VH-BDB de Havilland D.H.84 Dragon
Like many civilianized
Dragons, VH-BDB spent its latter days in New Guinea. It is seen
shot from the Geoff Goodall collection whilst in service with Mandated
Airlines. The parent
company W.R.Carpenter's star "C' is on the rudder. VH-BDB
crashed on take-off at Kerowagi,
New Guinea on 2 April 1951, the pilot J.M.Jenkins
receiving serious injuries. A DCA investigation
the aircraft attempted to take off from an airstrip at high density
altitude while overloaded
and carrying 8 passengers
when it was only certificated to carry 6. Only 4 seat
belts were fitted at
the time and no passengers were
wearing seat belts .
Unsecured freight was carried behind the
passengers, which moved forward on impact. The pilot
had not completed a load sheet or, in fact
computed his CofG, plus the
tailwind on takeoff exceeded the maximum allowable for Kerowagi.
Clearly this was sloppy, even allowing for the 'she'll be right,
mate' attitude of the time.