VH-EAW. Boeing PB2B-2R Catalina. c/n 61159.
Built by Boeing for the Royal Australian Air Force
Issued to the R.A.A.F. as A24-378
Surplus to requirements and struck-off-charge - ?
Sold to Qantas Empire Airways Ltd
Entered onto the Australian Aircraft Register as VH-EAW - October 20, 1947
Carried out the first Qantas survey flight to Lord Howe Island - November 20, 1947
Aircraft was destoyed whilst moored at Rose Bay overnight - August 27, 1949
The remains of an explosive device was discovered under the flight engineer's seat when wreck was salvaged
This consisted of a six volt lantern battery, an alarm clock and a vibrator coil
The starboard side fuel flow meter in the cockpit had been broken thus allowing fuel to drain into the aircraft
The triggering device ignited the fuel which exploded and sent the Catalina to the bottom of the harbour
A promiment Sydney flying boat owner was charged with the aircraft's destruction
He was acquitted of all charges during the subsequent trial which was considered by many to be a witch hunt
Cancelled from the Australian Aircraft Register - August 28, 1949
VH-EAW. Qantas Empire Airways - in the all-metal livery at Lord Howe Island, date unknown.