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 Post subject: Remember this? Missing plane Barrington Tops 1981
PostPosted: Wed Nov 07, 2012 2:44 pm 
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One of the kids was doing a project on the famous Stinson that went missing en route from Brisbane to Sydney in 1937 which is quite a story in itself. Three people survived the crash and an honorary Railbastard, Bernard O'Reilly, made the trek into the bush to find them and bring aid to the two who eventually survived. One of the survivors was John (later Sir John) Proud, who did a thing or two.


Anyway I got interested in other plane crashes from the past and remembered hearing about the Southern Cloud which wasn't found for 27 years.

The other one I remembered from my youth, VH-MDX, which went missing en route from Brisbane to Sydney back in August 1981. I remember the story at the time and the size of the search. It's some pretty wild country up around the Barringtons and they never found a trace. Five people on board including the boss of the Water Police. Every now and again they start a new search but 31 years on they still have zip. Apparently it's the only unsolved missing plane mystery in Australia? There must have been a few lost at sea which were never found though.

More info:
http://www.abc.net.au/local/stories/2012/08/01/3558303.htm

and more.

I've spent a fair bit of time up around that area and there are plenty of valleys that could hide an air force. After all this time it's probably only going to be found by chance. Still it would be amazing for it to be found.

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 Post subject: Re: Remember this? Missing plane Barrington Tops 1981
PostPosted: Thu Nov 08, 2012 5:07 am 
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Probably will find the wreckage after a great big bushfire.

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 Post subject: Re: Remember this? Missing plane Barrington Tops 1981
PostPosted: Thu Nov 08, 2012 6:19 am 
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I'll go and have a look. I've had a bit of luck with this stuff lately.

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 Post subject: Re: Remember this? Missing plane Barrington Tops 1981
PostPosted: Thu Nov 08, 2012 7:01 am 
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Best to start off with PPRuNe. They've had a bit of a thread going about MDX for the last four of years, complete with parties going for a look-see among the tops.

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 Post subject: Re: Remember this? Missing plane Barrington Tops 1981
PostPosted: Thu Nov 08, 2012 9:32 am 
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Location: Greenwell Point. A long way from Jibbon Point
I think bigfella's offer might be the best bet.

Rodo would be of assistance as well; if it within 100k's of a pub he should pinpoint it.

At the time I was working with Noel Wildash's brother. Every day you expected news.

With all the activity up there though, searching for that "alleged" murderer, & the ground covered the searchers & by him I'm wondering if they got the position right.

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 Post subject: Re: Remember this? Missing plane Barrington Tops 1981
PostPosted: Thu Nov 08, 2012 12:26 pm 
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jibbonpoint wrote:

With all the activity up there though, searching for that "alleged" murderer, & the ground covered the searchers & by him I'm wondering if they got the position right.


Yes when I was searching for info I found some dude's blog entry from a month or so back talking about it and he said he'd heard and seen a plane in trouble on his property near Stroud which is a good 50km south of the Barrington Tops main area.
I just had another look at it and it's actually a blog site devoted to looking for VH-MDX. These guys spend so much time looking for it. Really hope they find it one day.

http://www.vhmdx.blogspot.com.au/

Go back to the earliest posts for the news stories and reports. Seems like it could have gone down anywhere by all the conflicting reports. One where they found an oil slick on Chichester Dam that could have come from the plane.

That's what happened with the Stinson back in 1937. They were looking way south for it due to reports of its sighting at Coffs Harbour and even as far as Sydney but in fact it was still in QLD.

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 Post subject: Re: Remember this? Missing plane Barrington Tops 1981
PostPosted: Thu Nov 08, 2012 1:09 pm 
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Except in 1937 they didn't have radar. If it was on the Willy radar just before they lost contact it should narrow the search area one would think.

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 Post subject: Re: Remember this? Missing plane Barrington Tops 1981
PostPosted: Thu Nov 08, 2012 5:54 pm 
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Yes you'd think so. There's an audio of the last radio contact with the Williamstown tower on that site. There's also a blog entry by the guy who was in the tower dealing with the plane that night. He says the recording has been put together out of order plus a few other interesting things.

Here's his entry quoted:

Quote:
I was the ATS officer on the Sydney Sector (FIS 5) who had the misfortune to be on duty when these events occurred. It was one of the worst nights of my life. I later resigned from Air Services or the CAA as it was then, to pursue a career elsewhere. I later became a QFI with 1 BFTS RAAF Tamworth and an ATO and C&T Captain with Surveillance Australia (Coastwatch). I spent the last few years of my working life as the Industry Complaints Commissioner for CASA. I am now retired.

After nearly thirty years I have finally managed to bring myself to listen to the audio tape of the night MDX went missing you provided on your blog site. In my view the tape is out of sequence and the last bit should be at the front and the middle towards the end and therefore the tape is not a reliable record of the events but merely pieces of the transcript.

FYI I was never interviewed by anybody, either from the then BASI or Air Services Australia, nothing has changed my view in all this time that the aircraft had had a vacuum pump failure and that subsequently the pilot lost of control of the aircraft. I have personally had two such incidents in my flying career which required full instrument approaches on a limited panel, each time the loss of the pumps was insidious and not easily detectable except for the fact that I was on instruments both times and only a constant and proper IF scan alerted me early to the fact that the AI did not agree with the rest of the instruments a rigorous adherence to the basic adage Attitude Plus Power=Performance. I do not blame the pilot in anyway, he was presented with a set of circumstances which were beyond him at the time in an aeroplane that has had more than its share of such failures which nobody really trained for or took seriously. I can say that of the hundreds of pilots I subsequently taught, trained and tested I made such all of them could handle a limited panel and then some!

It was a very tragic accident and merely reinforced my professional view that NGTVFR was merely a rating that allowed you to end up sometime in an environment where you were going to come to grief.

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 Post subject: Re: Remember this? Missing plane Barrington Tops 1981
PostPosted: Mon Dec 10, 2012 1:02 pm 
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The Rodo has located missing aircraft before, that had a couple of his old mates on board. Vic. Forests refused to allow me to lead people into it. My advice was mostly ignored but after a few days it was eventually found where I said it was, in open hilly forest country.

Only a few charred remains of old mates.

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