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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 198546
Last updated: 19 March 2021
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Date:11-JUN-1939
Time:
Type:Silhouette image of generic DH60 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
de Havilland DH.60G Moth
Owner/operator:Royal Victorian Aero Club
Registration: VH-UHS
C/n / msn: 880
Fatalities:Fatalities: 1 / Occupants: 2
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:Essendon Airfield, Melbourne, Victoria -   Australia
Phase: Taxi
Nature:Private
Departure airport:Essendon Airfield, Melbourne, Victoria (MED/YMEN)
Destination airport:
Narrative:
C/no. 880: DH.60G [Gipsy I] to Dept of Defence, Australia with C of A 1689 issued 14.11.28. Registered as G-AUHS [C of R 271] 4.3.29 to Civil Aviation Branch, Dept of Defence and loaned to Victorian Aero Club, Essendon. Re-registered VH-UHS later in 1929. Re-registered 16.8.37 to Royal Victorian Aero Club, Essendon (presumed on direct sale after end of loan). Fitted with Gipsy II 3.9.37.

Badly damaged in crash at Essendon 4.1.39; repaired. Written off (damaged beyond repair) when destroyed by fire following a ground collision with taxying DH.60G Moth VH-UNP on take-off from Essendon, Melbourne, Victoria 11.6.39: caught fire & pilot Miss Florence Wurts killed. According to a contemporary newspaper report (The Melbourne Argus for 12 June 1939):

"PLANES BURNT, NINE PEOPLE INJURED. WOMEN PILOTS IN AERODROME COLLISION

The accident happened on Sunday 11 June, when Gertrude McKenzie was on a take-off run in the Australian National Airways-owned de Havilland DH-60, VH-UNP. Her aircraft collided with the Royal Victorian Aero Club DH-60, VH-UHS, which was also taxiing to take-off. The two aircraft locked together and burst into flames. The pilot of VH-UHS, Miss Florence Wurts, was trapped in the wreckage for several minutes, suffering extensive burns before being freed. Tragically, she died in hospital the next day.

Mrs. McKenzie and Miss Wurts were taking boys from the St. Vincent de Paul Orphanage for joy flights. The two boys in the aircraft received relatively minor injuries. The other five victims received burns ranging from slight to severe in their attempts to rescue Miss Wurts from the burning wreckage. Gertrude McKenzie received a cut on the head and shock. Both DH.60s were destroyed."

Sources:

1. http://www.airwaysmuseum.com/DH60%20VH-UHS.htm
2. http://www.edcoatescollection.com/ac1/austu/VH-UNP.html
3. http://www.airhistory.org.uk/gy/reg_VH-U.html
4. [LINK NOT WORKING ANYMORE:http://www.baaa-acro.com/1939/archives/crash-of-a-de-havilland-dh-60-moth-in-melbourne-australia/]
5. http://www.australianflying.com.au/news/gertrude-mac-mckenzie-forgotten-aviation-pioneer-honoured
6. http://afleetingpeace.org/index.php/aeroplanes/15-aeroplanes/84-register-australia
7. http://www.ab-ix.co.uk/dh60.pdf


Related books:

Revision history:

Date/timeContributorUpdates
18-Aug-2017 20:54 Dr. John Smith Added
18-Aug-2017 20:56 Dr. John Smith Updated [Total fatalities]

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