April 1959 to September 1966
VH-RMI - c/n 416 - a V.832 series Viscount
23 July 1958
Ordered by ANSETT-ANA.
8 April 1959
First flight from Hurn, Bournemouth, Dorset, England.
19 April 1959
Performed ILS runs at Gatwick, near London, England.
23 April 1959
Entered onto the Australian Aircraft Register and registered to Ansett-ANA.
24 April 1959
Delivered to ANSETT-ANA fitted with integral front 'airsteps'. Departed Blackbushe, Hampshire, England on delivery to Australia via Rome, Italy - Beirut, Lebanon - Bahrain, Persian Gulf (25 April) - Karachi, Pakistan - Delhi, India - Calcutta, India - Bangkok, Thailand - Saigon, Vietnam - Zamboanga, Philippines - Biak, Indonesia - Darwin, Northern Territory, Australia and Alice Springs, Northern Territory, Australia.
29 April 1959
Arrived at Essendon, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. The flight crew consisted of Captain J Macalister, Captain D H Johnstone and Captain C E Wright, Navigator C Mushe and Engineer D Colquhoun.
Originally configured with 52 seats which was later changed to 63 seats.
Entered service with ANSETT-ANA.
22 September 1966
Crashed 13.5 miles from Winton Township, Queensland, Australia.
Flight 149 departed Mount Isa, Queensland at 12:08 for the 73 minute flight to Longreach, Queensland, while enroute to Brisbane, Australia. At 12:52 an emergency descent from 17,500 feet was initiated due to a fire warning in the No.1 and No.2 port engines. The crew were trying to divert to Winton Township, Queensland because of the visible fire in the No. 2 engine. Control of the aircraft was lost and it crashed in a near vertical attitude in the bush at Nadjayamba Station approx. 12 miles west of Winton Township and about 13.5 miles short of the airfield. None of the 4 crew and 20 passengers on board survived.
Accident investigation was very difficult due to the severe damage to the airframe but it was established that there was a failure of the No.2 Cabin Blower oil metering unit which became detatched, possibly due to a rotor breakup and subsequent imbalance, although this was never fully established due to the post crash condition. This led to a severe fire which spread to the port wing and resulted in the failure of the main spar upper boom and then the wing separated.
Flight crew: Captains K. Cooper and J. Gillam; Hostesses N. Davis and B. Heeschen.
Total time 18,644 hours and 12,858 landings.
Two memorials exist for the crew and passengers of Viscount VH-RMI. The original one, unveiled on 24 September 1967, at Nadjayamba station is on private property and is not always possible for visitors to get access to and the second one, unveiled on 22 September 2006, is on the main street of Winton Township and has ceramic photos of the site and the original cairn.
22 September 2006
To mark the 40th Anniversary of the disaster, around a hundred people gathered at Nadjayamba station for a memorial service. Several of the family and friends of the crew and passengers travelled from all around Australia to attend, and for some it was the first time they had visited the site.