Upon his return to Australia from England at the end of the war, Owen commenced training for intake into the newly formed Trans Australian Airlines.

He spent two months at the TAA Training School at Point Cook and was then transferred to TAA Melbourne commencing as Second Pilot flying C47s then moving on to DC3s.

This page has photos that take a little while to download so please bear with the time delay.

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Left to right: P Wilson, J Ryland, S Cavill, O O'Malley, J Kessey, G Andrews,
H Cast and is it A McSweyn or R Seymour concealed behind?

Owen flew his first DC3 command flight on February 17 1955. Later that same year a grasshopper plague lead to a state of emergency.

DC3_refuellingRadio_interview grasshopper_spraying

TAA chartered DC3 VH TAW and crew to the Victorian Department of Agriculture for grasshopper spraying. DC3 suddenly took on a new meaning ... Dusting Crops 3 weeks.

Owen as pilot, together with co-pilots Ross Blanchard and K Duffield, was involved in the operation spanning Mildura, Deniliquin, Rochester, Shepparton and all areas in between. Four other co-pilots, P Allan, W Reid, D Moran-Hilford and K Purnell were also involved. The operation actually took four weeks from 21 November to 21 December.


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Thank you to Bert van Drunick for providing this TAA Transair clip.

In addition to the grasshopper spraying, Owen's TAA Logbook reveals some interesting entries outside of routine inter-capital and instructional flights.  These include:

  • Geometric surveying at low level (500') north west of Kalgoorlie, Western Australia from May 18 to June 4 1957 with Flight Officer Wright;


  • a proving flight into Lae (New Guinea) on July 7 1960 in a D4 link followed by the inaugaral TAA flight (DC6 B VH-INU) into Port Moresby and Lae after TAA acquired the route network previously served by Qantas. (The crew for the inaugaral flight included Owen, Captain MacKellar, Captain Baker and Flight Engineer Capel.); and


  • altimeter testing at the Aeronautical Research Laboratories at Fishermen's Bend on May 12 1961.

I am currently building up material for this page as well.  Again, if you, or your friends or family, served with Trans Australia Airways, I'd love to hear from you. Flip back to the home page and send me an email or sign my guest book.

Owen served with TAA for over 30 years and flew a number of aircraft including Douglas DC3s, Vickers Viscounts, so I was pleased to see these two sites, the TAA Australian Aviation Museum website and the Australian Aviation Archive.