completed at Burbank.
to KNILM by Lockheed and subsequently shipped to the Netherlands East
Indies. Subsequently registered PK-AFM to KNILM.
with other KNILM aircraft on evacuation flights from the NEI to Australia
in advance of the Japanese invasion. After escaping to Australia the
aircraft was operated by KNILM under charter to the military.
from Brisbane in the command of Captain Badings (KNILM) but failed
to arrive at Batchelor, N.T. after having refuelled at Daly Waters.
search aircraft found the missing aeroplane approximately 155 miles
south-east of Darwin near a river in the vicinity of Katherine (35
miles due east of the Number 5 bore). The KNILM DC-3 PK-ALT was despatched
to drop food and water. It emerged that the crew had become disoriented
in the dark as there was no beacon at Batchelor to guide them. A wheels
up forced landing was attempted in what appeared to be a clear area
but the aircraft slid into a cluster of trees which removed both wings
and penetrated the nose. Although the trees concealed the wreckage,
flares eventually attracted the attention of search aircraft. There
were no injuries to the crew and passengers who, despite plentiful
supplies of water, were forced to dine on their cargo of several young
greyhounds destined for "some military big shot in Darwin"! A truck
despatched from Katherine picked up the crew and passengers two days
later. (Extracted from the privately published memoirs of John Gyzemyter