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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 25659
Last updated: 18 January 2020
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Type:de Havilland DH.84 Dragon
Owner/operator:Mandated Airlines Ltd
Registration: VH-AYB
C/n / msn: DHA2065
Fatalities:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 3
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:Gulf of Huon, Off Lae -   Papua New Guinea
Phase: En route
Departure airport:Lae, Papua New Guinea (LAY/AYNZ)
Destination airport:Popondetta, Papua New Guinea
Delivered to RAAF 15/4/43 as A34-76. Sold 21/2/46 and became VH-AYB with Mandated Airlines. Crashed in sea off Lae, Papua New Guinea. Mandated Air Lines Captain John Rose was in command, QEA pilot Len McNeil who was a passenger, gives this account in the book "Balus The Aeroplane in Papua New Guinea":

"I had the day off and Johnny Rose was doing a trip to Kokoda and Popondetta. I'd never been there and when he offered me a seat I jumped at it. He had another passenger on board, engineer Fred Starr. We took off and headed across the Huon Gulf in the general direction of Salamaua. Then bang, the starboard engine went. I wasn't too worried, we were only a few minutes out of Lae and John was a good pilot. Then bang, the port engine cut. Must have been water in our fuel. I said to John "How are we going? he said "Not a hope in Hades".

We hit the water with a tremendous splash, right alongside the Tenyo Maru. My seat belt snapped and I was hurled forward. My head went through the top of the cabin, right between the two metal spars. The hole was big enough to let me climb out as the Dragon settled in the water. I helped Fred Starr out and looked around for Johnny. There he was, still sitting in the cockpit with his head just above the water, fishing around for his camera. We persuaded him to join us on the upper wing."
The three men were rescued by a local fisherman.

Damaged Dragon hauled to shore close to the wreck of the Japanese wartime ship Tenyo Maru on edge of Lae aerodrome. Aircraft was intact but had large fabric tears on fuselage sides



Revision history:

27-Sep-2008 01:00 ASN archive Added
31-Dec-2011 10:15 Dr. John Smith Updated [Cn, Total fatalities, Total occupants, Other fatalities, Phase, Nature, Source, Damage, Narrative]
11-Apr-2014 00:50 Dr. John Smith Updated [Operator, Total occupants, Location, Nature, Departure airport, Destination airport, Source, Narrative]

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