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Withdrawn from Royal Australian Air Force service as it was suplus to requirements - ?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