Ref R.S.A. Wessex Picture.

Your picture of the Wessex in South Africa is probably ZS-HSL and the back drop will be the bush backing the beach at Virginia airport in Durban. The Wessex was in Durban on ship servicing work 1974 -1976 with Helicopter Services Ltd (BHL owned company) hence the registration. I have photos of her being crated up at Virginia for shipment back to the UK.

Sharky Ward was the area chief eng and Vince Ogilvie was the Wessex LAE, pilots John Yates, Martin Ford, Jeremy Labauschagne and an american guy whose name escapes me at the moment.

We operated an Allouette II and a Whirlwind Series 3 as well as the Wessex.
Regards Ian Dobson .



The "american guy" refered to most likely was Ed Ban. He was posted from Jo'burg to Durban in about 75. There was also Gordon Blackman who, if I remember correctly, was involved in the ditching of a Wessex off Durban. They had been drifting about in shark infested water for quite some time to eventually be picked up by a freighter. Grant something was in the back of that aircraft und cut himself when getting out....

From Hans D.Holle.


The engineer mentioned in my previous mail must have been Grant Williams. "Lopiz" Labuschagne (based in Durban) was the CP in RSA during my time out there (74/76) with David Woodhead (based in Jo'burg) being the MP. Lopiz L. later on left BHL/Helicopter Services PTY. to join Court Helicopters. I believe he is now their OpsDirector or similar. I will get in touch with Horst Neu. He will be able to help on Fernando Po.
I do know that since that time he does not like Bananas!

Rgds, Hans