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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 25643
Last updated: 19 May 2021
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Type:de Havilland DH.84 Dragon
Owner/operator:Mandated Airlines
Registration: VH-URW
MSN: 6080
Fatalities:Fatalities: 3 / Occupants: 6
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:Little Wau Creek, Wau -   Papua New Guinea
Phase: Approach
Departure airport:Salamaua, Morobe Province, Papua New Guinea
Destination airport:Wau, Bulolo, Morobe Province, New Guinea
VH-URW: One of three D.H.84s ordered by M.M.A. for their new North-West W.A. service (with VH-URX & URY). U.K. CoA 4363 was issued 4/7/34. Test-flown at Maylands 29/8/34. Registered VH-URW to MacRobertson Miller Aviation Co. 31/8/34 (CoR 487) - 8 passengers. Named 'Pilbara'. Its color-scheme was dark, royal-blue, with silver wings, tail & stripes etc.

On 9/12/34, it inaugurated M.M.A.'s Perth-Daly Waters service, to connect with the Australia-England air route (pilot George McCausland).

On 8/3/35, it overturned on landing in waterlogged ground near Wyndham, WA, turned over on its back & was damaged, with injury to the pilot, Arthur Affleck, or his single passenger. Affleck then rode on horseback some 80km to Ivanhoe Station, with the mail, to pick-up a relief aircraft. Jimmy Woods rode horseback from Ivanhoe Station, repaired the aircraft, using Bushell’s tea chests as replacement plywood & later flew the aircraft back to Maylands, for full repairs.

Its CofR lapsed 30/8/36 & it was Struck-Off-Register, but was renewed 21/9/36. In 3/39, it was sold to W.R. Carpenter & Co., Sydney, for use by Mandated Airlines. Registered to W.R. Carpenter & Co. Ltd. 22/3/39.

VH-URW crashed into Little Wau Creek 30/1/40, during a misjudged approach and attempted go-round, while landing at Wau, New Guinea, on a Salamaua-Wau flight (pilot Ron E. Doyle). Flew into hills during an attempted go-around during landing on a freight flight from Salamaua to Wau. The aircraft was unable to outclimb the uphill slope of the aerodrome. Barely cleared the Hotel Bulolo on the side of the strip and the Wau Theatre before stalling into the deep gully of the Little Wau Creek. The pilot, Ron E. Doyle, and two New Guinea native passengers killed.

The wreckage was sold to Kevin Parer 30/3/40, for use as spares for D.H.84 VH-AEA, of Parer's Air Transport Co. Parts were flown to Salamaua, then by boat to Wewak. Kevin Parer later began to rebuild the aircraft & offered it to the Australian Government early in 1942 for £675.

However, before the Government could consider the offer, its remains were destroyed (& Kevin Parer was killed) by enemy action 27/1/42. Struck-Off-Register 11/3/42.




Photo of VH-URW courtesy

Wau (AYWU / WUG)
21 January 1940; (c) Civil Aviation Historical Society Collection (via Phil Vabre)

Revision history:

27-Sep-2008 01:00 ASN archive Added
29-Dec-2011 16:31 Dr. John Smith Updated [Cn, Total fatalities, Location, Phase, Nature, Departure airport, Destination airport, Source, Damage, Narrative]
08-May-2014 20:25 Dr. John Smith Updated [Departure airport, Destination airport, Source, Narrative]

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