VH-UAY  de Havilland DH 50A                                       (c/n 137)


                                   Another DH 50A imported into Australia in 1928, and originally registered to the Civil
                                   Aviation Branch.   The photo above is from my own collection, whilst the impression
                                   immediately below was taken from a newspaper print from the Adelaide Advertiser of
                                   22 September 1928 showing the aircraft (as G-AUAY) in an uncompromising pose.
                                   The caption stated:   "While attempting to land at Cook, on the Transcontinental Railway,
                                   on 15 September 1928, an Australian Air Force aeroplane, which was returning to Point
                                   Cook from a survey tour in Western Australia, was overturned by a gust of wind.    The
                                   machine was not seriously damaged.  It is the intention of the Air Force to send a mechanic
                                   to Cook to effect repairs".  Now that's interesting in that, officially, the aircraft was operated
                                   by the Civil Aviation Branch, Dept of Defence and never was an Air Force machine.  Clearly
                                   there must have been a lot of 'give and take' between the DoD and the RAAF.   Anyway, it
                                   most certainly was repaired and had a series of owners all over Australia following this incident.
                                   In 1935 it was acquired by Reliable Air Travel Ltd of Brisbane who named it 'Warrego'. The
                                   image at the foot of the page appeared in the Brisbane Courier Mail for 8 March 1935 and
                                   the caption stated that the aircraft was commencing a new 'Western Air Service' piloted by
                                   Mr. F. Higginson of Archerfield.   No mention was made (at least in the caption) to indicate
                                   which area would be served.    In 1937 -UAY went to E.J. Stephens of Wau, New Guinea
                                   and at that time its original 330 hp ADC Nimbus engine was replaced with a 425 hp Bristol
                                   Jupiter VI.   The aircraft crashed on take-off from Wau, NG,  in December of 1941.     A
                                   month later it was strafed by a flight of marauding Mitsubishi A6M5's and completely destroyed.
                                   Retrospectively this would appear to have been a little overkill, since the pilot of the Zero, in
                                   his wildest dreams, could not have considered the poor old DH 50A as much of a threat, either
                                   flying, or on the ground.