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 Airport, Bournemouth, Hampshire, England.
19 April 1959
Performed ILS runs at Gatwick Airport, Surrey, 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 Airport, Hampshire, England on delivery to Australia via Rome, Italy - Beirut, Lebanon - Bahrain, Persian Gulf (25 April) - Karachi, Pakistan - New 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 Airport, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. The flight crew consisted of Captain Jack McCallister, 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. It also had integral front 'airsteps' fitted.
Entered service with ANSETT-ANA.
22 September 1966
Crashed in the bush at Nadjayamba Station, 12 miles west of Winton Township, Queensland, Australia at 13:03 local time.
Flight 149 departed Mount Isa Airport, Queensland at 12:08 local time for the 73 minute flight to Longreach Airport, Queensland, while enroute to Eagle Farm Airport, Brisbane, Queensland, 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 Airfield, 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, 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.
Flight crew: - Captain J K Cooper (41), First Officer J F Gillam (29), Senior Hostess B A Heeschen (24) and Hostesses N E Davis (19). Their ages are in brackets
Passengers: - Mr P E Anderson (33), Mr H S Bagot (43), Mr G L Bardley (44), Miss R B Boyle (21), Mr W J Caples (57), Mr R F Cashell (41), Mr P A Doyle (52)
Mr J Fernandez (29), Mrs E E Fisher (62), Mr R E Friend (46), Master J P Gamin (3), Master T G Gamin (4), Mr C J Gregson (44), Mr T J Henty (24), Mr G J Jull (22),
Mr N M Killingley (36), Mr C F Lott (30), Mr A McDonald (40), Mr S L McKenzie (57), Mr A Munro (54).
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 detached, 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 resulting in the failure of the main spar upper boom and finally, separation of the wing from the fuselage.
Total time 18,644 hours and 12,858 total landings.
18 January 1967
ANSETT-ANA dry leased (i.e. without crew) Viscount VH-TVF (C/N 49) from Trans-Australia Airlines (TAA) to cover this loss.
24 September 1967
A memorial cairn was unveiled at Nadjayamba Station which is on private property and is not always possible for visitors to get access.
Memorial Cairn at Nadjayamba Station
22 September 1967
A second memorial was unveiled on the main street of Winton Township and has ceramic photos of the site and the original memorial cairn.
Memorial Stone in Winton
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.