Six killed in de Havilland DH.84 Dragon crash in Australia

An airworthy DH.84 Dragon (Photo Tony Hisgett (CC BY 2.0)).

Six people were killed yesterday in the crash of a 1934 de Havilland DH.84 Dragon (VH-UXG) in Australia yesterday. The aircraft was flown by pilot Des Porter, accompanied by his wife and four friends. Returning from an airshow in Monto in Queensland, the aircraft’s distress beacon was activated when they ran in foul weather.

A massive search and rescue effort including seven helicopters and six planes was initiated but the beacon’s signal went offline. The rescue parties eventually located the aircraft, whose debris were scattered over a very large surface. It would appear the aircraft got lost in the weather and ran out of fuel.

Tragically, Porter had already survived a crash in this same airplane in 1954. He was only ten at the time and survived the accident, but his father and brother did not. He restored the aircraft to flying status several years later and flew it regularly.

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