Crash of a Junkers JU.52/3mg in Wau

Date & Time: Mar 21, 1957
Type of aircraft:
Operator:
Registration:
VH-BUW
Flight Phase:
Flight Type:
Survivors:
Yes
Schedule:
Wau – Lae
MSN:
641375
YOM:
1943
Location:
Region:
Crew on board:
1
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
0
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
0
Circumstances:
GSA pilot Peter Manser was making a down-hill takeoff on the sloping strip, carrying a heavy load of sawn timber. Just before becoming airborne the port engine suddenly lost all power, causing the aircraft to swing violently to the left and roll towards the Qantas terminal building and freight shed. The Qantas agent Mrs. Ivy Crawford saw it approaching and ran through the passenger room out on to the airfield and jumped over an embankment as the aircraft struck the building. The port wing sliced through the wooden structure, the roof collapsing as the Junkers kept rolling on to a road, tearing off its rear fuselage before Manser could bring it to a stop. The fuselage was broken into three sections and 12 feet was smashed off the port wing.
Source:
http://www.goodall.com.au/australian-aviation/junkers ju52/junkersju52.html
Probable cause:
The accident was probably caused by a loss of power, for reasons undetermined, at a critical stage of the takeoff.

Crash of a De Havilland DHA-3 Drover 1 off Lae: 7 killed

Date & Time: Jul 16, 1951 at 0907 LT
Operator:
Registration:
VH-EBQ
Survivors:
No
Schedule:
Wau – Bulolo – Lae
MSN:
5003
YOM:
31
Location:
Region:
Crew on board:
1
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
6
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
7
Aircraft flight hours:
200
Circumstances:
The three engine aircraft left Bulolo at 0835LT bound for Lae. 31 minutes later, while approaching Lae Airport, the pilot informed ground about his position over the mouth of Markham River. While flying in a visibility of two miles due to rain falls, the pilot lost control of the aircraft that crashed in to the Huon Gulf, about four miles south of Lae Airport. Some debris were found around noon and all seven occupants were killed, among them the pilot Captain J. W. Spiers.
Source:
http://www.goodall.com.au/australian-aviation/drover/drover.htm
Probable cause:
The initial finding of investigation by DCA and QEA was a pilot error in that he continued the flight under VFR into reduced visibility in low cloud and rain. The wreckage salvaged included the centre propeller which was missing blade. This was assumed to be caused by the impact with the sea. However, after the ditching of VH-DHA on 16APR1952, renewed investigations revealed that the missing centre propeller blade had suffered a structural failure and broke away in flight, causing the engine to pull out of its mounting and the pilot to lose control of the aircraft that crashed into the sea.

Crash of a De Havilland DH.84 Dragon I in Slate Creek

Date & Time: Jan 29, 1951
Type of aircraft:
Operator:
Registration:
VH-AAC
Flight Phase:
Survivors:
Yes
Site:
MSN:
6025
YOM:
1933
Region:
Crew on board:
1
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
5
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
0
Circumstances:
En route, the pilot Tom Lumme was forced to make an emergency landing near Slate Creek for unknown reason. All six occupants were unhurt and rescued while the aircraft was damaged beyond repair.

Crash of a Lockheed L-414-08 Hudson IVA in Lae: 3 killed

Date & Time: Mar 25, 1950
Type of aircraft:
Operator:
Registration:
VH-BDN
Flight Type:
Survivors:
Yes
Schedule:
Lae - Lae
MSN:
6044
YOM:
1941
Location:
Region:
Crew on board:
3
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
0
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
3
Circumstances:
The crew consisting of two mechanics and one pilot (Captain Gibson-Lee) were involved in a local test flight. Shortly after takeoff, the left engine failed and the pilot elected to return for a safe landing, but unfortunately, the runway was busy with a DC-3. The pilot was forced to make a go around, overflew the runway but was unable to gain sufficient height. At the end of the runway, the aircraft hit telephone wires and crashed in flames onto a house, killing a young honeymooning couple. The aircraft christened 'Petunia' was destroyed by fire, both mechanics were unhurt while the captain was seriously injured. He died from third degree burns ten days later.
Source & photo:
http://www.adastron.com/lockheed/hudson/vh-bdn.htm
Probable cause:
Engine failure.

Crash of a De Havilland DH.83 Fox Moth in Bulolo

Date & Time: Apr 25, 1949
Operator:
Registration:
VH-GAV
Flight Type:
Survivors:
Yes
Schedule:
Lae – Bulolo
MSN:
4047
YOM:
1933
Location:
Region:
Crew on board:
1
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
1
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
0
Circumstances:
On final approach to Bulolo, the aircraft suffered an engine failure. The pilot (Captain R. C. T. 'Dick' Burt) made a forced landing but the aircraft struck a rock outcrop near Bulolo known to pilots as The Pimple. The aircraft was written off while both occupants survived.

Crash of a Lockheed L-414-56 Hudson IIIA in Lae: 37 killed

Date & Time: Apr 18, 1948
Type of aircraft:
Operator:
Registration:
VH-ALA
Flight Phase:
Survivors:
No
Schedule:
Lae – Bulolo
MSN:
414-6460
YOM:
1942
Location:
Region:
Crew on board:
4
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
33
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
37
Circumstances:
Shortly after takeoff from Lae-Nadzab Airport, while in initial climb, an engine failed. The pilot lost control of the aircraft that crashed on an island located in the Markham River, south of the airport. All 37 occupants were killed. It was determined that all passengers were local farmers that were seating in the main cabin without seat or seat belt. Worst accident involving a Lockheed Hudson.
Probable cause:
Investigations stated that the total weight of the aircraft at the time of the accident was not over the MTOW and the exact cause of the engine failure could not be determined with certainty.

Crash of a Bristol 170 Freighter 1A in Wau

Date & Time: Nov 23, 1947
Type of aircraft:
Operator:
Registration:
G-AIMC
Flight Type:
Survivors:
Yes
Schedule:
Wau - Wau
MSN:
12793
YOM:
1946
Location:
Region:
Crew on board:
5
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
0
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
0
Circumstances:
The crew was performing a demo flight to potential clients. Upon landing in Wau Airport, on a relative steep runway, the aircraft failed to stop properly. The aircraft eventually overran and came to rest into a ditch. All five crew members were slightly injured while the aircraft was damaged beyond repair.
Probable cause:
A brake cable failed after landing, preventing the aircraft to decelerate properly.

Crash of a De Havilland DH.84A Dragon off Lae

Date & Time: Aug 20, 1947
Type of aircraft:
Operator:
Registration:
VH-AYB
Flight Phase:
Survivors:
Yes
Schedule:
Lae – Kokoda – Popondetta
MSN:
2065
YOM:
1943
Location:
Region:
Crew on board:
1
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
2
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
0
Circumstances:
After takeoff from Lae-Nadzab Airport, while climbing vertical to the Huon Gulf, the right engine failed, followed shortly later by the left engine. The pilot reduced his altitude and ditched the aircraft off Lae. All three occupants were quickly rescued by a fisherman while the aircraft was lost.
Testimony from the passenger:
"I had the day off and Johnny Rose was doing a trip to Kokoda and Popondetta. I'd never been there and when he offered me a seat I jumped at it. He had another passenger on board, engineer Fred Starr. We took off and headed across the Huon Gulf in the general direction of Salamaua. Then bang, the starboard engine went. I wasn't too worried, we were only a few minutes out of Lae and John was a good pilot. Then bang, the port engine cut. Must have been water in our fuel. I said to John "How are we going?” he said "Not a hope in Hades".
We hit the water with a tremendous splash, right alongside the Tenyo Maru. My seat belt snapped and I was hurled forward. My head went through the top of the cabin, right between the two metal spars. The hole was big enough to let me climb out as the Dragon settled in the water. I helped Fred Starr out and looked around for Johnny. There he was, still sitting in the cockpit with his head just above the water, fishing around for his camera. We persuaded him to join us on the upper wing."
Source:
http://www.goodall.com.au/australian-aviation/dh84-pt2/dh84-dragon-pt2.htm
Probable cause:
Double engine failure, maybe due to fuel contaminated by water.

Crash of a De Havilland DH.84 Dragon near Zenag

Date & Time: Jul 14, 1947
Type of aircraft:
Operator:
Registration:
VH-BAF
Flight Phase:
Survivors:
Yes
Site:
Schedule:
Lae – Wau
MSN:
2027
YOM:
1943
Location:
Region:
Crew on board:
1
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
2
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
0
Circumstances:
Forced landing in trees in rugged terrain near the head of the Wampit River. Captain Ross K. Crabbe was en route from Lae to Wau with cases of supplies and two Australian passengers. Became trapped in a narrowing valley with low cloud base, deliberately put the aircraft into the spreading top branches of a tree. Crabb was hurled out of the cockpit through the nose and down to a ravine 36 meters below, injuring his back. The Dragon remained wedged in the top of the tree and his calls to the passengers were unanswered. A group of native hunters heard the crash and reported it to a nearby Government station. Two medical assistants were led to the scene, climbed the tree in the dark and administered morphine to the injured passengers and stayed with them for the night. The aircraft fabric was tearing as it moved and settled in the tree. Next day a team with a doctor arrived and the passengers were lowered in baskets. One seriously injured passenger was flown to Sydney by QEA DC-3 for plastic surgery for facial injuries.
Source and photo:
http://www.goodall.com.au/australian-aviation/dh84-pt2/dh84-dragon-pt2.htm

Crash of an Avro 652 Anson I near Bulolo

Date & Time: May 24, 1947
Type of aircraft:
Operator:
Registration:
VH-AYD
Flight Phase:
Flight Type:
Survivors:
Yes
Site:
Location:
Region:
Crew on board:
2
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
0
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
0
Circumstances:
While on a cargo flight from Lae, the crew encountered an unexpected situation and was forced to make an emergency landing. The twin engine aircraft came to rest in a field located near Bulolo and was damaged beyond repair. Both crewmen were unhurt.