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

Was also registered as: 42-24137; A65-17.


Construction was completed at the Douglas Long Beach, California plant - August 1943

It was built as a Douglas C-47A-45-DL

Delivered to the United States Army Air Force - August 06, 1943

It was allocated the United States serial number '42-24137'

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

Entered onto the Australian Military Aircraft Register as 'A65-17'

It was operated using the radio call sign 'VHCTQ'

It was issued to No 35 Squadron - September 08, 1943

It was allocated to No 33 Squadron - September 22, 1943

The wing centre section was badly damaged in a landing accident - February 19, 1944

It was transferred to No 26 RSU for repairs

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

It was allocated to the Central Flying School - June 27, 1945

Transferred to No 3 Aircraft Depot - May 31, 1945

It was allocated to No 37 Squadron to uplift an engine for a stranded Mitchell bomber - August 21, 1945

Transferred to No 34 Squadron - September 05, 1945

Allocated to No 3 Aircraft Depot and operated under charter by Australian National Airways - April 18, 1946

It was operated under charter by Guinea Airways Ltd - September 1946

Withdrawn from Royal Australian Air Force service as it was suplus to requirements - ?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

It was 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 as VH-ANK - March 07, 1947

Registered to Australian National Airways Pty Ltd, Melbourne

The aircraft was named 'Lutana' (the moon)

It is believed to have been operated by Butler Air Transport for short periods but the exact details are unknown

It was destroyed when it crashed near Square Peak, some 1.6 km north-east of Mount Crawney - September 02, 1948

It was operating the regular A.N.A. Brisbane - Sydney (Kingsford Smith) 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, Capt Paterson 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 onboard the aircraft were 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'