VH-ANK. Douglas C-47A-45-DL. c/n 9999.


 

Construction completed at Long Beach, California - August 1943

Built as a Douglas C-47A-45-DL

Delivered to the U.S.A.A.F. - August 6, 1943

Allocated U.S. serial number 42-24137

Transferred to Royal Australian Air Force under the lend / lease agreement - August 23, 1943

Allocated the R.A.A.F. serial number A65-17 with the radio call sign 'VHCTQ'

Delivered to R.A.A.F. Number 35 Squadron - September 8, 1943

Allocated to Number 33 Squadron - September 22, 1943

Wing centre section was badly damaged in landing accident - February 19, 1944

Delivered to RAAF Number 26 RSU for repairs

Test flown by Number 1 Aircraft Depot following extensive repairs - June 26, 1945

Allocated to Central Flying School - June 27, 1945

Transferred to 3 Aircraft Depot - May 31, 1945

Allocated to Number 37 Squadron to uplift engine for stranded Mitchell bomber - August 21, 1945

Transferred to Number 34 Squadron - September 5, 1945

Allocated to Number 3 Aircraft Depot and operated under charter by Australian National Airways - April 18, 1946

Operated under charter by Guinea Airways Ltd - September 1946

Withdrawn from RAAF service as it was suplus to requirements

Sold by Commonwealth Disposals Commission to A.N.A. - February 18, 1947

Delivered to Australian National Airways Pty Ltd - February 22, 1947

Converted to civilian standards by Australian National Airways with seating for 21 passengers

Powered by Pratt & Whitney R1830- S1C3G engines

Entered onto the Australian Aircraft Register (CofR ?) as VH-ANK - March 7, 1947

Registered to Australian National Airways Pty Ltd

Aircraft was named 'Lutana' (the moon)

Believed to have been operated by Butler Air Transport for short periods but exact details unknown

Aircraft destroyed when it crashed near Square Peak, some 1.6 km north-east of Mount Crawney - September 2, 1948

Was operating regular A.N.A. Brisbane - Sydney service as Flight 331

This flight was being flown in poor weather conditions with an unserviceable autopilot and unreliable radio equipment

The radio range receiver had been flagged as faulty by previous crew when aircraft had arrived in Brisbane

Technicians in Brisbane had not been able to locate fault but changed the radio receiver anyway

Pilots had transmitted inaccurate position reports during the flight but the Flight Checking Officer at Sydney Airport

who was rsponsible for monitoring the flight, had not detected these errors

When aircraft failed to arrive at Sydney Airport the Flight Checking Officer insituted emergency procedures at 21:05

Due to the innacurate position reports it was believed that aircraft had crashed into the sea near Williamtown

Wreckage discovered next day by an East West Airlines pilot Captain J. C. Paterson

Working on a hunch he deviated from his scheduled flight from Tamworth to Sydney

Within minutes he located the aircraft's wreckage some 87 nm north-west from its last position report

All occupants of the aircraft had been killed in the crash

Flight crew: Captain J. A. Drummond; F/O R. H. Atkinson; Hostess B. M. Wise and 10 passengers

Subsequent investigation found that whilst trying to avoid the bad weather on its intented track from Brisbane to

Sydney the crew had been misled by at least two defective instruments and had unintentionally headed

in the wrong direction. Once becoming aware of their error a new heading was flown which unfortunately

took them into the vicinity of Mount Crawney

Initial impact was taken by the starboard propeller, nose and both wing tips, ripping them off

The aircraft continued over the summit of Square Peak and down the ridge's eastern face for some 400 metres

The following impact sheared off the port wing and overturning the fuselage before it struck the trees

The resulting fire destroyed the aircraft except for the rear fuselage section and the tail

Cancelled from the Australian Aircraft Register - November 18, 1948

A comprehensive report on this crash can be found in Macathur Job's book 'Air Crash Volume 2'