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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 74147
Last updated: 11 August 2019
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Type:De Havilland DH.84 Dragon
Owner/operator:Qantas Empire Airways Ltd
Registration: VH-URV
C/n / msn: 6089
Fatalities:Fatalities: 3 / Occupants: 3
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:6 miles from Yaramunda -   Papua New Guinea
Phase: Approach
Departure airport:Mount Hagen, PNG (HGU/AYMH)
Destination airport:Madang, Papua New Guinea (AYMD)
Butler Air Transport took delivery of two new Dragons in September of 1934. They are seen at Mascot shortly after having been assembled by de Havillands and prior to flying out to Cootamundra.

VH-URV was not impressed into service during WW II although, like all operational civilian aircraft during that time, it received a "paramilitary" camouflage scheme along with a fin flash.

In May 1949 VH-URV went to Qantas for their New Guinea operations, and was destroyed on 13 December 1951, when it struck a mountain 6 miles Yarramunda, New Guinea. Operating a charter flight for DCA to inspect airstrips, the DH.84 departed Mount Hagen for Ogelbeng, Tremearne, Baiyer River, Wabag, Wapenamanda, Yaramunda, and Madang.

Pilot Qantas Empire Airways First Officer Sydney W. Peebles and 2 passengers were killed and aircraft destroyed by fire. DCA investigation found the cause was solely pilot error: Peebles had 6,000 hours experience but little Highlands experience and was restricted by Qantas to Madang-Goroka route. He took the DCA charter against company regulations and flew the wrong way up a narrowing valley, attempting to outclimb rising terrain while throwing passenger's baggage out to reduce the load.



De Havilland DH.84 Dragon aeroplane VH-URV and DH.80A Puss Moth VH-UPN outside hangar, 1930 - 1939


Photo of VH-URV courtesy

Charleville (YBCV / CTL)
; (c) Ben Dannecker (via David Carter)

Revision history:

30-Apr-2010 23:42 Petro Added
01-Jan-2012 11:09 Dr. John Smith Updated [Cn, Phase, Source, Narrative]
08-May-2014 20:15 Dr. John Smith Updated [Date, Operator, Location, Departure airport, Destination airport, Source, Embed code, Narrative]

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