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  de Havilland DH.60M "Eros" Registration VH-UQY  
Stephens Aviation Ltd

Tech Information
Prewar 1936

Aircraft History
Built by de Havilland. Constructors Number 1565. During 1933 shipped to Sydney without an engine and placed into storage.

On June 14, 1933 reassembled with a Gipsy III engine and registered to De Havilland Aircraft Pty Ltd at Mascot Airfield and registered in Australia as VH-UQY with certificate of registration 464. On October 30, 1933 registered to George B. S. Falkiner and continued to operate from Mascot Airfield.

On January 8, 1936 registered to Eric G. Stephens of Stephens Aviation Ltd (Stephen Aerial Transport Company) and shipped to New Guinea. Nicknamed it "Eros".

On March 22, 1936 took off piloted by George Mendham took off from Slate Creek Airfield transporting cargo on a flight bound for Upper Watut Airfield. During the flight, this aircraft was caught in a cross winds, stalled and spun into the ground at Lower Watut Airfield. The pilot was injured and the aircraft was severely damaged including propeller damage and the right wheel impacted and both wings broken. After the crash, Dr Von de Borche reached the crash site and had the injured pilot transported by stretcher to Slate Creek where he was evacuated as a passenger aboard a DH.50 piloted by Neville Bruchhauser to Wau Airfield where he received medical treatment.

After the crash, the wreckage was recovered and loaded aboard a Ford 5-AT Trimotor and flown to Wau Airfield where it was repaired and rebuilt to flying condition and re-registered on August 26, 1937.

On August 3, 1940 during take off from Wau Airfield piloted by B. G. Hargreaves t ran off the runway and missed two parked Guinea Airways aircraft then crashed into the government store building, wrecking the aircraft and building. The pilot Hargreaves was uninjured in the crash. Afterwards, the wreckage of this aircraft remained in storage at Wau Airfield but had not been rebuilt.

On January 23, 1942 the wreckage of this aircraft was destroyed during the Japanese air raid against Wau Airfield. Officially, the registration was canceled on March 11, 1942 as "destroyed by enemy action".

Wings of Gold - How the Aeroplane Developed New Guinea mentions this aircraft
"In March 1936, George Mendham was doing some flying for Stephens Aviation and on a flight between the Slate Creek and Upper Watut aerodromes, loaded with cargo for the mining camps, the Moth was caught in violent cross winds, and it stalled and crashed. Mendham was injured and Dr Von de Borche, who walked in to the crash site, insisted he be carried by stretcher to Slate Creek aerodrome, where Neville Bruchhauser, ignoring the very bad weather conditions, flew him out to Wau in a DH.50 where the unfortunate "Bendum and Mendum" was admitted to hospital."
Journal of the Aviation Historical Society of Australia "Aviation Operations in New Guinea" by Eric Noble November/December 1973 page 85 (photo lower)
Ed Coates Collection - VH--UQY  de Havilland D.H.60M Moth (photo)
Golden Years of Aviation - Civil Aircraft Register - Australia VH-UQY
Aviation Safety Network - De Havilland DH.60M Moth VH-UQY

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Last Updated
November 9, 2019


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