VH-ADT R.M.A. Coronia II


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 and shipped to Sydney.
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. Coronia II. The name was originally believed to be Caronia but photographic evidence indicates that the correct spelling is Coronia. This name was first carried by Carpenter's DH.86B VH-UYV hence the Lockheed 14 became Coronia II.
28JAN42 VH-ADT (Captain Mant) was scheduled to leave Sydney at 1200 with a replacement engine and propeller 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 propeller 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 propeller 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 Ken Jackson recalled in an interview published in 1982: "On 1 February, Dick Mant was up at Wau with VH-ADT, with Clive Bernard as his co-pilot, when a squadron of four-engined Japanese bombers came over. The Japanese first made a practice run over the airport and when they went over, Bernard jumped out of his trench and dashed over to the Lockheed, which had chocks behind the wheels and one cowling off it. He hopped into the aeroplane's right-hand seat, which was the seat he was used to, started up, turned it around and took off down the steep hill of the aerodrome. As he was taking off, the Japanese came back for their bombing run. The bombs were landing behind Bernard as he went down the strip but he got the Lockheed away, keeping down on the tree tops, and the Japanese didn't bother to chase him. The Lockheed 14 was faster than their bombers anyway, and he flew it over to Port Moresby quite safely." (Source: 5)
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)
14FEB42
VH-ADS crashed on take-off from Cairns. Ken Jackson recalled in an interview published in 1982: "That left us with only the one Lockheed, VH-ADT, and from then on we operated under charter to the Air Force, taking supplies to New Guinea and Darwin. Dick Mant left in March 1942 to join the Department of Aircraft Production and I took over from him as Flight Superintendent. We had four crews on the Lockheed and it worked very hard, flying practically 14 to 15 hours a day. This continued right through until Qantas took over Carpenter's air service in November 1944." (Source: 5)
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.
18NOV43
On behalf of ANA, DCA requested an extension to the loan period of DC-2 A30-14/VH-CRH to cover Lockheed 14 VH-ADT being out of service for major overhaul in January. The Lockheed was owned by Carpenter Airlines, but with their Sydney-Rabaul airline route cut by the war, was operating under charter to ANA. The Director General of Civil Aviation wrote to the Minister for Air:
"Carpenter's Lockheed must come off the run early January, actually it will go into the workshop for CofA renewal on 4th January. The result will be that there will be 14 less ANA seats available daily. The Lockheed does two round trips daily each way between Melbourne and Sydney, equal to 56 passengers daily."
The Minister responded that RAAF had agreed to an extension to February 1944. (Source: 6)
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 of VH-ADT to Qantas Empire Airways Ltd.
NOV44 Ken Jackson recalled in an interview published in 1982: "Qantas took over Carpenter's air service in November 1944. Bert Ritchie was flying with me on the Lockheed 14 at that time as a Captain. He had had an interesting experience on his first solo flight on the aeroplane. I gave him landing practice out at Mascot, then I got out and told him to do a couple of circuits. He had another co-pilot there and off he went on his first circuit. As he was just over the fence, an engine failed on him and he had to struggle round the aerodrome to come in. But he brought it in all right. When Qantas took us over, we were amalgamated into their organisation. I just flew the Lockheed 14 around for them training some of the new pilots who were starting to be recruited from the Air Force. I can't recall Qantas doing any commercial work with the Lockheed, only training." (Source: 5)
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).
Ken Jackson recalled in an interview published in 1982: "Towards the end of 1946, Qantas had taken on a number of new young pilots who had come out of the Air Force but hadn't flown for some time, and we used the Lockheed 14 for refamiliarisation flying. We were at Schofields on 22 January 1947 when I was giving one of our later Boeing 747 Captains some practice. He was in the left-hand seat and on one take-off, he got up a bad swing and started to weave on the runway. The Lockheed 14 was rather unstable directionally and I let him go for a little while until it seemed it started to get out of control. I tried to grab the throttles from him but he had his hand firmly clasped on them and he froze there. I couldn't do anything about it and we just ran off the runway. Unfortunately, there was an old telegraph pole lying in the long grass and one wheel hit it. This forced the undercarriage strut up through the petrol tank, an occurrence for which the Lockheed 14s were notorious, and the aircraft immediately caught fire. We beat a hasty retreat as the Lockheed just burned at first and then later exploded, burning right out." (Source: 5)
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.
5
Ken Jackson Airline Pilot - an interview with Greg Banfield. AHSA Journal Vol. 21 No. 4, 1982.
6
Geoff Goodall.


Issue Date Remarks
11 08APR21
Added several references from Sources: 5 & 6.
10 17JUN18
Added an image which clearly shows that the correct spelling of the aircraft's name was Coronia. Thanks to David Vincent.
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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