THE LOSS OF DC4 VH-ANA "AMANA" 

Compiled by Grahame Higgs and James Chapple


This photo of the late forties shows the graceful ANA flagship VH-ANA Amana at Essendon Airport Melbourne.   Not long after this picture was taken she would be smashed to pieces a long way from home.

On the 26 of June 1950 in Perth West Australia a typically fine and moonlit evening greeted the 24 passengers and 5 crew that boarded Amana for a scheduled flight to Adelaide and then on to Melbourne.

By 21:50 the DC 4 was taxiing for a departure off Perth Runway 29, the same strip, but opposite direction to that used by the R4D-5 Blue Goose five years earlier and unfortunately destined for a similar fate.

This photo of the late forties shows the graceful ANA flagship VH-ANA Amana at Essendon Airport Melbourne. Not long after this picture was taken she would be smashed to pieces a long way from home.

On the 26 of June 1950 in Perth West Australia a typically fine and moonlit evening greeted the 24 passengers and 5 crew that boarded Amana for a scheduled flight to Adelaide and then on to Melbourne.

By 21:50 the DC 4 was taxiing for a departure off Perth Runway 29, the same strip, but opposite direction to that used by the R4D-5 Blue Goose five years earlier and unfortunately destined for a similar fate.


Looking down Guildfords (Perth) Runway 29 off which Amana departed.  

 Making a left turn to set heading overhead the Airport, Amana tracked due east towards her first waypoint Cunderdin.   Unfortunately fate intervened less than 30 nautical miles later when the aircraft inexplicably crashed in the West Australian bush.

Looking down Guildfords (Perth) Runway 29 off which Amana departed.

Making a left turn to set heading overhead the Airport, Amana tracked due east towards her first waypoint Cunderdin. Unfortunately fate intervened less than 30 nautical miles later when the aircraft inexplicably crashed in the West Australian bush.


The port undercarriage leg from Amana, taken in 2001 lying under a tree near the crashsite 

Witnesses that night from along the route taken by Amana reported rough running, backfiring and even periods of silence from the engines.   The accident investigation team determined that earlier in the short flight, number four engine had been shut down by the flight crew and subsequently, the remaining three engines had all failed for indeterminate periods.   
There was evidence that immediately prior to impact, number four engine had been un-feathered in an attempted restart, and that power had been restored to the other three.    Additionally the aircraft had commenced a left turn apparently returning to Guildford.   Unfortunately it was all too late to save VH-ANA.   In the dark, in a 15 degree turn to port, the aircraft barely cleared a ridge line, struck a tree 30 feet off the ground and ploughed into a downward slope shredding itself and contents into small pieces as it went.

The port undercarriage leg from Amana, taken in 2001 lying under a tree near the crashsite

Witnesses that night from along the route taken by Amana reported rough running, backfiring and even periods of silence from the engines. The accident investigation team determined that earlier in the short flight, number four engine had been shut down by the flight crew and subsequently, the remaining three engines had all failed for indeterminate periods.
There was evidence that immediately prior to impact, number four engine had been un-feathered in an attempted restart, and that power had been restored to the other three. Additionally the aircraft had commenced a left turn apparently returning to Guildford. Unfortunately it was all too late to save VH-ANA. In the dark, in a 15 degree turn to port, the aircraft barely cleared a ridge line, struck a tree 30 feet off the ground and ploughed into a downward slope shredding itself and contents into small pieces as it went.


Notice where Amana sheared off the top of this tree immediately prior to impact with the ground.

Notice where Amana sheared off the top of this tree immediately prior to impact with the ground.


It is difficult to imagine the magnitude of the forces that reduced this flap actuating mechanism to a single component of twisted stainless steel.

It is difficult to imagine the magnitude of the forces that reduced this flap actuating mechanism to a single component of twisted stainless steel.


Above:  Looking back in the direction of the impact tree (note the small piece of aluminium protruding from the ground).   Below:  Taken close to the initial impact site, looking in the direction of travel, 330 Magnetic.   Despite years of cultivation you can still see small pieces of wreckage that litter the ground.

Above: Looking back in the direction of the impact tree (note the small piece of aluminium protruding from the ground). Below: Taken close to the initial impact site, looking in the direction of travel, 330 Magnetic. Despite years of cultivation you can still see small pieces of wreckage that litter the ground.




In the course of the accident something, possibly a fuel tank, has burned fiercely here; consequently nothing has grown on this spot in the ensuing years.

In the course of the accident something, possibly a fuel tank, has burned fiercely here; consequently nothing has grown on this spot in the ensuing years.


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