Southend Municipal Flying School

Prentice SMFS

Operated from Feb 1947 to Feb 1964

Owner/Director – The Mayor of Southend

Along with gliding, one of the key plans for the newly opened Southend Municipal Airport was for it to return to its pre-war roots and once again, become a popular flying ground for General Aviation. As such, half of the airfield would be reserved for private flying while the other half would be used for commercial operations. Needless to say, this school quickly set up shop in one of the two hangars that were on the airfield at the time. On the day of the official opening in August 1947, SMFS offered hourly tuition in one its three aircraft, all of which were owned and operated by Southend Municipal Council. Indeed, during the length of time that the school operated for, a large number of aircraft would end up joining the ranks of SMFS although some of these were often leased to the club by Southend based airlines, private individuals or other concerns.

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It was with this particular school that aviation literature heavyweight, A.J. Jackson would begin his flying career and as such his fledgling Air Britain publication would start to run competitions in association with this organisation, the first prize often being a flight in Tiger Moth G-AINY and later Auster G-AIGE. Another prominent member was Pete Treadaway – a pilot of immense talent. When he wasn’t flying airliners or club aircraft, he would take to the skies in WWII aircraft including the well known B-17 Sally B, with which he beat up the SEN apron with in the summer of 1979. The Municipal Flying School would eventually go on to train more than 400 pilots. However after 17 years of operations, SMFS finally closed its doors on February 1st 1964, its remaining aircraft being stored or sold off over the coming months. However later in the year, some of this school’s former members would go on to open the small yet successful Rochford Hundred Flying Club.

 

Southend Municipal Flying School fleet from 1947 to 1964

De Havilland Tiger Moth

G-AINY – 3/47 to 10/50

Sold to Hants & Sussex Aviation

G-AMSY – 6/52 to 11/55

DBR at SEN 6/11/55

G-ANGD – 11/53 to 10/55

Sold to O.J. Marmol

Auster J1 Autocrat

G-AGTX – 9/58 to 4/64

Stored – WFU 8/68

G-AGYF – 4/53 to 8/54

Destroyed in crash 29/8/54

G-AIGE – 3/47 to 3/55

WFU and B/U 3/55

G-AIZY – 3/55 to 4/64

Sold to Channel Airways

G-AJEO – 7/47 to 4/60

Destroyed 22/4/60 after being hit by a taxiing, Air Condor B170

G-AJUE – 11/54 to 6/64

Sold to Channel Airways

G-AJUP – 1/50 to 4/53

Written off in a forced landing near Harwich 5/4/53

Auster J5 Autocar

G-AKRC – 4/51 to 5/52

Reg to Reginald John Jones

G-AMFP – 12/55 to 1/66

Stored and then sold to Middleton St George Aero Club

G-ANHX – 4/54 to 6/57

Leased from B.K.S.

Auster 5 Alpha

G-AKWS – 5/57 to 5/58

Sold to W. Sturrock

G-ANFU – 5/57 to 9/58

Sold to S. Stennett

Percival Proctor

G-AHTV – 10/53 to 12/53

Leased from the RAF Club – Sold in Australia

G-AKWL – 3/48 to 1/52

Stored late 1951 and then sold to Airwork

G-AKZS – 5/53 to 9/53

Leased from the RAF Club – Sold in Australia

Percival Prentice

G-APJB – 2/61 to 12/66

WFU and stored at SEN c.10/64 – Leased 11/66 – Sold to D.P. Golding

De Havilland Chipmunk

G-AOFE – 8/58 to 1/61

Sold to Herts & Essex Aero Club

G-AOTV – 5/57 to 6/64

Sold to Derby Aviation

Miles Gemini

G-AIRS – 12/52 to 8/55

Sold to R.S. Turner

 

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

Many thanks from the SAAD Admin Team.