FIRST FATAL CRASH IN 14 YEARS OF SERVICE Monday's disaster was Australia's worst air crash. The fourth-worst disaster also occurred in this State at Guildford airport a year ago this week, when 18 persons lost their lives in a MacRobertson-Miller DC3 crash.
Until Monday the worst disas ter in Australia's aviation his tory had been that which oc curred in March, 1946, when an A.N.A. DC3 crashed at Hobart, killing all 25 aboard. In March of last year 21 per sons lost their lives when a Lockheed Lodestar crashed after take-off at Coolangatta (Queensland). This is the first crash in which life has been lost in the 14 years of the Perth-Adelaide ser vice. The east-west service started with the weekly DC2's, but has grown over recent years to a daily service of DC4's, or Skymasters. The Amana was the first com mercial Skymaster to arrive in Australia for airline operation in this country. Purchased in
America, it arrived in Australia after a Pacific crossing in 1946 and made its first flight in Aus tralia in February of that year. Many Perth residents will re call those early trips to this State, when special flights were made for local residents over the city in the new Skymaster. The Amana became the flag ship of the airline. When A.N.A. operated the service across the Pacific to America two years ago, the Amana was the first plane to be used on the new service. Since then it has also made several flights to New Zealand and has car ried out charter trips to Europe. It made hundreds of visits to this State and always gave re liable service. Its code sign was "ANA"-the initials of the company.