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 Post subject: Harry Balfour-Ogilvy
PostPosted: Sat Jan 10, 2009 3:20 pm 
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Ex-Kiap

Joined: Sun May 04, 2008 7:39 pm
Posts: 11
Location: Adelaide SA
DOSS: 08 Nov 1965
My memory may be failing, but I recall a kiap of my generation named Harry Balfour-Ogilvy was killed along with his wife and family in a crash in Samarai somewhere.
I recall the plane went down shortly after takeoff, but wasn't found for ten days. It was vey much overloaded, and the death toll was 9, I think.
Harry is listed in the staff list as being in Bouganville in 1970, so it must have been some time after that.
Tony, would you have any record of that?

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Jim Moore
Kiap 1965-74


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Jan 10, 2009 8:31 pm 
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Joined: Sat Jun 07, 2008 2:01 pm
Posts: 6
Location: Swifts Creek
Jim/Dave
the only reference to the Milne Bay prang around 1969 is one in Sinclair's book refering to a Piper Aztec, VH-COB operated by STOL Commuters. Quotes in the index that the accident occured in May 1970, pilot Ian Cornett and Eight passengers killed. No other details. Will try and get some more info.
Tony


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 Post subject: May 1970 aircraft crash.
PostPosted: Sat Jan 10, 2009 10:07 pm 
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Joined: Tue Sep 02, 2008 10:00 pm
Posts: 26
Location: Somerville,Victoria
DOSS: 08 Nov 1965
Tony,Jim & Paul. I have checked through my foj's & found that I was flown back to Alotau on Sat 23rd May 1970 to help search for a missing aircraft and returned to RabaRaba (not Sehulea) on the Monday.Whether that was the plane that D K Robertson (stationed at Esa'Ala not Losiua) was on I'm not sure as I did not make any notations regarding him in my Foj. I hope this helps you narrow down your search thru JS books. Harry Balfour Ogilvy (on leave until 8/3/1970) was on my course; but I can't recall his demise in Milne Bay or PNG. Someone may be able to assist us there? Both men were not on the Staff list of 15/1/1973. I remember discussing with fellow officers at the time the fact that David's widow received $20,000 compensation for his accident but no letter to all staff from headquarters regarding his demise. Life went on I guess!! I look forward to seeing if your able to come up with more details. Regards Dave (Diwai) Young.

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Kiap PNG. 1965/75. Lucky postings at Samarai, Alotau (Cameron), Suau, Sehulea,Rabaraba & Lae.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Jan 10, 2009 10:32 pm 
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Joined: Fri Feb 28, 2003 7:29 am
Posts: 325
Location: SA
DOSS: 03 Dec 1965
Jim Moore wrote:
My memory may be failing, but I recall a kiap of my generation named Harry Balfour-Ogilvy was killed along with his wife and family in a crash in Samarai somewhere.
I vaguely remember that. I was in Milne Bay at the time. I think he was transferred to MB from Bougainville and was going to his new posting - Misima?. I think he was in the same intake as Dave Young and myself.
You don't remember it Dave?
I don't remember whether I was at Rabaraba or Alotau but when Jim mentioned it, the incident rang a very distant bell.

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"What is man, when you come to think upon him, but a minutely set, ingenious machine for turning, with infinite artfulness, the red wine of Shiraz into urine?"


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Jan 11, 2009 8:03 am 
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Joined: Sat Jun 07, 2008 2:01 pm
Posts: 6
Location: Swifts Creek
Paul/Jim/Dave/ Iain
I didn't look closely enough at Balus, Volume 2. To quote Jim Sinclair Chapter 3, Page 121:
At 10.30am on 20th May 1970, the STOL Aztec C, VH-COB took off from Gurney airport on a routine administration charter flight of 20 minutes to Esa'ala on Normanby Island. The pilot, Ian Cornett, was 35 years old and had been flying in PNG for only 6 weeks. He had been endorsed onto the Aztec 2 weeks before and his total flying hours were 1,272. Cornett had flown the Gurney-Esa'ala route once only-and in only one direction. DCA requirements were for a pilot to make a minimum of five flights under supervision in each direction over a route before he was cleared for command.
There were eight passengers on the Aztec: Ray Hennessy, manager of the Electricity Commission power station at Samarai; John Lee, an education officer; Harry-Balfour-Ogilvie, a patrol officer, and his wife, Esther, and infant daughters, Deborah and Sandra; Dave Robertson, Assistant District Officer, Esa'ala, and Komas Duri, a Papuan mechanic.
Port Moresby control sensed that something was wrong with the Aztec when Cornett failed to call for the customary bid for a departure clearance, usually sought as an aircraft is climbing from the runway. (I think Sinclair means they, DCA, didn't get his departure report Gurney, not clearance as the airspace between Gurney-Esa'ala wouldn't require one). No further contact was made with the aircraft and search procedures were begun.
Eight aeroplanes had been called into the search by last light that day, five of them STOL owned. Over the following days the weather deteriorated sharply as a tropical storm raged through the Milne Bay region. As the weather cleared the search intensified. Two Caribous with army observers were called in and several helicopters. A DC6 (Twin Otter) with radar photographic equipment- on survey work in PNG joined the search.
Ten days after the disappearance, the pilot of a light aircraft found the wreckage of the Aztec on the side of a mountain about six kilometres from Gurney. There were no survivors.
The DCA investigators found that the engines of the Aztec were in poor condition at the time of the crash although they had only done about 40 hours since overhaul. The aeroplane had made a belly landing at Daru in February with major damage resulting to the propellers, flaps, wheel bay doors and air intakes. Repairs had been carried out at the Patair workshop in Port Moresby, at which time the engines and propellers had been replaced. But Ian Cornett had had difficulty starting the Aztec engines over the week preceeding the crash. The starboard engine gave trouble just before the last flight. The first take off run had been abandoned after the engine stopped, and it took three attempts before it would start again.
Normal prudence should have resulted in the abandonment of the flight at this point but Cornett took off, in an aeroplane that was 126 kilograms over max take off weight and carrying one more passenger than allowed by the regulations.
End of Quote.
Rgds
Tony


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 Post subject: Aircraft crash May 1970
PostPosted: Sun Jan 11, 2009 8:52 am 
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Ex-Kiap

Joined: Tue Sep 02, 2008 10:00 pm
Posts: 26
Location: Somerville,Victoria
DOSS: 08 Nov 1965
Tony, Thankyou for clearing up our memories. Gosh, I had no idea that Harry was on that flight. It makes it even sader to think that they & other Department staff were lost & forgotten so easily. To me personally, these officers definately do deserve recognition for their service in which they lost their lives. Keep up the good work ...regards Diwai.

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Kiap PNG. 1965/75. Lucky postings at Samarai, Alotau (Cameron), Suau, Sehulea,Rabaraba & Lae.


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