Arthur Mechin

Alan Spencer writes in (Feb.2006) saying that the gentleman on the far left by the fireplace is his late stepfather, William Ashby who was with the RAF in Rhodesia during the War, post War he was at Cranfield (Aerospace Institute of Technology), possibly at the time this photo was taken.

It has been very good to have Arthur Mechin's son, Tony Mechin, contact me after seeing these photographs on this site.

Tony lives in South Africa and is operating the following pod cast website: http://www.portstjohns.com

He has also sent over some photographs, of interest are these showing the Tiger Moth VP-YDC at the then Gwelo giving a crop spraying demo at the local school, 'Delta Charlie', i.e. the Tiger Moth was based at what I knew as Mount Hampden Aerodrome in the early 1970s, there is a photo of it at the Centenary Air Show in the civil photo section of Rhodesia. The other photo which Arthur gave Tony is of a group of people in a flying club, Possibly taken in the UK at Hatfield, possibly the De Havilland Flying Club in the late 1940s or maybe Luton, does anyone recognise any of the people who appear in this photo, it would be wonderful to identify one or more of the faces. For anyone interested in African aviation Arthur is/was one of the true characters and is a legend of that era, many stories are out there, mostly true.

An extract from an email from Bill Bell - 10/09/04:

Crop Spraying

I have only met Arthur Mechin once and that was in Johanesberg in about 1967, I was returning the first RSA 100 manufactured in SA back to the manufacturers. I had landed at Baragwanath and was to deliver the plane back to Grand Central where it was based when I was approached by Arthur. He had arrived in a Staggerwing Beech and said that he wanted to demonstrate my aircraft to someone and would I fly his Beech back to Grand C. However things did not work out that way as two things happened A sailplane flown by Haille Lasch desintigrated in flight and then a storm came in and I was left with the RSA 100 and never flew a Staggerwing. However a person that did know Arthur well was Robby Roberts who I mentioned to you before and he lives at East Grinstead.

There were many stories about Arthur apparently he had an Anson which he used to fly up to Lusaka/Ndola every Sunday morning to deliver the Sunday Mail newspapers. The Anson did not have an auto pilot so he always took an african called Spider along and taught him how to fly a compass course. Arthur would then have a sleep and Spider would call him once Lusaka was insight. One morning Spider woke Arthur 'Boss we have lost a engine", Arthur thought the engine had failed but no; the engine had fallen off!