I think I remember seeing one of those photos in a book, possibly the big NAC one? The caption and/or narrative explained what happened. Unfortunately my copy of the NAC book is packed away awaiting our move.
Last Edit: Dec 20, 2017 15:54:28 GMT 12 by ZacYates
Post by Dave Homewood on Dec 20, 2017 17:16:34 GMT 12
So on adf.serials there is no mention of any of the RNZAF DH89's being destroyed or damaged by fire other than the one above in Peter's post which was previous to this incident, so it must have been a civilian one.
It's at Rongotai so I suspect this is the de Havilland New Zealand hangar.
Clearly it is not on grass as it is in my opinion indoors and on a hard hangar floor. So I doubt they were starting the engine. Especially as the prop seems to have been removed, and it seems to be on trestles or stands.
I'm sure the Evening Post for 12 October 1951 will reveal the full story.
Post by planewriting on Dec 20, 2017 22:40:43 GMT 12
As co-author of the NAC book I can categorically state that the aircraft in the hangar was not ZK-ALC which Peter Lewis has covered in his input above. ALC was destroyed at Rotorua in 1950. The incident referred to here is complete news to me and I cannot think what aircraft was involved. I would be interested to hear in de course what happened.
DH 89 fuel tanks were in the rear of the engine nacelles behind engines (in fact you can see the tank sitting cosily in closest nacelle), each tank 38 Imperial gallons. The oil tank was located at extreme rear of nacelle, with filler cap at very rear (incorporating dip stick), capacity of each tank 4 Imperial gallons, but instructions state that only 3.5 gallons maximum to be filled, remainder of capacity to be left as "foaming space". Oil tank NOT Installed in this example (removed).
Appears to me that this degree of damage was not considered a write off, so presume aircraft returned to service after appropriate repairs. Perhaps the fire was suppressed fairly promptly by servicing staff, and wood damage possibly only superficial, and a wing recover was all that was required (unlike the unfortunate ALC). David D
One has to wonder just what was in the designer's mind when he fitted the exhaust so close to the ground (and in close proximity to fuel and oil tanks) on an aircraft expected to operate off grass runways.
The single stripe paint scheme hints that it is probably an NZNAC aircraft which would mean it was one of the following ZK-ALB, AKS/T/U or Y. I have an idea the fire is mentioned in the Air Britain publication The De Havilland Dragon/Rapide Family, but I'm unable locate the particular passage at the moment.
A similar incident occurred on 22/11/37 to Cook Strait Airways Rapide ZK-AEE when it was damage in a hangar fire at Nelson.
I'm fairly sure the windows are masked. If you have a look at this photo of ZK-AKY in the same location (with the same ladder in the same position between the starboard engine and the fuselage) you can see the windows are masked for painting.
That would suggest that the fire occurred in the workshop.
The people gathered around are probably just confirming their story to the customer that the plane must have come in that way, nothing to do with us, looks expensive, do you want us to fix it for you?
To this very day, the kid who used to bully me at school still takes my lunch money. On the plus side, he makes great Subway sandwiches.