The MG Airline Coupè Registry


Tim Dinsdale (PV3173)
(Current Owner Unknown)

PA Airline PV 3173 – and the Loch Ness Monster

For two days a week I work for de Havilland Support Ltd, whom you could say is the last outpost of that once great aircraft empire, where we provide engineering support worldwide to operators and maintainers of the de Havilland heritage of Moths and twin-engined biplanes. From BAE Systems we have inherited a treasure trove of material which is slowly being catalogued, and in the course of this I came across a copy of the 75th anniversary edition of the "Pylon" magazine, which was published by the de Havilland Aeronautical Technical School in 2003. The School was founded in 1928 at the original company site at Stag Lane, and helped over the years to provide a sure foundation to our aircraft industry, sadly no longer.

In the magazine was this photograph taken by a friend of Ian Newton in 1948 showing a Wolseley Hornet Special and a smart looking PA Airline, registration PV 3173. I have spoken to Ian (who used to have an Austin 7 special, and still runs a Lea Francis and an Aston Martin) but apart from remembering many journeys in the car, and shooting rabbits through the open window with a Webley air rifle, does not know where it went. It is not in our Register. We do, however, know who the people are. The chap overacting is Bob Kurzen, Ron Bennett leaning into the car is the owner of the Wolseley, and Jimmy Holland is the one with his hands in his pockets. Do these names mean anything to anyone? Now we move to Loch Ness.

The owner of the Airline, Tim Dinsdale, became one of the most dedicated searchers for the Loch Ness Monster. Between 1960 and 1987, he led 56 expeditions, most of them alone, mostly on water; and he helped many other people in similar quests. He took his task seriously, but never himself, and left his career in aeronautical engineering to make his living in ways that allowed him time for field work. He persistently refused to derive any monetary gain from his work at Loch Ness, but influenced many people through his example and his lectures and many books. He died in 1987, still looking.

But never mind the search for the Loch Ness Monster, has anybody seen the car?

John Reid

Last Update:  12/06/08