VH-ADT R.M.A. Caronia


Type: L-14-H2 Super Electra
MSN: 1409
Previous Identities: NC17382
Subsequent Identities: Nil

History:

38 Construction completed at Burbank.
04JAN38 Delivered to Northwest Airlines as NC17382. (Fleet Number 82).
APR39 Sold to Continental Airlines, Denver, Colorado for $80,000.
41 Sold to W.R. Carpenter & Co., for their Sydney-Rabaul route.
29APR41 Arrived dismantled at W.R. Carpenter's hangar at Mascot (along with VH-ADS).
08JUL41 Test flown at Mascot.
10JUL41 Registered VH-ADT.
08AUG41 Registration application from W.R. Carpenter & Co., Sydney.
41 Entered service on W.R. Carpenter's Sydney-Rabaul service as "R.M.A. Caronia".
28JAN42 VH-ADT (Captain Mant) was scheduled to leave Sydney at 1200 with a replacement engine and propellor for VH-ADS which was damaged at Wau the previous day. VH-ADT did not depart Sydney until 1630 after awaiting the delivery of a propellor from Richmond and dismantling it for carriage. (Source: 1)
29JAN42 VH-ADT arrived at Port Moresby having overnighted en route. Ministerial approval was granted for VH-ADT to join the airlift evacuating civilians to the mainland. (Source: 1)
30JAN42 Ferried the engine and propellor and four mechanics to Wau to repair the damaged VH-ADS. (Source: James Sinclair, Wings of Gold p.295)
30JAN42 VH-ADT evacuated civilian personnel from Wau to Port Moresby. (Source: 1)
31JAN42 VH-ADT evacuated civilian personnel from Wau to Port Moresby. (Source: 1)
01FEB42 VH-ADT was caught on the ground at Wau during an air raid. The pilot, Captain Clive Bernard, managed to become airborne and escaped to Port Moresby without having uplifted any evacuees. (Source: 1)
01FEB42 VH-ADT arrived at Cairns from Port Moresby at 1928 for overnight servicing. (Source: 1)
02FEB42 VH-ADT departed Cairns for Port Moresby. (Source: 1)
03FEB42 VH-ADT and VH-ADS departed Port Moresby at dawn for the mainland. (Source: 1)
03FEB42 VH-ADT arrived at Cairns at 0933 followed by the repaired VH-ADS which arrived at 0950. Both aircraft were ordered to return to Sydney for servicing and resumption of services Sydney-Port Moresby plus other duties. (Source: 1)
02MAR42 Departed Adelaide at 0720 with ammunition and glycol for Broome via Alice Springs. (Source: 2)
04MAR42 Still delayed at Alice Springs with engine trouble. A request by Pilot Jackson to proceed to Sydney for an engine change was approved. An order was issued the following day for DC-3 VH-UXJ to uplift the load ex VH-ADT and take it to Darwin. (Source: 2)
MAR42 Unserviceable at Mascot with engine problems.
14JUN42 Departed Adelaide at 0650 for Alice Springs-Daly Waters-Darwin crewed by Captain R.J. Ritchie, Second Pilot Myers and Engineer Beedell. The aircraft arrived in Darwin at 1746. (Source: 4)
15JUN42 Departed Darwin at 0615 for Alice Springs and Adelaide crewed by Captain R.J. Ritchie, Second Pilot Myers and Engineer Beedell. The aircraft arrived in Adelaide at 1609. The Trip Record states that on return to Adelaide the aircraft was "very dirty inside and out". (Source: 4)
JUL42 The aircraft was based at Parafield on a four month charter to the USAAF, crewed and maintained by Carpenter's staff.
02AUG42 Returned to service after a CofA overhaul by Guinea Airways at Parafield.
AUG42 A DCA report states that VH-ADT is under charter to the Department of Army for carrying vegetables and other freight from Adelaide to Sydney and Darwin and various inland centres. Military and civilian passengers are carried on the return flights but they are required to sit on the floor as there are no seats fitted.
22AUG42 Damaged at Batchelor, N.T.
10SEP42 Ferried to Parafield after temporary repairs to the rear fuselage.
DEC42 The aircraft was still engaged on military charters. DCA were concerned about constant engine problems.
16JAN43 Carpenter's Senior Pilot, Capt K. Jackson, refused to take passengers Sydney-Brisbane because of the state of the engines.
FEB43 After the arrival of a shipment of parts, the aircraft returned to service on the New Guinea run although flights operated to Port Moresby instead of Rabaul.
16MAR43 Carpenters suspended services to New Guinea.
18MAR43 Chartered to to Ansett as a substitute for the damaged L-10 VH-UZO per USASOS memo “Change Order A to Contract” dated 17 March 1943 to Ansett, permission to start from 1.00 am 18 March 1943 - registration corrected by Ansett letter dated 24 March 1943. (Source: NAA MP347/1 Item 192/142/89 “Operation of Ansett Aircraft On Behalf of U.S. Forces” 1943-45)
22MAR43 Forced landing at Mascot with fuel problems while operating a charter to Ansett Airways.
44 Chartered by Australian National Airways.
03JAN44 Damaged at Archerfield when the wing tip struck the control tower. (Capt B. Carpenter).
26FEB44 Forced landing at Essendon due port engine failure 35 miles north while on scheduled flight to Sydney. Capt B. H. Carpenter, F/O J. Madsen and 10 passengers. A letter in the DCA file states that the aircraft is owned by W.R. Carpenter & Co. and operated by ANA. (NAA via G. Goodall)
08JUL44 Forced landing at Canberra. (Capt K. Jackson).
21JUL44 Forced landing at Mascot. (Capt J. Pollock).
03AUG44 Unscheduled landing at Mascot with oil spraying over port wing due over-filling of oil tank. Capt R. Myers and F/O R. Horlock. Aircraft owned by W.R. Carpenter & Co. and operated by ANA. (NAA via G. Goodall)
44 W.R. Carpenters sold their Sydney-Rabaul route to Qantas. The price (£44,000) included VH-ADT, six spares engines and other parts.
25OCT44 Change of ownership to Qantas Empire Airways Ltd.
13NOV44 Starboard undercarriage collapsed on landing at Mascot due to a cracked lower drag strut. (Capt K. Jackson and F/O Horlock, both ex Carpenters).
28JAN45 Landed at Mascot with the undercarriage unlocked due to hydraulic failure. On vacating the runway, the starboard undercarriage collapsed causing major damage to the wing. (Capt A. Myers).
FEB45 The aircraft was operating Brisbane-Darwin twice weekly along with Electra VH-AEC.
19MAR45 Bert Yates began flying VH-ADT having joined Qantas on 26JAN45. At this time VH-ADT was flying Sydney-Brisbane-Sydney and Sydney-Melbourne-Sydney. (Source: 3)
09APR45 Unscheduled landing at Mascot due sticking throttle. Capt B. Carpenter and F/O R. Horlock. Was operating under charter to ANA. (NAA via G. Goodall)
18APR45 Unscheduled landing at Mascot with a rough running engine. Capt A.J. Myers and F/O N.D. Dunnett. Was operating Sydney-Brisbane under charter to ANA. (NAA via G. Goodall)
24APR45 Unscheduled landing at Mascot with a rough running engine. Capt B. Carpenter and F/O J. Madsen. Was operating Sydney-Melbourne under charter to ANA. (NAA via G. Goodall)
01JUN45 Bert Yates was promoted to Junior Captain on VH-ADT at which time it was operating Sydney-Brisbane-Rockhampton-Townsville (overnight)-Cairns-Lae-Port Moresby (overnight). (Source: 3)
01SEP45 Bert Yates was promoted to full Captain on VH-ADT at which time it was still operating Sydney-Brisbane-Rockhampton-Townsville (overnight)-Cairns-Lae-Port Moresby (overnight). (Source: 3)
22JAN47 Swung on take-off at Schofields, NSW. The aircraft left the runway and the port undercarriage collapsed after striking a log. The aeroplane was destroyed in the ensuing fire. (Capt K. Jackson not injured).
02JAN48 Struck off the Australian Register.


Sources
1
NAA MP238/1, Item 8/115/300 “Evacuation from New Guinea Subsequent to Enemy Attacks 21st-22nd January 1942”. Accessed by Trevor Boughton.
2
NAA file on DCA communications relating to the evacuation of Broome following enemy air raids. Accessed by Geoff Goodall.
3
Capt A.A.E. Yates Interviewed by Greg Banfield, Man and Aerial Machines, Issue 59, Sept-Oct 1996.
4
Carpenters' Airlines Trip Record VH-ADT 14-15JUN42 held by the Civil Aviation Historical Society at Essendon.


Issue Date Remarks
9 09SEP16
Added information from Source 4 thanks to Phil Vabre.
8 03APR16
Refreshed page layout with no change to data.
7 26AUG15
Added three new images thanks to Geoff Goodall. Image 1 Image 2 Image 3
Added several references from Source 3.
6 06SEP12
Added details from Source 1 thanks to Trevor Boughton.
5 14APR12
Corrected the date of the escape from Wau from JAN42 to 01FEB42. Also added a reference to the Ansett charter on 18MAR43. Thanks to Trevor Boughton.
4 06MAR06
Added references to several incidents. See 26FEB44, 03AUG44, 09APR45, 18APR45 & 24APR45.
3 23OCT04
Added a photo of the aircraft in Northwest livery thanks to David Bussey of the Queensland Air Museum.
2 23FEB04
Added a photo of the wreckage at Schofields thanks to Chris O'Neill.
1 18FEB00
Original issue




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