VH-EAW. Convair PB2B-2R Catalina. c/n 61159.

Was also registered as: A24-378.



This aircraft was built by Boeing for the Royal Australian Air Force

Entered onto the Australian Military Aircraft Register as A24-378 - ?

It was deemed to be surplus to requirements and was struck-off-charge - ?

Sold to Qantas Empire Airways Ltd, Brisbane

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

The aircraft was destoyed whilst moored at Sydney (Rose Bay) overnight - August 27, 1949

The remains of an explosive device was discovered under the flight engineer's seat when the 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 standard livery at Lord Howe Island, date unknown.

(Qantas Heritage Collection Copyright Image 1040-191.)

VH-EAW. Qantas Empire Airways - the remains at Sydney Rose Bay, August 1949.

(Qantas Heritage Collection Copyright Image 1040-401.)