AMANA INQUEST 'NORMAL' DEPARTURE OF AIRLINER Nothing Unusual Noticed Before Fatal Flight The departure of the Skymaster Amana from Guildford airport on the night of June 26 shortly before it crashed was normal and members of the crew appeared to be in normal health, according to evidence given yesterday at the inquest in Perth concerning the deaths of the 29 victims of the disaster.
Twenty-eight witnesses have already been called, and 13 more will testify when the in quest is resumed at 10 a.m. today. The inquest is being conducted by the City Coroner (Mr. R. P. Rodriguez) and Mr. J. P. Kilpatrick, J.P. The per sons who lost their lives as a result of the crash were: MEMBERS OF CREW. Robert James Crockford Chapple, commander, stationed at Essendon, Victoria; Victor Maurice Trevitt, first officer stationed at Essendon, Victoria; Raymond Harris Willis, first officer, stationed at Essendon, Victoria; Jean Winsome Graham, hostess, stationed at Adelaide; Margaret Allison Elisabeth Brit ton, hostess, stationed at Adelaide. PASSENGERS. Mildred McDougall, of Outram street, West Perth; George Colin Campbell Carmichael, of Mel bourne; Ilona Borszekty and in fant, Zieler of Northam Migrant Camp; Josef Boklak, of Northam Migrant Camp; Laszlo Orszag, of Northam Migrant Camp; Stanislau, Powlowski, of Northam Migrant Camp: Douglas Maddick Engler, of Westbury-crescent, Bicton; John Douglas Engler, of Westbury-cres cent, Bicton: Pedro Capalette, of Newcastle, New South Wales; Nor man John Blow, Dean of New castle, New South Wales; Charles Herbert Murry. Bishop of the Riverina, of Hay, New South Wales; Jee Hoe Tan, student, of Singa pore; Thomas Reid Graham, oil company official, of Sydney; Doris Margaret McHenry, of Even-street, Port Melbourne; Stanley Ernest Baker, oil company official, of Syd ney; Vincent Finnigan, engineer, of Sydney; Victor Charles Anquitel, of Melbourne; Margaret Alice Mary Morrison, of Bindaring-parade, Claremont; Grace Rebecca Haese and infant, Sandra Joy, of Bagot road, Subiaco; Kenneth William Douglas, managing-director of the Winterbottom Motor Co. Ltd., Perth, of Heath-road, Kalamunda; lan Herbertson Simpson, of Wicke pin; Edgar William Forwood, en gineer, of Henley Beach, South Australla. All Passengers Checked Alva Thomas Pearson, district medical officer, said that on vari ous dates he conducted post mortems on the bodies of victims. Chapple, the captain of the air craft, died from a fractured skull, and Trevitt and Willis, the two first officers, died from multiple
injuries and burns. A number of other occupants of the aircraft died from multiple injuries and burns or multiple injuries, and the cause of death in the case of a number of other occupants was incineration. Edgar William Forwood died on July 1 from broncho-pneumonia, shock and burns. William George Usher, dis patch clerk, said that on the evening of June 26 he was on duty at the Australian National Airways office at Guildford. When passengers for the Sky master arrived he collected all the relevant portions of the tickets from them. He checked the tic kets and issued seat checks. He remained at the office after the departure of the Skymaster. Be fore it left he spoke to all the members of the crew, who ap peared to be in a normal state of health. He checked 22 passengers and two infants and, to the best of his knowledge they occupied the seats allotted to them. He had seen the plane land earlier in the evening and had seen nothing wrong with the landing. He also saw the plane depart. It was a normal departure, and there was nothing unusual about it. "An Excellent Reputation" Kenneth William Steele, of Scuth-road, Brighton Beach, Vic toria, said that he was senior route captain of A.N.A. On June 27 he visited the morgue at the Royal Perth Hospital, where he identified the bodies of Chapple, Trevitt and Willis. He had last seen them at Guildford on June 25, when they appeared to be in a normal state of health. Chapple had been employed by A.N.A. for five years, had been captain of an aircraft for at least three years, and had an excellent reputation as a pilot. Any officer of a Skymaster could communicate by radio telephone with an airport. One
body that witness saw, presum ably that of Trevitt, had the re mains of a microphone cord hanging around the neck. James Charles Hood, deputy Government Analyst, said that on June 28 he received two exhibits. They were a sealed bottle con taining blood and a hessian wrapped bundle of clothing in connection with the death of Chapple. The blood was exam ined for alcohol with negative results. There was no evidence on the clothing of any explosion or toxic chermcal substances or burning. Wreckage After Crash Sgt. Douglas Laurie Cummings, draftsman attached to the police traffic office, Perth, said that on June 28 he went to the scene of the crash with Sgt. L C. Fletcher. He took measurements from where the plane struck some trees to where it finished up against a large tree. Wreckage was strewn along that distance, and the ground was strewn with branches of trees. The trunks of trees had been broken off. One motor of the plane had been thrown 200 yards from where the plane crashed against the tree. Witness made a plan of the locality. Henry Mottram Jones, a St. John ambulance driver, said that about 1.50 a.m. on June 27 he arrived at the scene of the crash and found one of the passengers alive. The man was burnt about the hands, face and a leg. Wit ness treated the man, who told witness that his name was Edgar William Forwood. The man was carried through the bush on an improvised stretcher and was placed in an ambulance and taken to the Royal Perth Hospital. The am bulance was stopped at Sawyer's Valley and further treatment was given to the patient. "Tried To Get Near" Witness asked the patient about the crash and Forwood replied that everything had happened so quickly that he did not know what had happened, although he knew the plane had come down. Forwood said that he tried to get near the plane but the heat was too great. John Stephen Adamson, senior dispatch clerk employed by A.N.A. at Guildford, said that he was on duty on the evening of June 26. He spoke to Miss Gra ham and Miss Britton, the hostesses on the Amana. He checked with Miss Graham to see that all the passengers were aboard the plane and she reported all correct. He saw the air craft taxi away but did not see it when it was airborne. He could not say what was in the cargo of the aircraft. Inspection Of Scene Sgt. Leslie Carl Fletcher, at tached to the Central police sta tion, Perth, said that on the night of June 26 a message was received from the air traffic con trol officer at Guildford. The message said it was believed that the outward A.N.A. Skymaster had crashed between Perth and Northam. Witness went with Chief In spector T. H. Andersen and others to the scene of the crash and arrived there about 4 a.m. The weather was showery and cloudy. Wreckage of the plane was scattered over a considerable area of ground and a number of parts of the plane were burning. Members of the Department of Civil Aviation arrived, and as soon as the light was good enough an inspection was made of the scene. The City Coroner arrived soon afterwards and gave permission for the removal of the bodies (Continued in next column.)
that could be removed. A guard was placed on the wreckage. Wit ness had seen Edgar William Forwood when he was placed in an ambulance. A quantity of papers and personal property was found among the wreckage. "Near Enough To North" Witness was present at the morgue of the Royal Perth Hos pital on various occasions when bodies of members of the crew of the Amana and passengers were identified. He found no evidence that any one other than the crew and the persons whose names were on the list of passengers was on the plane when it crashed. There was no evidence of burning on the trees that the plane struck first. The aircraft was travelling "near enough to north" when it crashed. A number of friends and rela tives of the victims of the crash gave evidence relating to identifi cation of bodies and personal be longings of occupants of the Amana and to other matters. Sgt. L. H. Scott examined the witnesses. Mr. A. E. Kay ap peared for the widow of Vincent Finnigan, Mr. J. R. Huelin for the insurers of Finnigan, and Mr P. Connaughton for the Depart ment of Civil Aviation.