Harvest Air

DC-3 G-AMPZ

Based at Southend from Mid-1974 to Feb 1988

Founder/Director – Mr. Nigel Brendish

Harvest Air aircraft were something of a familiar site at SEN during the ’70s and ’80s, with their distinctive, black and yellow checker board adorned vertical stabilisers that were somewhat hard to miss. Initially founded at Biggin Hill by the rather flamboyant Nigel Brendish who would go on to carry out such exploits as flying a D.H.C. Chipmunk across the Channel inverted for charity, the airline primarily involved itself with light charter work, crop spraying and positioning/liaison duties using single engine and then later Britten Norman Islander equipment. During the spring of 1982, Harvest Air’s operations began to focus more on the spraying side of the business after it had been awarded a Government contract to perform oil pollution clean up duties, something that was soon made evident by the addition of ‘Pollution Control’ titles to some of its aircraft.

Islander G-BJSAAs a result, the fleet was expanded further with some of these aircraft being positioned around the country on stand by to tackle any environmental accidents that might occur. It was also in early 1982 that Harvest Air would purchase two larger aircraft in the form of C-47s, these subsequently being fitted out with spraying equipment, bringing the fleet to seven aircraft in total. By 1985, Harvest Air had actually started running twice-per-day passenger flights between Le Touquet and Southend with their Islanders during the summer months, although this would only last for one season.

Tragically, in September 1987 Nigel Brendish lost his life in a plane crash and this would inevitably hail the beginning of the end for Harvest Air. Its two C-47s were sold on to fledgling Jane’s Aviation and the company’s assets were transferred to other airlines, the pollution contract going to Air Atlantique, while the airline itself and a number of its Islander aircraft would be merged into Region Air.

 

Harvest Air fleet while based at SEN

Britten Norman Islander

G-AYJE – 6/84 to 2/88

Sold to London Parachuting Ltd

G-AYOC – 6/84 to 6/86

Sold to Air Furness

G-AZXR – 6/84 to 2/88

Sold to Fenchurch Leasing

G-BADK – 5/81 to 2/88

TFR to Region Air

G-BJSA – 12/81 to 2/88

Sold to Air Sinclair

G-BJWL – 2/82 to 7/86

Sold to Air Furness

G-BJWM – 2/82 to 2/88

TFR to RegionAir

G-BJWN – 8/82 to 2/88

TFR to Region Air

G-BJWO – 2/82 to 2/88

TFR to Region Air

G-BJWP – 2/82 to 2/88

TFR to Region Air

Douglas C-47 Dakota

G-AMPZ – 5/82 to 2/88

Sold to Janes Aviation

G-AMYJ – 1/82 to 2/88

Sold to Janes Aviation

Cessna A185F Skywagon

N3357S – 10/79 to 2/88

Sold privately in U.S. where it crashed in August the same year

Piper PA-25 Pawnee

G-BCGO – 8/74 to 9/79

Destroyed

Piper PA-32 Cherokee Six

G-ATRW – 8/84 to 2/88

Sold to K.J. Slattery

 

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Many thanks from the SAAD Admin Team.