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Accident description
Last updated: 23 November 2017
Date:Wednesday 24 May 1961
Time:ca 04:35
Type:Silhouette image of generic DC4 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Douglas DC-4-1009
Operator:Trans Australia Airlines - TAA
Registration: VH-TAA
C/n / msn: 43065
First flight: 1946
Total airframe hrs:46006
Crew:Fatalities: 2 / Occupants: 2
Passengers:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 0
Total:Fatalities: 2 / Occupants: 2
Airplane damage: Damaged beyond repair
Location:Bulwer Island, QLD (   Australia)
Phase: Approach (APR)
Departure airport:Sydney-Kingsford Smith International Airport, NSW (SYD/YSSY), Australia
Destination airport:Brisbane International Airport, QLD (BNE/YBBN), Australia
Flight 1902, a cargo flight from Sydney to Brisbane, took off at 02:29. The flight crew reported 30 miles south of the airport and were given landing information. At 04:34 they reported the field in sight. The DC-4 didn't arrive at Brisbane and was later found to have crashed on Bulwer Island in a tidal covered mangrove-covered mud flat.

Probable Cause:

PROBABLE CAUSE: "The accident occurred during the pre-landing circuit when the captain tried to leave his seat under the influence of a disordered cardiac function and, in the course of so doing, collapsed across the engine control console in such a way as to bring all four throttle levers to the closed position depriving the first officer of the throttle movement necessary to avoid a crash-landing off the airport."


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This map shows the airport of departure and the intended destination of the flight. The line between the airports does not display the exact flight path.
Distance from Sydney-Kingsford Smith International Airport, NSW to Brisbane International Airport, QLD as the crow flies is 751 km (469 miles).
Accident location: Approximate; accuracy within a few kilometers.

This information is not presented as the Flight Safety Foundation or the Aviation Safety Network’s opinion as to the cause of the accident. It is preliminary and is based on the facts as they are known at this time.
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