BEN DANNECKER COLLECTION
No. 13296. de Havilland Australia DHA-3 Drover
Photographed at Mount Isa, Queensland, Australia, by Ben Dannecker, ca. 1981

 de Havilland Australia DHA-3 Drover

12/15/2017. Remarks by Ben Dannecker: "The aircraft pictured above is a composite restoration from components VH-DRD and VH-AZN.

VH-DRD (c/n 5010) was of several Drover Mk.1s built for Trans Australia Airlines (TAA) for service on supplementary routes and Flying Doctor Service contracts held by TAA in Queensland, it was delivered on December 6, 1951. Just a month later, January 11, 1952, it crashed on climb out from Mooraberrie, Queensland due to vaporization in the fuel distribution system caused by very high air temperatures. The Gypsy Major 10 Mk.2 engines had neither fuel boost pumps nor fuel injection. In 1979 the fuselage was salvaged and ferried to Mount Isa.

Here a cockpit photo of VH-AZN (c/n 5017), which was built as a Drover Mk.1F for the Commonwealth Department of Health to be operated by Northern Territory Medical Service. Delivered on December 6, 1951 it was subsequently converted to a Drover Mk.2. On April 26, 1957, it crashed while circling at a low level some 40 mls (64 km) out of Camooweal, Queensland. The wreckage was transferred to Austral Downs, Northern Territory, were it was stripped for spare parts and abandoned. In 1979 the remains were acquired by the Mount Isa Tourist Association and transferred to Mount Isa.

In 1980 I was a member of the crew of volunteers which brought it to an abandoned meat packing plant near Mount Isa for the restoration project. The completed restoration was unveiled June 27, 1981 by Dr. Tim O'Leary (1925-1987), a legend in the Royal Flying Doctor Service."

Created December 15, 2017