DHC-3 Otter Archive Master Index

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c/n 253

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c/n 253

VH-EAY

VH-SBS

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• VH-EAY Qantas Empire Airways Ltd., Bankstown, NSW. Regd 21-March 1958. Delivered to Australia in July-1958.

Note; Operated on wheels in Papua New Guinea, based at Lae, having taken over from the Company’s Beavers.

Accident: Tapini, PNG. 03-Aug-1958. It ran off the airstrip and hit an open drain. It was repaired and returned to service.

• VH-SBS Trans Australia Airlines (TAA), 01-Sep-1960.

Note: Continued to operate in Papua New Guinea.

Accident: Togoba, near Mendi, Mount Hagen, PNG. 02-Dec-1961. Substantial loss of engine power as the aircraft neared a ridge and in turning away towards lower ground, the aircraft struck a tree, crashed inverted and burned. Two crew killed.

Written off

Otter 253 was delivered to Qantas Empire Airways Ltd on 21st March 1958 registered VH-EAY. As explained in relation to Otter 241, this was one of four Otters delivered to the Australian national airline for services in the Territory of Papua New Guinea (PNG). The Otter was shipped to Australia, where it was re-assembled at Bankstown and joined the Qantas fleet in July 1958 named “Kieta”. It was one of three Otter landplanes based at Lae and operated services into the Highlands. It was not long in service with Qantas when, on 3rd August 1958, it suffered substantial damage in landing at Tapini. It ran off the airstrip and hit an open drain. It was repaired and returned to service. With effect from 1st September 1960, the four Qantas Otters were taken over by Trans Australia Airlines (TAA), painted in TAA colours and re-registered. VH-EAY became VH-SBS with TAA but did not carry any name. It continued in service until destroyed in an accident on 2nd December 1961 at Togoba, near Mendi, Mount Hagen in the Whaggi Valley, sadly killing the two pilots. The Otter was on a charter flight at the time. According to the accident report “Substantial loss of engine power as the aircraft neared a ridge and in turning away towards lower ground, the Otter struck a tree, crashed inverted and burned”.

Full history up to 2005 courtesy of Karl E Hayes © from DHC-3 Otter - A History (CD-ROM 2005)