VH-EAW. Boeing PB2B-2R Catalina. c/n 61159.


Built by Boeing for the Royal Australian Air Force

Issued to the R.A.A.F. as A24-378

Surplus to requirements and struck-off-charge - ?

Sold to Qantas Empire Airways Ltd

Entered onto the Australian Aircraft Register as VH-EAW - October 20, 1947

Carried out the first Qantas survey flight to Lord Howe Island - November 20, 1947

Aircraft was destoyed whilst moored at Rose Bay overnight - August 27, 1949

The remains of an explosive device was discovered under the flight engineer's seat when wreck was salvaged

This consisted of a six volt lantern battery, an alarm clock and a vibrator coil

The starboard side fuel flow meter in the cockpit had been broken thus allowing fuel to drain into the aircraft

The triggering device ignited the fuel which exploded and sent the Catalina to the bottom of the harbour

A promiment Sydney flying boat owner was charged with the aircraft's destruction

He was acquitted of all charges during the subsequent trial which was considered by many to be a witch hunt

Cancelled from the Australian Aircraft Register - August 28, 1949




VH-EAW. Qantas Empire Airways - in the all-metal livery at Lord Howe Island, date unknown.