Last updated 17 July 2023 
11 new Tiger Moths were assembled at Camden NSW by Lawrence Engineering and Sales Pty Ltd 1959-1962

Compiled by Geoff Goodall

The second LES Tiger Moth VH-BGO seen at Mangalore Vic in April 1986.                                Photo by Geoff Goodall

                    The Royal Australian Air Force operated over a thousand DH.82 Tiger Moths, mostly for pilot basic training.  De Havilland Aircraft Pty Ltd atMascot Aerodrome, Sydney built a total of 1,090 Tiger Moths between 1940-1945 to RAAF, RAF, RNZAF and other military and civil orders. By 1958 large numbers of military disposals Tiger Moths were still in widespread use across Australia as civil aircraft, flown by private owners, aero clubs and aerial agricutural operators.
                   At Camden Airport, south of Sydney, a small company Lawrence Engineering and Sales Pty Ltdhad purchased the RAAF's remaining Tiger Moth spare parts stock. These had been released for disposal following the retirement of the last few RAAF and Royal Australian Navy Tiger Moths. The large size of the spares holding, including Gipsy Major engines, new fuselage frames and complete wings, resulted in L.E.S. calculating that at least a dozen aircraft could be assembled from these components. The proposal was put to the Department of Civil Aviation, which agreed that that these newly-assembled aircraft would comply with the existing De Havilland DH.82 Type Approval, but stipulated a new construction number sequence, commencing with LES.1

            Lawrence Engineering and Sales Pty Ltd had been registered on 15 August 1957 with Morry J. Lawrence and Noel H. Notley equal shareholders. Lawrence previously operated as Sepal Pty Ltd, an aviation parts supplier which was appointed Australian agents for the American World-Wide Surveys Inc, using ex-RAAF Mosquitos, a Lockheed Hudson and an Anson for aerial survey contracts. Noel Notley was employed by Sepal as chief engineer of their Camden maintenance hangar. When World-Wide Surveys was wound up in USA during 1957, Lawrence established L.E.S. to take over the well-equipped Camden workshop and hangar.. Noel Notley was now working on Austers and Proctors, instead of the heavier survey aircraft. 
Refer DH.98 CIVIL MOSQUITOS in this series for details on Sepal Pty Ltd

                 Soon after starting L.E.S., Morry Lawrence bid on a RAAF disposals auction item that caught his eye: Tiger Moths spare parts.
His contacts made from years of dealing in military disposals equipment told him this was the final clear-out of RAAF DH.82 spares stock held at RAAF bases and Stores Depots, moved to RAAF Richmond for disposal. His tender at a carefully calculated price successfully beat the other bidders. The parts stock, all carefully packed and labelled, was moved by road from Richmond to Camden, where the two retired air survey Mosquitos were rolled out of the L.E.S. hangar to make space - the Mosquitos were stripped of useful parts then burnt.
                 Noel Notley commenced work constructing the first L.E.S. Tiger Moths from the parts collection, while keeping the hangar running with general aviation maintenance. Morry Lawrence looked after the aircraft sales side of the business, while continuing dealing in airline parts and services from his Mascot office.
                 However Morry Lawrence was also Australian agent for the eminent US air survey operation Aero Service Corp, Philadelphia PA.
From early 1960 a series of Australian mineral and oil survey jobs had been lined up requiring specialised magnetometer equipped aircraft. Aero Service Corp sent an Apache and DC-3 Australia with American crews. The aircraft had Australian certification inspections carried out by L.E.S. at Camden. As the aerial survey work increased, later in 1960 Lawrence found himself fully involved managing the survey work under his company Aero Service Ltd, Sydney.  Noel Notley purchased Lawrence's share of L.E.S. and changed the name to Notley Aviation Pty Ltd.  Cessna dealers Rex Aviation took over in 1971 as Camden Aviation Sales and Service Pty Ltd, with Notley staying on as maintenance manager for several years.
                  A total of eleven Tiger Moths were constructed by L.E.S. over three years.

                               Aircraft magazine December 1957                                            Aircraft magazine March 1959

L.E.S. Tiger Moths in order of construction:

                          DH.82 Tiger Moth  c/n LES.1                                                                    VH-KRW
Registered VH-KRW: Lawrence Engineering and Sales Pty Ltd, Camden Airport NSW
Change of ownership: K. R. Wilson,"Carinya" Station, Jambin via Rockhampton Qld
Flown by brothers Keith and Ivan Wilson from their farm airstrip.
Change of ownership: P. J. Annand, Brisbane Qld
Minor damage at Archerfield Airport Qld
Change of ownership: Fred L. Bird, Longreach Qld, later "Royona" Station, Quambone Qld

Fred Bird was an experienced aircraft maintenance engineer who had worked for airlines in New Guinea before moving to outback Queensland. He had an approved workshop on Ennis Downs Station via Richmond, later at Longreach.
Struck-off Register

VH-KRW flying near the Wilson brothers' property at Jambin Qld circa 1960.              Photo by Ivan Wilson

VH-KRW visits its birthplace Camden NSW during an air race in October 1978.      Photo by Greg Banfield

                         DH.82 Tiger Moth  c/n LES.2                                                            VH-BGO
23.2.59Registered VH-BGO: Lawrence Engineering and Sales Pty Ltd, Camden Airport NSW
1.3.59Change of ownership: W. R. Arthur, Bendigo Vic
20.6.63 Change of ownership: Les Penna, Bendigo Vic
28.4.70Struck-off Register at owner's request
2.3.76Restored Register: B.A.G. Airservices Pty Ltd, Bendigo Vic
4.1.93Change of ownership: D. W. Cahill, Bendigo Vic
10.8.99Change of ownership: A.S. Howard, Bendigo Vic
9.8.06Change of ownership: Neil M. Hogg, Sydney NSW 
Change of ownership: Matthew T. Webber, Lochinvar NSW

VH-BGO visting an airshow at Swan Hill Vic in March 1965, blue and silver.        Photo by Geoff Goodall

September 1984 at a fly-in on Joe Drage's farm airstrip a Wodonga Vic.            Photo by Geoff Goodall

                           DH.82 Tiger Moth  c/n LES.3                                                   VH-BRT,  ZK-AOR
Registered VH-BRT:  M. Manuel, Boort Vic
Change of ownership: E. R. Piel, Cannie Vic
Change of ownership: J. Priddle, Stockyard Creek via Grafton NSW
Change of ownership: B. C. Farren Price, Adelaide SA
Change of ownership: Barry I. Hemple, Archerfield Airport, Brisbane Qld
Change of ownership: Helijet Whitsunday Pty Ltd, Mackay Qld
Change of ownership: Heli-Muster Pty Ltd, Bankstown Airport, Sydney NSW
Same day:
Struck-off Register, sold to New Zealand
Registered ZK-AOR
Change of ownership: Ian M.Frazer, Pukekoho NZ

Current 2023. Flying 2015 at Auckland painted orange with tiger stripes

VH-BRT at Bendigo Vic in 1962.                                                       John Hopton Collection

Maitland NSW October 1987, now with raised decking behind the rear cockpit.         Photo by Dave Tanner

                          DH.82 Tiger Moth  c/n LES.4                                                     VH-MWN
Registered VH-MWN: Lawrence Engineering and Sales Pty Ltd, Camden Airport NSW
Change of ownership:  R.C.Berry, Nymagee NSW
Change of ownership: Royal Newcastle Aero Club, Maitland NSW
Change of ownership: Worldwide Aeronautical Services, Sydney NSW
Change of ownership: T. Colpby & K.I.A. Attneave, Sydney NSW
VH-MWN was being taxied at Bankstown Airport Sydney by new owner K.Attneave when its collided with the parked Zlin Trener VH-PXB. The Tiger Moth's propeller struck the Zlin's fuel tank, sparking a fire which burnt out the Zlin. VH-MWN was pulled clear of the burning Zlin and was not badly damaged.
Change of ownership: C. Rooney, Ararat Vic
Change of ownership: Don A. McBain, Port McDonnell SA
Change of ownership: A. M. Monfries, Naracoorte SA
Change of ownership: C. J. H. Sims, Victor Harbour SA
Change of ownership: A.C.A. Schwerdt, Parafield Tiger Group, Parafield SA 
Change of ownership: Trevor G. Forsyth, Adelaide SA


VH-MWN visiting Narromine NSW during 1963.                                                     Photo by Bob Neate

The Zlin 126 Trener VH-PXB burnt out at Bankstown in April 1963 after its skirmish with VH-MWN
Photo: Neil Follett collection

VH-MWN at Ararat Vic in April 1966, all silver.                                             Photo by Geoff Goodall

Berwick Vic February 1975.                                                     Photo by Dave Tanner

                         DH.82 Tiger Moth  c/n LES.5                                                   VH-MIT, VH-WFD
Registered VH-MIT: Lawrence Engineering and Sales Pty Ltd, Camden Airport NSW

Construction completed in single-seater agricultural configuration with hopper in the front seat position, enclosed canopy over rear seat and plumbing for wing spraybars, for customer Paul Mitrega.
Change of ownership: Mitair Agricultural Aviation, Cowra NSW c/- Paul Mitrega
DCA restrictions on agricultural Tiger Moths, mainly due to their high fatal accident rate compared with other ag types, required their withdrawal from service by Decemenbr 1965.
Paul Mitrega purchased PA-18 Super Cub VH-WFD as a replacement and swapped their registrations so that he could use his preferred VH-MIT on the Super Cub sprayer
Reregistered VH-WFD Mitair Agricultural Aviation, Cowra NSW
Struck-off Register as withdrawn from service
noted at Bathurst NSW dismantled outside the maintenance hangar, being stripped for parts

                         VH-MIT completed at Camden in 1960 with purchaser-specified enclosed canopy.        Neil Follett collection                                                      

Mitair Tiger Moth VH-WFD after retirement, dismantled at Bathurst NSW in September 1965.
                                                                                                      Photo by Geoff Goodall

The Mitair LES Tiger was replaced by Piper Super Cub sprayer VH-MIT, seen being washed down at Paul Mitrega's
house on the boundry of Cowra Airport in February 1966.                               Photo by Geoff Goodall

                          DH.82 Tiger Moth  c/n LES.6                                                                 VH-CDK, VH-ASD
Registered VH-CDK: Lawrence Engineering and Sales Pty Ltd, Camden Airport NSW

Construction completed in single-seater agricultural configuration with hopper in the front seat position, enclosed canopy over rear seat and plumbing for wing spraybars, for customer R.S.Bohm

Operated while on hire purchase by R.S. Bohm, West Wyalong NSW
Crashed while crop spraying near Cudal NSW, pilot received minor injuries
DCA Accident report: "The pilot misjudged the climb over known power lines at the end of a spraying run. Port wing caught in a power line and the aircraft crashed to the ground."
Change of ownership: R. S. Bohm, West Wyalong NSW
Change of ownership: Duttons Aerial Sowing Pty Ltd, Canowindra NSW
Reregistered VH-ASD
Leased to Brown-Williams Aviation, Parkes NSW .
Tigers VH-ASD & VH-FAS used on agricultural work in NSW and southern Queensland
Change of ownership: W. J. Brown, Albany WA
Partner W.J.Brown had moved from Parkes to Albany WA where he established a real estate business. VH-ASD ownership transferred to his name in the Private Category to fulfil DCA requirement that agricutural Tiger fleets reduce by a third each year over the three years leading to 31.12.65.This allowed VH-FAS to continue working for the 1965 season
VH-ASD was retired in Jack Hodder's hangar at Parkes NSW
noted in the hangar Parkes, silver and red, still with canopy
Change of ownership: E. G. Frecklington, Dalmaly Stud, Roma Qld
Change of ownership: K. R. Smith, Elmore Station via Broken Hill NSW
Restored with two open cockpits
Struck-off Civil Register at owner's request

Fate unknown

VH-ASD at Parkes NSW in 1963 with spray bars and cockpit canopy.                          Photo by Bob Neate

                          DH.82 Tiger Moth  c/n LES.7                                                                    VH-PIP, VH-RIP, VH-EDI
Register VH-PIP E. A. Borrman,"Elenleigh" via Swan Hill Vic
Mr. Borrman's young son's nickname was "Pip"
The Tiger Moth was replaced by a new Cessna 172D. A registration change was approved by DCA to allow the preferred VH-PIP to be issued to the Cessna
Reregistered VH-RIP
Change of ownership: A. J. Hollins, Barham NSW
Change of ownership: Hastings River Caravan Park, Port McQuarie NSW
Change of ownership: Seaplane Sales and Safaris, Sydney NSW
Change of ownership: A. J. Hollins, Port McQuarie NSW
Change of ownership: P.E.J. Borrman, Lemnos Vic
Reregistered VH-EDI  P.E.J. Borrman, Lemnos Vic
Change of ownership: Coral Air Whitsaunday Pty Ltd, Airlie Beach Qld
Change of ownership: G. R. Scott, Airlie Beach Qld
Change of ownership: Samair Pty Ltd t/a Air Whitsunday, Airlie Beach Qld
Change of ownership: Samair Pty Ltd t/a Whitsunday Adventure Flying, Airlie Beach Qld
damaged in accident Whitsunday Island
damaged in accident Shute Harbour Qld
Change of ownership: Samair Pty Ltd, Twin Waters Qld
Change of ownership: Maxwell C. Patchett,Townsville Qld, later Darwin NT


VH-RIP seen vistiing an airshow at Horsham Vic in March 1965.                               Photo by Geoff Goodall

Bankstown July 1976. This Tiger stayed with two families for over 30 years.                   Photo by David Carter

Reregistered VH-EDI, visiting Hindmarsh Island SA in March 2012.               Tony Arbon collection

                           DH.82 Tiger Moth  c/n LES.8                                                                 VH-CXL
Registered VH-CXL Lawrence Engineering and Sales Pty Ltd, Camden Airport NSW

Construction completed in single-seater agricultural configuration with hopper in the front seat position and plumbing for wing spraybars, for customer Deniliquin Aerial Service
Change of ownership: Deniliquin Aerial Services Pty Ltd, Deniliquin NSW
Damaged in accident at Camden NSW
Change of ownership: F. W. King & Sons Pty Ltd, Young NSW
Restored to two open cockpits but retained the agricultural overturn truss
Change of ownership: P. G. Mills, Leonay NSW
Change of ownership: Lydia H. Mitton, Perth WA
Damaged in accident Bridgetown WA, repaired


VH-CXL in 1963 as a sprayer with Deniliquin Aerial Services, seen at Griffith NSW.    Photo by Bob Neate

Orange NSW February 1966, now a two-seater but retaining the overturn truss. Silver with red cowls & rudder.
    Photo by Geoff Goodall

Serpentine WA during November 2017 looking like new.                                       Photo by Kurt Finger

                           DH.82 Tiger Moth  c/n LES.9                                                            VH-WET, VH-BUG
Registered VH-WET: Airland Improvements Pty Ltd, Cootamundra NSW

Construction by LES at Camden completed in single-seater agricultural configuration with hopper in the front seat position and plumbing for wing spraybars, for Airland Improvements

Flown on spraying work from Cootamundra Aerodrome NSW.
Airland Improvements was a major operator, flying Tiger Moths, Fletcher Fu24s, Cessna 180s, DHC-2 Beaver and six CA-28 Ceres, plus providing general aviation maintenance.
Change of ownership: Alan H. Baker, Womerah Station, Wee Waa NSW
Alan Baker owned several aviation businesses and was to later buy a half share of Airland. He is reported to have flown this Tiger Moth on ag work claiming it was on his property thus exempt from the DCA ban on agricultural Tiger Moths efective 31.12.65
Reregistered VH-BUG Alan H. Baker, Womerah Station, Wee Waa NSW
Badly damaged by windstorm "Womerah", Wee Waa. The severe storm blew it out of its  hangar, wrecking the aircraft
Struck-off Register, owner's request
VH-BUG noted dismantled in hangar at "Womerah", Wee Waa.  Alan Baker said he intended to move it to Tamworth Airport for a rebuild. He now based CA-28 Ceres VH-SSV at his property for local ag work

Wreck acquired by Barry Hills, Adelaide as a long-term rebuild project
Restored to Register VH-BUG: Barry W. Hills, Adelaide SA
Change of ownership: Joachim M. P. B. Guenther, Adelaide SA
First flight after rebuild
Owner change of address: J. M. P. B . Guenther, Hamburg, Germany
operator Barry W. Hills, Adelaide SA

Based Hindmarsh Island airfield SA, operated by Harry Hill. Joe Guenther regularly returns from his employment with Airbus in Germany to fly his Tiger Moth.


VH-WET heads this line of ag Tigers at Cootamundra 1962. It wears Airland Improvement's house colours of
cream with yellow chequerboard rudder and wingtips.                      Photo: Ben Dannecker collection

Cootamundra 1963, with Airland company titles painted on the fuselage.        Photo by Ben Dannecker

VH-BUG at Tamworth NSW in September 1968, still in Airland colours with operational hopper.
Photo by Geoff Goodall

VH-BUG after a long rebuild, flying from Hindmarsh Island SA circa 2012.        Photo by Joe Guenther

                         DH.82 Tiger Moth  c/n LES.10                                                             VH-CXY
Registered VH-CXY: Lawrence Engineering and Sales Pty Ltd, Camden Airport NSW
Change of ownership: Warrnambool Air Taxis Pty Ltd, Warrnambool Vic
This was a syndicate comprising local pilots Bob McCosh, Frank Jarrington, Nyal Dennis and Max Harrip
(date unreadable in the hand-written DCA Civil Aircraft Register ledgers)
Change of ownership: H. A. (Tom) Lucas and James P. Hyland, Warrnambool Vic
Flown by H.A. Lucas in the three-day R.M.Ansett Air Race from Brisbane to Adelaide. 
146 aircraft commenced,  race numbers being allocated commencing with the slowest aircraft, VH-CXY was Race No.1, with one other Tiger Moth VH-UEQ race No.2.
The race departed Brisbane-Archerfield 29.3.64, night stops at Sydney and Melbourne, ending at Adelaide-Parafield 31.3.64
Change of ownership: Newton Dance Aviation, Warrnambool Vic
Air charter and pilot training business started that year by John Newton and Alan Dance.
Change of ownership: D. C. Freedman, RAAF Officers Mess, Canberra ACT, later
RAAF Williamtown, RAAF Point Cook
Change of ownership: G. Mayr, Melbourne Vic
Change of ownership: Alan R. Reed, Melbourne Vic


VH-CXL at home base Warrnambool Airport during December 1963, draped in covers before hangars were built.
Photo by Geoff Goodall

Race number 1 of the 146 aircraft field of the 3 day Ansett Air Race Brisbane to Adelaide in March 1964.
VH-CXY is seen at the finishing line at Parafield SA.                                     Photo by Geoff Goodall

Sporting an imiginative scheme at an airshow Camden NSW May 1976.              Photo by Greg Banfield

Mangalore Vic in April 1983, back to all silver finish.                                    Photo by Geoff Goodall

                          DH.82 Tiger Moth  c/n LES.11                                                        VH-CRA, VH-BCI
Registered VH-CRA N. Rogers, "Anrod Downs" Station, via Corfield Qld

N. "Chris" Rogers had requested the registration to signify Chris Rogers Anrod.
He ordered the new Tiger Moth from L.E.S. to replace his Tiger VH-BCS which had fallen into poor condition. After taking delivery of VH-CRA, Chris removed the wings from VH-BCS to stop any temptation to fly her again.
Mining company Conzinc Rio Australia, Melbourne wrote to Rogers asking if he would consider changing the registration VH-CRA which they would like to use on a their new executive Grumman Gulfstream 1. After some negotiations and incentives he agreed and requested DCA re-allocate VH-CRA
Reregistered VH-BCI  N. Rogers, "Anrod Downs" Station, via Corfield Qld
VH-BCI noted at Anrod Downs, sharing the hangar with Chris Roger's Auster J.5BAutocar VH-SNK. Outside was the derelict fuselage of Tiger Moth VH-BCS, whose wings were stored inside the hangar.
Struck-off Register at owner's request
Restored to register VH-BCI: Barry Hempel t/a Hempel's Aviation Pty Ltd, Archerfield Qld
Change of ownership: Shannon Nominees, Brisbane Qld
Change of ownership: Sker Aviation Pty Ltd, Brisbane Qld
Change of ownership: Phil Unicomb Aviation Pty Ltd, Wickham NSW

Classic Tiger scene as Chris Rogers (rear) and Tiger Moth enthusiast Mike Vincent guide VH-BCI into the
hangar on remote Anrod Downs Station, Queensland in May 1973.
               Photo by Geoff Goodall

VH-BCI looking very smart at Archerfield Qld in June 2006.                                   Photo by Phil Vabre

Conzinc Rio Australia's Gulfstream 1 VH-CRA which took over the Tiger Moth's original registration.
Seen on a regular visit to Dampier WA in May 1971.                           Photo by Geoff Goodall

                   *                       *                        *                         *                       *                        *                    *

- Australian Civil Aircraft Register, Department of Civil Aviation and its successors
- DCA Annual Survey of Aircraft Accidents publication, 1959 to 1966
- 1964 Ansett Air Race, Ian D. McArthur, Aviation Historical Society of Australia Journal, April 1964
- AHSA Journal, Civil Register supplements, 1960-1980
- Let There Be Flight, Kenneth R. Riches, self-published 2009
- Noel Notley correspondence with Doug Morrison regarding Lawrence Engineering and Sales Pty Ltd

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