. 

The plane fell into some disrepair until Forbes couple Grahame and Helen Field purchased it in 2001 with the intent to restore it to an operating capacity.

This was not to be, as Grahame developed lung cancer in 2004 preventing any major restoration work to be carried out.

Yet, Helen and Grahame did take the plane around the country to different air shows including Bundaberg, Narromine and Port Macquarie garnering a lot of interest.

Helen decided to sell the Anson Mk 1 several years ago after her husband passed away but said, “I didn’t want it bought by someone who just wants it to sit out in the paddock”.

Enter Rod Kinnish and his organisation, the Evans Head Memorial Aerodrome Heritage Aviation Association.

Based at the site of the largest air force base in the southern hemisphere, this Association aims to restore, preserve and promote historical aviation exhibits. 

The Association plans to restore the Anson Mk 1 to flight capabilities and showcase it once it is fully restored.

They’re excited to have found this plane and have the opportunity to restore it and fulfil Grahame’s vision.

“The Anson was the prime training craft and there is not one left in Australia intact,” Rod said.

Rod stated that the Fields’ plane was “extraordinary” because its fuselage is in its original condition with no modifications and can provide a template for restoring the plane perfectly, though it will take some time to restore it to air worthy status. The plane also comes with its original log book which details its mechanical history.

To make transporting the plane from Forbes to the museum at Evans Head easier it is in seven pieces.

Currently, there is only one air-worthy certified Avron Ansen Mk 1 in the world – it is owned by Bill Reid and is located in New Zealand.

The Museum plans to name this exhibition for the Fields, the Grahame and Helen Field collection.