VH-BAF  (1)     de Havilland D.H.84A Dragon                  (c/n  2027)


                                         VH-BAF the first was an Australian-built Dragon, ex A34-38 and was civilianized in May 1947.
                                         It was a Qantas mixed passenger/freighter and arrived in New Guinea at the end of that same
                                         month.  It was very short-lived and crashed at Zenag, NG on 14 July 1947.   The remains are
                                         seen above in this shot via The Collection p1234-1502.    It appears that the pilot became trap-
                                         ped in a narrowing mountain valley under a low cloud base, and 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 in those early days.   The report goes on to say that the pilot was hurtled
                                         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. .