VH-TVA     Vickers 720 Viscount    'John Batman'                     (c/n  44)


                                           In 1952 Trans Australia Airlines placed an order for six of the new, prop-jet Viscount airliners.
                                           They were the first airline outside of Europe to do so. Seen above is the ill-fated first aircraft
                                           of the batch, VH-TVA in the U.K. (probably Hurn) before departure for Australia in 1954. 
                                           This shot is from the Peter Gates collection.   The shot below is a less than awe-inspiring image
                                           from my own collection taken at Essendon on the day of its arrival from the U.K.   In those
                                           days it was normal for the populace at large to turn out to view the latest technological advances
                                           in aviation.  Today, new models enter airline fleets more or less unannounced and public interest
                                           of this nature is a thing of the past.  VH-TVA was lost in a crash whilst crew training at Mangalore,
                                           Victoria on 31 Oct 1954.  The Viscount was being operated on a 3-engine training flight when it
                                           crashed soon after lifting off the runway.  It was determined that the pilot-in-command probably
                                           took the aircraft into the air at a speed below the minimum control speed, following loss of
                                           directional control during the ground run.      Limited experience on the type was given as the
                                           principal cause of the accident.   At the foot of the page is a shot from the archives of the Civil
                                           Aviation Historical Society showing the wreckage at Mangalore