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
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 De Havilland DH.84 Dragon in Mingende: 1 killed

Date & Time: Dec 31, 1948
Type of aircraft:
Registration:
VH-AMO
Flight Type:
Survivors:
No
Schedule:
Wewak – Mingende
MSN:
2067
YOM:
1943
Region:
Crew on board:
1
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
0
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
1
Circumstances:
Crashed in flames while landing in Mingende. The aircraft was destroyed by a post crash fire and the pilot John Glover was killed. He was the father of the Catholic Mission of the Holy Ghost and was performing a cargo flight from Wewak to Mingende, delivering goods for the New Year's day.

Crash of a De Havilland DH.84 Dragon in Turnagain Island

Date & Time: May 12, 1948
Type of aircraft:
Operator:
Registration:
VH-AKX
Flight Phase:
Flight Type:
Survivors:
Yes
Schedule:
Lae – Daru – Horn Island – Sydney
MSN:
2061
YOM:
1943
Country:
Region:
Crew on board:
1
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
0
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
0
Circumstances:
On May 11, the pilot John Spiers left Lae on a ferry flight to Sydney for the annual CofA renewal. On May 12, he departed Daru for Horn Island. Halfway across Torres Strait, he encountered a severe rain storm and turned back to Daru. At low level over sea, the pilot saw a small low mudflat island, so made a forced landing there, wrecking the Dragon. No radio on the aircraft, so Spiers waited to be found. A search was made by a Mandated Airlines C-47 with pilots Brian Carpenter and Tom Deegan as far south as the Australian Gulf country for 3 days. When returning to Daru from Horn Island, they spotted the Dragon on the mudflat island with Spiers sitting on the roof of the aircraft. He had been unable to find food and at high tide the island was mostly under water, so he stayed in the cabin of the Dragon while the sea gradually broke up the aircraft for 6 days without food, surviving by drinking rainwater. RAAF Catalina from Port Moresby landed off Turnagain Island, sent a crew member ashore in a rubber dinghy to collect Spiers. A storm blew up so Catalina returned to Moresby, leaving the two men on the island. They were rescued by a pearling lugger sent from Thursday Island.
Source: http://www.goodall.com.au

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 a De Havilland DH.84 Dragon on Mt Kerigomna: 1 killed

Date & Time: Jan 29, 1947
Type of aircraft:
Operator:
Registration:
VH-AOS
Flight Phase:
Flight Type:
Survivors:
No
Site:
Schedule:
Kerowagi – Lae
MSN:
2006
YOM:
1943
Region:
Crew on board:
1
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
0
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
1
Circumstances:
While cruising at an altitude of 10,500 feet in poor weather conditions, while on a cargo flight from Kerowagi to Lae, the twin engine aircraft hit the rocky face of Mt Kerigomna (3,204 meters high). The wreckage was spotted by another Mandated Airlines crew three days later and the body of the pilot Douglas G. Tapsall, who was killed, was later recovered.

Crash of a De Havilland DH.84 Dragon in Wewak

Date & Time: Aug 31, 1946
Type of aircraft:
Operator:
Registration:
VH-ARI
Flight Phase:
Survivors:
Yes
MSN:
2028
YOM:
1943
Region:
Crew on board:
1
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
5
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
0
Aircraft flight hours:
780
Circumstances:
Shortly after takeoff, while climbing, the right engine lost power and failed. The pilot made a turn to the left and attempted to make an emergency landing on a beach when the aircraft hit a coconut tree and crashed. The pilot was injured while five other occupants were unhurt. The aircraft was damaged beyond repair.
Testimony from the pilot:
"I drained both fuel tanks for water prior to take-off, but apparently there was still water in one. I had 5 passengers on board. I took off without trouble, but the instant we were off the starboard engine began misfiring, and it lost power fast. Because of the country I commenced a left turn, into the live engine, to try to reach the beach, but I couldn't make it. I put her down on a bit of a clearing in a sacsac swamp. The starboard wing bit a coconut palm and we slewed right around. I banged my head somewhere and got a cut scalp. The passengers were alright though. She burst into flames - was a write-off."
Source:
http://www.goodall.com.au/australian-aviation/dh84-pt2/dh84-dragon-pt2.htm
Probable cause:
It was determined that the failure of the right engine was caused by the contamination of fuel by water.

Crash of a De Havilland DH.84 Dragon in Mount Druitt: 5 killed

Date & Time: Jan 5, 1945 at 1215 LT
Type of aircraft:
Operator:
Registration:
A34-65
Flight Phase:
Flight Type:
Survivors:
No
Schedule:
Richmond - Richmond
MSN:
2054
YOM:
1943
Country:
Region:
Crew on board:
5
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
0
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
5
Circumstances:
En route, the pilot lost control of the aircraft that dove into the ground and crashed in Mount Druitt, in the suburb of Sydney. All five crew members were killed.
Crew:
P/O George Ashurst,
P/O Kenneth Arthur Henry Biggs,
W/O Ian Castles Powell,
Cpl Bruce Allan Brownjohn,
LAC Henry Alan Taylor.
Probable cause:
It appears that the loss of control was caused by engine problems.

Crash of a De Havilland DH.84 Dragon II in Mt Hope: 2 killed

Date & Time: Jun 30, 1944 at 1300 LT
Type of aircraft:
Operator:
Registration:
ZK-AHT
Flight Phase:
Survivors:
Yes
Site:
Schedule:
Nelson - Hokitika
MSN:
6090
YOM:
1935
Country:
Region:
Crew on board:
1
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
6
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
2
Circumstances:
While approaching the Mt Saddle at low height, the twin engine aircraft was caught by updraft and gained altitude. Shortly later, the aircraft stalled and dove into a wooded area located on the Mt Hope, in the Kahurangi National Park. Four passengers and the pilot Colin G. Lewis were rescued while two others occupants including Bert Mercer, founder of this operator, were killed. The other passenger killed was also an employee of Air Travel.
Probable cause:
Loss of control caused by updraft.

Crash of a De Havilland DH.84 Dragon near Croydon: 2 killed

Date & Time: Dec 6, 1943
Type of aircraft:
Operator:
Registration:
A34-25
Flight Phase:
Flight Type:
Survivors:
No
MSN:
2014
YOM:
1943
Country:
Region:
Crew on board:
2
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
0
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
2
Circumstances:
En route from Townsville-Garbutt Field with radar equipment on board, the aircraft crashed in unknown circumstances some 15 miles south of Croydon. The wreckage was found few hours later and both crew members were killed.