Av-Air Ltd

Operated from Mar 1968 to May 1969

Founders/Directors – Mr Ted Clack & Mr A.J. Abott

This small flying school started out in 1968 (possibly having links to South Essex Plant Hire in Pitsea) and was run by two senior instructors with a third being employed by the company. As such, the club also operated three aircraft from the outset, two Cherokees and an Aircoupe. The school offered the usual training including PPL, IMC and Night ratings although it would rapidly strike up a deal with BAF for the use of their Link Trainer and their chief flying instructor, both of which could be employed for £2 5s per hour. However, while the club’s membership would quickly build up into the hundreds, in June CFI Clack suddenly departed from the organisation and went on to start Southend Light Aviation Centre, taking two aircraft with him in the process.

Av-Air would however continue to operate although in the same month, more misfortune would hit the club when two of its aircraft had their cockpits burnt out, both of which looked at the time to be part of a deliberate arson attack, although whether this was finally established as the cause is unknown. Needless to say, Av-Air quickly brought in replacements and by the turn of the year, the fleet consisted of 6 aircraft. The Av-Air/SLAC rivalry went on however until finally, the former was finally merged with SLAC in May 1969. While these companies would for a time, continue to run as separate entities under one board, a number of members were not happy with this and from Av-Air, the Southend Aero Club would eventually emerge under CFI Abott and former Channel Airways pilot Capt. R.J. Pascoe.

 

Av-Air fleet

Piper PA-28 Cherokee

G-ARSY – 3/68 to 6/68

Leased from South Essex Plant Hire – Destroyed by fire at SEN 6/68

G-ATVK – 5/68 to 6/72

Leased from Finance & General Hire Co by Ted Clack

G-ATDA – 6/68 to 8/68

Leased from C.S.E Aviation

G-AVLG – 11/68 to 4/69

Sold to Lonmet Aviation

Ercoupe 415

G-ATFP – 5/68 to 6/68

Leased from South Essex Plant Hire – DBF at SEN 6/68 – Later sold on and rebuilt

ERCO A-2 Ercoupe

G-ATRY – 8/68 to 3/69

Leased from South Essex Plant Hire

Cessna C-150

G-AWCP – 5/69 to 6/69

Leased from Rogers Aviation

G-AWPX – 4/69 to 5/69

Leased from Shackleton Aviation

De Havilland Chipmunk

G-APSC – 4/69 to 5/69

Occasional loan from Gerry Lee

 

Do you have any other, interesting snippets of information about this company’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.