VH-BAF (1) de Havilland
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
seen above in this shot via
The Collection p1234-1502. It appears that the pilot
ped in a narrowing
mountain valley under a low cloud base, and deliberately put the
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
DC-3 for plastic surgery and for facial injuries.