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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 58826
Last updated: 9 October 2019
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Date:14-JAN-1962
Time:16:10 LT
Type:CAC CA-6 Wackett Trainer
Owner/operator:Mr Jim Knight
Registration: VH-BEC
C/n / msn: 373
Fatalities:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 1
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Minor
Location:276NM NW of Ceduna, South Australia -   Australia
Phase: Landing
Nature:Private
Departure airport:Ceduna, SA (YCDU)
Destination airport:Cook, SA
Narrative:
On 14 January 1962, Mr James Knight was flying from Melbourne to Perth. On the leg from Ceduna to Cook he became lost and low on fuel, safely landed in the desert.The aeroplane ground looped on landing and the starboard flap was damaged. A search involving 18 aircraft was conducted over the next 19 days without success. Knight had remained with the aircraft after it force-landed and inscribed a diary and his Last Will and Testament on the fuselage panels; the last diary entry was made on 20 January 1962. It is presumed from this, that, having remained with his aircraft for five days, he had given up hope of being found with or near his aircraft, and had wandered off into the South Australian Desert to look for help, but his remains were never found.

On March 28 1965 a Hudson survey plane found the Wackett in the desert, 276 nautical miles north-west of where he had set off from (Ceduna, SA). A ground party arrived on the 6th April and found the CA-6 to be in good condition despite 3 years in the harsh conditions. Messages had been written by Mr Knight. One note scratched on the fuselage mentioned that the forward compass had an error of 30 degrees which may explain why he was over 40 degrees off his planned course. The CA-6 was recovered in 1977 and restored in 1981. It is on display at the Central Australian Aviation Museum in Alice Springs.

Sources:

1. http://www.warmuseums.com.au/Central%20Australian%20Aviation%20Museum%20-%20Alice%20Springs.htm
2. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CAC_Wackett#Operational_history
3. http://www.adf-gallery.com.au/.au/2a3.htm
4. https://www.pacificwrecks.com/aircraft/wackett/A3-139.html
5. http://www.edcoatescollection.com/ac1/austb/VH-BEC.html
6. https://flic.kr/p/8cPZAZ


Images:

Photo of VH-BEC courtesy AirHistory.net


Alice Springs - Townsite (closed)
31 August 2017; (c) Ian McDonell


Central Australian Aviation Museum, Alice Springs, 10Jul2009

Revision history:

Date/timeContributorUpdates
27-Feb-2009 22:47 VH-KDK Added
23-Jul-2009 01:55 flyernzl Updated
11-Apr-2013 18:06 TB Updated
28-Mar-2014 23:12 Dr. John Smith Updated [Total fatalities, Location, Departure airport, Destination airport, Source, Narrative]
28-Mar-2014 23:16 Dr. John Smith Updated [Time, Narrative]
07-Aug-2014 19:16 TB Updated [Total fatalities]

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