Thunder & Lightnings

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

T.5 XT752 - Privately owned, (Restoration to flight), Woodville, 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 at some point afterward married Harry) 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. Soon after the aircraft gained a website and donations were being welcomed to help with the restoration. The poor old girl was also 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. After that, Shannan made public more plans to bring the Gannet back to the UK, but anybody who'd followed the story to this point will be unsurprised that by mid-2016 there was more court action, and since then we've seen court cases involving unpaid monies, domestic abuse, divorce, restraining orders and very little Gannet flying.

In December 2020 the aircraft - presumably went under new ownership after a very expensive court judgment indeed against Shannan and Harry, before being put up for sale.

As of July 2023, Navy Wings released news that plans are being made once again to bring the airframe to the UK, with preparations currently underway for a one-off flight to Washington within the next few months where she'll undergo a full maintenance check, and all being well, will then be relocated to the UK, and go under the care of Navy Wings. If this plan finally takes off, XT752 will certainly be a crowd-puller!

Information on this page current as of 05/08/2023, last updated by Jake

Find other photos of XT752 on the following sites:

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