Warbirds Online is connected with the restoration effort to return Australian Built DAP (Department of Aircraft Production) Beaufort A9-141 to the air at Caboolture Queensland. As a result of our efforts in supporting Warbird restorations we regularly receive historic photographs and data from WWII veterans and their families as well as other organizations. Recently while reviewing some photographs from the Malcom Long collection I came across the following significant photo of a very famous Beaufort incident.
The DAP Beaufort was a critical aircraft to the RAAF of the time and a major component of the Aircraft Production industry supporting the RAAF in WWII. It was then a matter of grave concern when a large number of accidents and unexplained losses occurred in the operations of Australian built Beauforts.
On 5th of November 1943 a Bristol Beaufort A9-415 had managed to crash land “wheels up” at Bankstown NSW with the famous Black Jack Walker (Brian Walker Commanding Officer of No5 OTU RAAF Station, Bankstown NSW) at the column following the failure of the starboard elevator trim tab. It was a very close run thing and had required two pilots to manhandle the (luckily dual control fitted) aircraft. There had been a series of failures of aircraft in training accidents and many deaths as a result. Following the discovery of the cause of the problem modifications were made to Beaufort production and maintenance which saved many lives and returned confidence in Beaufort aircrew.
This particular incident was quite a famous one and the discovery of this photograph from the collection is significant. The aircraft is seen in the Bankstown location being recovered by RAAF crash personnel and it was subsequently repaired and flew again being place into storage on 23 October 1945 and then struck off RAAF charge finally in August 1949.
I have not seen a photograph of this incident before and as such considered that our readers would enjoy seeing this historic image.
© John Parker 2014