Thunder & Lightnings

Fairey Gannet

Survivor XT752 (N752XT, ex G-APYO, WN365)

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XT752 - Shannan Odone (flyer), New Richmond Regional Airport, Wisconsin, USA

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Gannet T.5 XT752 at Minneapolis St. Paul airport, 29th August 2010; Inanimate Carbon Rod

XT752 was one of three Gannets kept in excellent condition by the FAA after the type was retired, and was later sold to the Polar Aviation Museum in the US. On arrival there the aircraft was reassembled, restored to airworthiness and displayed on the airshow circuit, regularly stopping crowds who had no idea what this strange machine was! Sadly the museum closed its doors to visitors and the aircraft was put up for sale by Amjet shortly afterwards. Unfortunately since then the poor old girl has become tangled up in quite a sordid little tale of skullduggery.

Those familiar with the name of Harry Odone may nod knowingly, but he purchased the aircraft in November 2003 and there was a plan to bring the aircraft back to the UK as a flier. The attempt to fly it back to the UK met with problems, getting only as far as Goose Bay in Canada in late 2004 with the accompanying engineer believing that an engine replacement would be necessary. The new owner - by this point a lady called Shannan Hendricks (who has since become Shannan Odone) had an in-depth engineering assessment of the aircraft carried out - claiming to have found several serious defects apparently not found by the previous engineer that could have caused the loss of the aircraft.

Unfortunately the aircraft was then the subject of a messy legal wrangle, with Shannan emailing me to inform this site's readers that "an attempt to steel (sic) the aircraft was made in 2006 using false documentation but the legal owner Shannan Hendricks exposed and stopped the illegal attempt to the authorities." Three container loads of spares stored in the UK and subject to various ownership claims were then sold on, apparently to recover some monies owed by the now-bankrupt Mr. Odone.

By 2008 (or was it 2009?) Shannan had threatened to sue me (!) for refusing to rewrite this entry to accord with her current preferences. If only as much energy had gone into getting the aircraft airworthy! I suspect this coincided with her efforts to take legal action over the missing containers.

Anyway, in late August 2010 some movement finally occurred, with the aircraft loaded into an AN-124 heavy lift aircraft and flown to Minneapolis - so XT752 became airborne at last - as cargo. In October she was then moved by road to New Richmond. Since then the aircraft has gained a website and donations were being welcomed to help with the restoration. The poor old girl has also been named "Janet", but perhaps "Janet the Gannet" has some marketing appeal for the younger generation...! Good news finally arrived in August 2013, with XT752 once more returning to the air.

On the legal side of things, a court case regarding the containers came to an end in June 2014 and makes for messy reading (see here) - nobody involved comes out of it with any real credibility. Hopefully the aircraft can continue to fly in skies unclouded by legal and financial arguments.

Information on this page current as of 04/07/2014

Find other photos of XT752 on the following sites:

Air-Britain - Airliners.net - Airplane-Pictures.net - flickr.com - WorldAirPics.com - JetPhotos.net - PlanePictures.net