PILOTS DIE, HOSTESS AND PASSENGERS
MELBOURNE, Mon.-The pilot-a former Tasmanian-and the first officer were in- jured fatally and the air hostess and 19 passen- gers had narrow escapes from serious injury when the Australian National Airways D.C.3 airliner Kurana, on a flight from Essendon to Deniliquin (N.S.W.), crashed and burst into flames on Mt. Macedon at 7.45 a.m. today.
The airliner crashed into a thick belt of pine trees
about 300ft. below the summit of the 3,324ft. mountain 18 minutes after it had taken off from Essendon. It was the third A.N.A. crash within 10 weeks.
THE pilot, Capt. Harold Warlow
Davies (27), of Mosman, Sydney, who was a native of Hobart, died near the scene of the crash, and First Officer J. Keys (38), of Bondi, died later in the Kyneton Hospital.
The hostess for the trip was Miss Elizabeth Charlotte Fry (24), of Queens Rd., Melbourne.
Three of the passengers were taken to Kyneton Hospital for ob- servation and the others were brought to Melbourne.
Passengers treated at the Royal Melbourne Hospital were: Norman Hall (51), of Coolamour (N.S.W.), multiple bruises and lacerations; Brian Walton (22), of Bangaree Station, Carrathool, bruises and lacerations; Mrs. Mary Lynch (50), of Ardlethan (N.S.W.), lacerated lip and concussion; Marion Hill (34), of Studley Park Rd., Kew, bruised legs.
The plane apparently was trying to make a forced landing when it struck the mist-shrouded mountain.
"Slid" Over Trees
Eye-witnesses said the Kurana slid for several hundred yards after it struck the pine trees, cut- ting off the tops as it went.
It then reached a fire break, slew ed round and dropped 50ft. to the ground.
Pieces of the tail and wing were later found hundreds of yards
When the plane hit the ground it started to burn.
One of the passengers, Mr. McWil liams, said when the plane hit the
ground the passengers scrambled to get out. About 14 managed to
scramble through the door and the others through the windows.
"The air hostess took charge of the situation," Mr. McWilliams said. "She was marvellous.
"The nose was smashed in, and it was obvious that the pilot was done. There was no panic, and Miss Fry kept everyone calm."
Shortly after word of the crash was received, ambulances and inves-
tigation officers of the Department
of Civil Aviation, A.N.A. officials, and police rushed from Melbourne
on the 43-mile trip to the scene.
Residents of the district said that since early morning the mountain had been under a heavy mist.
Officials at Essendon said the plane left in the usual way, and no message was received from it after its departure.
A spokesman for the Civil Avia- tion Department said tonight the Kurana was eight miles off its course when it crashed.
Instead of flying on the beam from Essendon to Mangalore, near Sey- mour, the plane had been west of
This morning the cloud ceiling was forecast at 4,000ft. over the route.
The Kurana was the third of the D.C.3 aircraft imported from the United States by A.N.A., and was acquired by the company in Decem
She was one of the four A.N.A. Douglas aircraft taken over by the Commonwealth in September, 1939, soon after the outbreak of war, and became part of a reconnaissance squadron based in the Federal Capi- tal Territory.
After Japan's entry in December, 1941, the D.C.3's were used for the evacuation of more than 900 per- sons from New Guinea and New Britain.
In February, 1942, they carried
bombs, equipment, and troops from Townsville to Port Moresby, a 700 mile hop over water.
The Kurana also took part in the then highly secret task of convey- ing commandos and their equipment from Moresby into Wau in May,
Capt. H. Warlow-Davies, pilot of the Kurana, who was killed.
He was a native of Hobart.