Date & Time: Oct 25, 1938 at 1345 LT
Type of aircraft:
Douglas DC-2
Operator:
Registration:
VH-UYC
Survivors:
No
Schedule:
Adelaide – Melbourne
MSN:
1566
YOM:
1937
Country:
Australia
Region:
Oceania
Crew on board:
4
Crew fatalities:
4
Pax on board:
14
Pax fatalities:
14
Other fatalities:
0
Total fatalities:
18
Circumstances:
On approach to Melbourne, the crew lost his orientation and was unable to locate the airport of Essendon. The pilot continued the descent and the aircraft christened 'Kyeema' went through a thick cloud layer when it hit the Mt Dandenong located some 45 km east of Essendon Airport. All 18 occupants were killed. instantly and the aircraft was completely wrecked.
Crew:
A. C. Webb, pilot,
A. J. Steen, copilot,
Phillip Pring, pilot, acting as radio operator,
Elva Jones, stewardess,
Probable cause:
The following deficiencies were identified as contributing to the accident:
1) The aircraft’s navigational log was either not kept or had not been properly utilized during the latter part of the flight, as required by the carrier;
2) The company’s procedure for descent through an overcast into this airport was not adopted, and
3) A request for a bearing from the aircraft was not received by the radio operator at the airport nor logged at any other operating station. Also noted in the investigative report was the lack in Australia of an ultra-high frequency (UHF) beacon network, and indeed, the crash of VH-UYC would prove pivotal in the development of the nation’s airway system.