VH-ABI Koranga

Type: L-14-H Super Electra
MSN: 1418
Previous Identities: Nil
Subsequent Identities: Nil


38 Construction completed at Burbank.
06MAR38 Delivered to Guinea Airways Ltd by Lockheed. Purchase price was 23,000.
27APR38 Unloaded from the S.S. "Romney" at North Wharf, Melbourne and transferred to the S.S. "Coorinda".
05MAY38 Arrived at Port Adelaide on the S.S. "Coorinda".
19MAY38 Test flown at Parafield by Lockheed pilots, Marshall Headle and Charles Grugan. Subsequently the aeroplane was demonstrated in Adelaide and interstate by GAL Chief Pilot Captain H.O. Cook with Marshall Headle as an adviser.
23MAY38 Registration application from Guinea Airways Ltd.
23MAY38 Added to the Register as VH-ABI.
02JUN38 Demonstrated in Melbourne by GAL Chief Pilot Captain H.O. Cook with Marshall Headle as an adviser.
03JUN38 Arrived at Mascot from Melbourne.
10JUL38 The aircraft entered service on the Adelaide-Darwin run named "Koranga". The name was derived from that of a New Guinea gold mine belonging to an associate company of Guinea Airways.
OCT38 Struck a large rock at Oodnadatta ripping out the tailwheel and damaging the rear fuselage. The aircraft was later ferried back to Parafield for repairs.
11NOV38 The aircraft was ground looped at Tennant Creek causing minor damage.
38 GAL experienced constant problems with the engines due to the dusty conditions.
18JAN39 Crashed soon after take-off from Katherine, N.T. killing all on board (three crew plus one passenger). After becoming airborne with difficulty, the aeroplane descended into the river gorge following the river upstream when one wing stalled and the aircraft entered a spin and crashed into six feet of water. The crew comprised Captain J.A. Jukes, Captain C.R. Clarke, First Officer/Flight Engineer P.I. Donegan and the passenger was Mr A. McDonald, the Chief Inspector of Aerodromes in the Northern Territory. The aircraft was also carrying 700 pounds of mail which had been loaded in Darwin the previous evening. The investigation determined that the single runway of only 700 yards was marginal for the type. Wheel marks on the runway indicated that there had been five attempts at becoming airborne before the boundary fence prompted one last desperate attempt at lifting off with too little airspeed. The bodies of the victims were flown back to Adelaide in Lockheed 10 VH-UXH.
18JAN39 Struck off the Register.
Postscript: Streets off the Gorge Road in Katherine are named Jukes Crescent, Clarke Crescent, Donegan Crescent and McDonald Street in honour of those who died in the accident.

Issue Date Remarks
4 12DEC21
Added four images from the State Library of NSW.
Image 1 Image 2 Image 3 Image 4
3 03APR16
Refreshed page layout with no change to data.
2 26AUG15
Added an image thanks to Geoff Goodall.
Added three images from the Ron Larsen Collection thanks to the CAHS.
Image 1 Image 2 Image 3
1 18FEB00
Original issue.

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