A.D.S. Aerial


Operated from Aug 1957 to Sep 1987

Founders/Directors – Mr Ladislav and Mrs Olive Marmol

With his former venture (Air Ads) now without aircraft due to two rather unfortunate incidents, Ladi Marmol decided to change direction andADS Aerial started a new concern A.D.S. Aerial Ltd which would primarily concern itself with crop dusting and spraying not only around the country, but also overseas and particularly in Africa. Considering Ladi’s gliding past, this kind of flying was no doubt more to his liking, although as time went on he would purchase a large number of aircraft for his fleet and of course, hire more pilots. Needless to say, over the next three decades the Southend Corporation shed would see numerous aircraft vying for a parking spot on its forecourt and while Ladi had left airline services behind, his company was never the less a vitally important and integral part of Southend’s movements and operations during this time.

The first aircraft to join A.D.S. would be Prospector G-AOFU which was the company’s sole aircraft until G-AOFUanother Prospector and a Piper Super Cub were purchased around about the turn of the decade. However, it would be Piper Pawnees that would make up the bulk of the A.D.S. fleet from the mid-60s to the mid-80s. Quite naturally, a good number of other types would often be employed including a LET Bumble Bee that became Ladi’s own personal aircraft which he could often be seen flying at air shows, especially at Southend when in 1968 he sprayed the crowds with a rose scented perfume, something that would most definitely not be permitted today! Indeed, by mid-1974 A.D.S. Aerial had 13 aircraft to its name and with Ladi’s other concerns also operating from the same location, the apron outside of his hangar was often packed with aircraft of many different shapes, sizes and kinds.

During the early ’70s, Ladi would build up relationships with the agricultural departments of a number of African states including Libya, Kenya and Sudan, ADS Pawneeseventually setting up A.D.S. Aerial’s African base of operations in the latter country. From here on, Ladi would occasionally buy up small ‘fleets’ of aircraft that were suitable for spraying and ship them off to African climes. In September 1972, half a dozen Pawnees would arrive at Southend from Stansted where they had initially arrived in packing crates. Most of these aircraft bore U.S. registrations, although they were quickly given the registrations ST-AEL, ST-AEK, ST-AEC, ST-AEJ, STA-AEE and ST-AED before leaving for Sudan via Le Touquet, after which they would finally be delivered to The National Agricultural Organisation in Khartoum. They were also accompanied by A.D.S. Aerial’s own Pawnees G-ASIY, G-ASVP, G-ASVR, G-ASVX and G-ASWG, although these five aircraft returned to Southend the following March.

Another largish purchase would be made prior to the closure of A.D.S., when Ladi acquired three Ag-Cats for ADS Ag Cats for SudanSudan registered ST-ALC, ST-ALD and ST-ALE. All were present at SEN by the end of July 1987 and were subsequently airlifted to Sudan on board a Heavylift Belfast. Otherwise, the backbone of A.D.S. Aerial’s fleet throughout the ’70s and ’80s would be his Pawnees and Thrush Commanders which would carry out an entire assortment of spraying operations around much of the country. However by 1985, most of the aircraft had been sold off and by early 1987 only Ladi’s beloved Bumble Bee remained. Then finally at the end of the year, the doors closed on yet another major chapter of Southend’s aviation history when A.D.S. Aerial and Marmol Aviation were finally wound up as companies and the indomitable character of Ladislav ‘Ladi’ Marmol went off to a well deserved retirement with his beloved wife and business partner Olive.


A.D.S. (Aerial) Ltd fleet

Percival EP-9 Prospector

G-AOFU – 9/57 to 8/65

WFU and scrapped

G-ARLE – 9/61 to 3/66

WFU and scrapped

Piper PA-18 Super Cub

G-APUJ -6/59 to 8/62

DBR after hitting power cables 2/8/62

Piper PA-25 Pawnee

G-ARZZ – 8/62 to 10/63

DBR – Quaik, Sudan 28/10/63

G-ASIY – 7/63 to 6/84

Sold to RAF Gliding Association

G-ASOV – 4/64 to 8/83

Sold to Wellcross Aviation, Horsham

G-ASVP – 8/64 to 8/83

Sold to Wellcross Aviation, Horsham

G-ASVR – 9/68 to 4/81

Wrecked in gale at SEN 2/1/76 – Stored & later broken for spares

G-ASVX – 8/64 to 8/74

Destroyed in mid-air collision with RAF Phantom XV493 – Fordham Fen, Norfolk 9/8/74

G-ASWG – 8/64 to 12/86

Sold in Sweden

G-ARZH – 4/64 to 8/69

W/O while crop-spraying – Wretton, Norfolk 2/8/69

G-ATTZ – 5/66 to 6/75

Sold in Kenya

Pilatus Turbo Porter

G-AWDS – 8/66 to 6/73

Sold in Sudan as ST-AEU

LET Z-37 Cmelak (Bumble Bee)

G-AVZB – 4/68 to 12/88

Currently preserved at the Science Museum Wroughton

De Havilland DHC-2 Beaver

G-AZLU – 1/72 to 4/75

Sold in Canada as C-GMAM

Rockwell Thrush Commander

G-BCKA – 7/74 to 3/78

Sold in Malawi

G-BCKB – 7/74 to 5/82

Sold in France

G-BCKC – 7/74 to 8/85

Sold in Sudan


Do you have any other, interesting snippets of information about this airline’s SEN history or indeed, any paraphernalia that you would like to share? If so, then please contact us on saadinfomail@gmail.com

Many thanks from the SAAD Admin Team.