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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 74148
Last updated: 17 February 2020
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Date:21-SEP-1951
Time:07:30 LT
Type:De Havilland DH.84 Dragon
Owner/operator:Qantas
Registration: VH-AXL
C/n / msn: DHA2071
Fatalities:Fatalities: 1 / Occupants: 1
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:Koranka, 5 km from Karanka airstrip -   Papua New Guinea
Phase: En route
Nature:Cargo
Departure airport:Lae, Papua New Guinea (LAY/AYNZ)
Destination airport:Wabag, Papua New Guinea
Narrative:
Delivered 28/4/43 to RAAF as A34-82. Sold 14/6/46 and became VH-AXL. As VH-AXL sold to Qantas. Crashed 21/9/1951 5 km from Koranka, Papua New Guinea. Aircraft destroyed and pilot killed.

This particular machine, along with the other allocations of the VH-AX - series would have been re registered VH-BXL had it not crashed at Koranka, New Guinea on 21/9/1951, since the VH-AX* sequence were later deemed to be prohibited registrations at that time.

Australian-built, this Dragon went to the RAAF as A34-82 before being civilianized in September 1946 for Eddie Connellan to be used on Connellan Airways Flying Doctor Service contract. In his book 'Failure of Triumph' Eddie Connellan wrote: “Irrespective of my own wishes, DCA told me that I should use the 8 passenger DH.84 Dragon. They had the Air Force sell me one for £50 and told me to use it. I argued that it was ridiculous to try to carry on with an 8 passenger aeroplane of 260hp, against the 900hp in the Beech 18 and that the best thing that they could do with the enormous fleet of Air Force Dragons was to put them all in a heap and burn them. I told them it would not be long before our Dragon would sink back into the ground after take off. In fact this happened at Hermannsburg on 17 September 1946. No blame could be attached to the pilot: the aircraft simply had insufficient power to stay in the air in hot conditions".

In fact, the Dragon was repaired at Alice Springs and promptly sold to Qantas for their Papua New Guinea services. As indicated above, it struck a mountain at Koranka, Papua New Guinea in severe smoke haze, killing the pilot (Captain Frederick G. Barlogie of Sydney) was sole occupant and was killed instantly. It was an all freight flight and there were no passengers aboard at the time. The DCA investigation found that the pilot continued the flight under conditions of reduced visibility in severe smoke haze, so that flight in sight of ground could only be maintained at a dangerously low altitude. On 19.10.51, VH-AXL was Struck-off Register

Sources:

1. Balus - Vol 1
2. http://www.adf-gallery.com.au//2a34.shtml
3. http://www.edcoatescollection.com/ac1/austa2/VH-AXL.html
4. http://www.airhistory.org.uk/dh/pAus01.html
5. http://www.goodall.com.au/australian-aviation/dh84-pt2/dh84-dragon-pt2.htm


Revision history:

Date/timeContributorUpdates
30-Apr-2010 23:43 Petro Added
01-Jan-2012 10:58 Dr. John Smith Updated [Cn, Location, Source, Narrative]
11-Apr-2014 00:36 Dr. John Smith Updated [Time, Location, Departure airport, Destination airport, Source, Narrative]
11-Apr-2014 00:38 Dr. John Smith Updated [Departure airport, Destination airport, Narrative]
18-Jul-2019 10:31 Anon. Updated [Narrative]

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