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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 145062
Last updated: 20 October 2017
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Type:Silhouette image of generic ANSN model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Avro Anson C.12
Owner/operator:Southern Airlines Pty Ltd
Registration: VH-GVB
C/n / msn:
Fatalities:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 1
Other fatalities:0
Airplane damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:Corowa,NSW -   Australia
Phase: Landing
Departure airport:Corowa, NSW
Destination airport:Yarrawonga, Victoria
Ex-RAF Anson C.Mk.XII NL153. To RAAF at 2 Aircraft Depot 30.1.45 (but retained original RAF serial). To Station HQ at Canberra for use of VIP Flt (Governor General’s Flt) 26.2.45. Starboard undercarriage collapsed while taxying, Canberra, ACT 21.3.45. Returned to SHQ Canberra 2.6.47 after repairs. Later served with 4 Squadron and the CFS. Struck off charge when sold 23.2.53.

CoR No 2110 as VH-PDC issued 20.8.54 to M.W. Hopp (trading as Petroleum Development Corporation, Brisbane, Queensland. Re-registered VH-GVB 19.11.54 to Sir Reginald J. Barnewell, Melbourne, Victoria, a Brisbane aircraft broker, with a large number of spares; for use by Goulburn Valley Air Services

Transferred 21.12.54 to Southern Airlines Pty Ltd, Melbourne, Victoria, named 'Yanga'. Before it entered service, an 8th seat, which folded and was situated near the entrance-door, was added

Crashed on landing Corowa NSW 13.3.1955. Rear fuselage broken while being dragged on its belly tail-first. Pilot Vic Woods took off from Corowa for Yarrawonga Vic without passengers. Airborne he smelt burning rubber and believing the aircraft was on fire, turned back and landed down-wind on the crossing runway. Control was lost and the aircraft violently ground-looped, causing the undercarriage to collapse. The aircraft was not insured and its loss was a financial blow to the company. During recovery efforts using a crane, the tail section broke away from the rear fuselage. The damage made repair uneconomical.

Reginald Barnewall’s first-hand account of the event:

“I have no recollection of the Anson 12 ever being flown commercially until its demise at Corowa. That happened as a side result of a weekend air pageant at nearby Yarrawonga with skywriter Fred Hoinville the big draw card, aerobatics by three Tiger Moths from Moorabbin, and our two Ansons engaged in joy flights. Wood flew VH-GVB while I flew the original Anson VH-GVA. The Saturday was a preparation for the Sunday show with a few joy flights and the aircraft were parked overnight. Next morning both Ansons had to be flown to nearby Corowa to refuel, on which flight I found my airspeed indicator was unserviceable (children had been playing with the uncovered pitot head overnight) and I flew to Albury where I knew I could have a new instrument installed.

When I overflew Corowa on return I noticed the other Anson seemingly parked at the edge of the main runway. As I landed I noticed a small crowd of people around it and a truck approaching. Only then did I realise that it was flat on the ground with its undercarriage retracted – or, as I discovered – written off. When I had parked and hurried towards the scene, I found the truck, actually a petrol tanker, literally dragging the damaged Anson tail-first across the runway, a long chain fastened around the fuselage just ahead of the tail. Wood nonchalantly said “Oh, she’ll never fly again so it’s best to clear the runway before the midday TAA flight.”

Of course she should have been recovered correctly and we held spares sufficient to have repaired her several times over. But not after having her back broken. My personal reactions are better left to the imagination.

What had happened was that Wood had forgotten to apply the wheel brakes before selecting undercarriage up, so that it went into the wheel well spinning fast against the sides, hence the burning rubber odour. In short, it need not have happened"

Registration VH-GVB cancelled 13.3.55



Revision history:

15-Apr-2012 01:35 Dr. John Smith Added
24-Mar-2014 03:02 Dr. John Smith Updated [Operator, Total fatalities, Departure airport, Destination airport, Source, Narrative]

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