VHCXI *


 

Type: L-14-WF62 Super Electra
MSN: 1414
Previous Identities: PK-AFN
Subsequent Identities: 44-83233

History:



MAR38 Construction completed at Burbank.
12APR38 Delivered to KNILM by Lockheed and subsequently shipped to the Netherlands East Indies.
23MAY38 Registered PK-AFN to KNILM.
FEB42 Used 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.
28MAR42 Acquired from KNILM by the USAAF.
MAY42 Handed over to the USAAF. Ferried from Sydney to Laverton by Captain Frans van Breemen and John Gyzemyter of KNILM and a junior American pilot who insisted on occupying the left hand seat despite never having flown a Lockheed before. His cockiness was rewarded with several contrived "emergencies". Unfortunately, the flight culminated in a real emergency when the undercarriage would not lower. A screwdriver normally stowed in the aeroplane for the purpose of removing the access cover to the emergency extension mechanism had been pilfered and the panel was laboriously removed using coins. The undercarriage was successfully lowered and the aircraft landed safely. As the starboard engine was consuming excessive oil it had become common practice to shut it down en route to conserve oil.
MAY42 Operated by the Allied Directorate of Air Transport with the radio call-sign VHCXI. The aircraft operated in camouflage as would have been applied by KNILM. The aircraft was later assigned to the 21st Troop Carrier Squadron in Brisbane.
06APR43 Arrived Parafield, South Australia on delivery to Guinea Airways Ltd. Operated on behalf of ADAT on the Adelaide-Darwin courier service.
11MAY43 Australian CofA No X-9 issued. (The X series CofA was to permit the carriage of civilians on military aircraft).
15JUN43 Few Guildford-Cunderdin-Kalgoorlie carrying US troops. (Source:: 9EFTS Cunderdin ORB)
13FEB44 Crashed on take-off at Alice Springs, NT. The aircraft developed a swing on take-off for Parafield and ground looped, tearing out the port undercarriage and engine, the propellor of which cut through the nose just forward of the pilot's feet. The damage was such that the aircraft was scrapped after usable parts had been removed. The crew consisted of Capt John Robins (GAL), F/O F/Sgt Ken Bird (RAAF) and Radio Operator F/Sgt Phoenix (RAAF). There were only minor injuries to the crew and passengers. By this time the aircraft was in bare metal with USAAF markings, and the GAL "donkey with knapsack" emblem on the nose.
15FEB44 The aircraft was withdrawn from the ADAT agreement with the airlines.
MAY44 GAL advised DCA that VHCXI had been written off by the USAAF and was being salvaged at Alice Springs.
20JUN44 In a retrospective book-keeping exercise, the aircraft was formally taken on charge by the USAAF under the designation C-111-LO and allocated the serial number 44-83233. It should be noted that this serial was never carried on the aeroplane.


* The only Australian identity carried by this aeroplane was the radio call-sign VHCXI. It is presented here without a hyphen to distinguish it from an Australian civil registration as this aeroplane did not appear on the Australian Civil Register.



Issue Date Remarks
7 03APR16
Refreshed page layout with no change to data.
6 27AUG15
Added an image of PK-AFN thanks to Nigel Daw of the South Australian Aviation Museum.
5 26AUG15
Added an image of VHCXI thanks to Phil Vabre of the CAHS,
4 06AUG11
Added a reference on 15JUN43 thanks to Geoff Goodall.
3 18MAY06
Added an image of PK-AFN from the Barry Flood Collection via Dick Hitchins.
2 29MAR02
Amended delivery date to Parafield from 06MAR43 to 06APR43.






Return to the Electra Menu



Return to the Lockheed File