VH-TFB. Fokker F.27-1002 Friendship. c/n 10112.

 

This was the second of six aircraft ordered new by Trans Australia Airlines - March 09, 1956

Entered onto the Dutch Aircraft Register as PH-FAH (CofR 640) - February 19, 1959

Registered to NV Kon. Ned. Vliegtuigenfabriek Fokker

First flown as PH-FAH - February 26, 1959

Cancelled from the Dutch Aircraft Register - April 06, 1959

Accepted by Trans Australia Airlines at Schiphol - April 06, 1959

Aircraft named 'Abel Tasman'

Entered onto the Australian Aircraft Register as VH-TFB - April 06, 1959

Registered to Australian National Airlines Commission, Melbourne

Departed Amsterdam (Schiphol) on the delivery flight to Australia - April 08, 1959

Arrived Melbourne (Essendon) Airport on completion of the delivery flight - April 16, 1959

Flight crew: Captains J. James, D. Winch, J. Whittell; Navigator B. Roberts

Passengers: J. L. Watkins (TAA Technical Superintendent); F. Diepen (Commercial Manager, Fokker)

This was the first Fokker Friendship to be delivered to the airline

Operated first revenue service Sydney (Kingsford Smith) - Canberra - Melbourne (Essendon) - May 01, 1959

Leased to Guinea Airways Ltd at various times - July 30, 1959 to January 17, 1960

The aircraft was destroyed when it crashed into the sea off Mackay Airport - June 10, 1960

Aircraft was operating Brisbane - Maryborough - Rockhampton - Mackay - Townsville service

On arriving over Mackay the flight crew were advised that airport was closed due to low visibility in fog

Despite having sufficient fuel to divert to Townsville, pilot elected to circle airport awaiting improvement

A number of approaches were flown towards the airport but aborted due to low visibility

On one such approach the aircraft descended into the ocean whilst under control

Aircraft was destroyed on impact and the 25 passengers and 4 crew members were killed

Flight crew: Captain F. C. Pollard; F/O G. L. Davis; Hostesses M. K. Wilmer, J. Hamilton

Cancelled from the Australian Aircraft Register - September 1960

Despite a thorough investigation no cause for the crash could be established

Misreading of the altimeter was investigated but not proved, along with pilot distraction

Aircraft had flown 2,420 hours with 3,396 cycles

For more information click 'HERE'

 

VH-TFB. TAA Trans-Australia Airlines - 'Abel Tasman' in the original livery somewhere over Holland, April 1959.

(R. N. Smith Collection Copyright Image 1993-566.)

VH-TFB. TAA Trans-Australia Airlines - 'Abel Tasman' in the original livery at Amsterdam Schiphol Airport, April 1959.

(R. N. Smith Collection Copyright Image 1993-567.)

VH-TFB. TAA Trans-Australia Airlines - 'Abel Tasman' in the original livery at Amsterdam Schiphol Airport, April 1959.

This photo was signed by everyone who was aboard the aircraft during the delivery flight.

(R. N. Smith Collection Copyright Image 1993-568.)

VH-TFB. TAA Trans-Australia Airlines - 'Abel Tasman' in the original livery at Melbourne Essendon Airport, April 16, 1959.

(R. N. Smith Collection Copyright Image 1993-867.)

VH-TFB. TAA Trans-Australia Airlines - 'Abel Tasman' in the original 'dayglow' livery at Melbourne Essendon Airport, date unknown.

(B. Anderson Copyright Image 1993-541.)