VH-DQY was withdrawn from use in 2000. Thunderbird Aviation was an early third-level airline operating between Sydney and the Hunter Valley. Third level airlines were intended to fill the void from the withdrawal of DC-3s from passenger services. This had left many regional towns without air services. It was to prove a short-term answer and most of the affected communities no longer have air services. The operating economics of light twins, shrinking rural communities, improved roads and restricted access to major airports such as Sydney all took their toll.
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