Date & Time: Apr 16, 1952
Registration:
VH-DHA
Flight Phase:
Flight
Flight Type:
Government
Survivors:
Yes
Schedule:
Wewak – Momote
MSN:
5001
YOM:
1947
Region:
Oceania
Crew on board:
1
Crew fatalities:
0
Pax on board:
2
Pax fatalities:
0
Other fatalities:
0
Total fatalities:
0
Circumstances:
The pilot, Captain Clarrie R. Hibbert (Acting Regional Director of Papua-New Guinea) was flying a departmental Drover three engine aircraft from Wewak to Momote. While cruising about 90 miles from its destination, part of a propeller blade on the port engine flew off and penetrated the cockpit, knocking the pilot unconscious and smashing his left foot. One of the passenger succeeded in dragging the pilot from his seat and in leveling out the aircraft and ditching it. With the other passenger's help he got the pilot into the rubber dinghy and, using its 'Gibson Girl' emergency beacon, attracted a Qantas DC-3 which, in turn, led an RAAF crash launch to rescue the three men who had then been adrift for ten hours. The aircraft sank in deep water and was a total loss.
Probable cause:
Loss of a propeller blade in flight.