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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 74144
Last updated: 26 December 2019
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Type:De Havilland DH.84 Dragon
Registration: VH-BAF
C/n / msn: DHA2027
Fatalities:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 8
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:near Zenag, between Labu and Wau, Morobe Province -   Papua New Guinea
Phase: En route
Departure airport:Lae, Papua New Guinea (LAY/AYNZ)
Destination airport:Wau, Bulolo, Morobe Province, New Guinea
Delivered 27/12/42 to RAAF as A34-38. Sold 15/3/46 and became VH-BAF with QANTAS.

Written off 14/7/1947: Caught in bad weather and unable to outclimb terrain. Aircraft crashed amongst trees, destroyed, pilot survived 36 metre fall. It appears that the aircraft became trapped in a narrowing mountain valley under a low cloud base, and the pilot deliberately put the aircraft down on the thick tree canopy.

The accident report gives a good idea of the tough flying conditions to be found in New Guinea at the time. The report goes on to say that the pilot (Capt. R. Crabbe) was hurled out of the cockpit, through the nose of the aircraft, and down a ravine 100 ft below injuring his back.

The Dragon remained wedged in the tree tops and his calls to the passengers went unanswered. A group of native hunters heard the crash and reported it to a nearby Government radio station.

Two medics were led to the scene and climbed the tree in the dark to administer morphine to the
injured passengers and stayed with them through the night. The aircraft fabric was tearing as it moved and settled in the tree. The next day a team with a doctor arrived and the passengers were lowered to the ground in baskets.

One seriously injured passenger was flown to Sydney by QEA DC-3 for plastic surgery and for facial injuries. VH-BAF was formally Struck-Off Register on 7/11/47


1. Balus - Vol 1 by James Sinclair

Revision history:

30-Apr-2010 22:38 Petro Added
31-Dec-2011 06:20 Dr. John Smith Updated [Cn, Total occupants, Location, Source, Narrative]
11-Apr-2014 02:24 Dr. John Smith Updated [Total occupants, Location, Departure airport, Destination airport, Source, Narrative]

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