Date & Time:
Dec 3, 1934 at 1000 LT
Vancouver – San Francisco – Oakland – Honolulu – Melbourne
The crew was intending to operate a flight from Vancouver to Melbourne with intermediate stops in San Francisco, Oakland and Honolulu, on board this aircraft christened 'Stella Australis'. While approaching Hawaiian coast, crew encountered poor weather conditions. Due to low visibility, he was unable to localize the islands and sent several radio messages advising he was lost and running out of fuel. The aircraft eventually ditched into the sea around 1000LT. Despite an extensive and immediate search by aircraft and 23 naval ships, no trace of the Envoy nor the crew was ever found. Captain Ulm had chosen not to carry a life raft on board, preferring to save weight and predicting the aircraft would float for two days if it were forced to land on water.
Charles T.P. Ulm, pilot,
G. M. Littlejohn, copilot,
J.S. Skilling, radio navigator.
It is believed an unexpected tailwind and bad weather caused the aircraft to fly past the islands in the dark (early morning). The wind was about 35 knots from the south-southeast and the aircraft may also have been pushed north of the islands.