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Rare De Havilland with 6 onboard missing in Australia

02-10-2012

Six people are missing and searchers have lost the ELT signal from a De Havilland Dragon DH84 that apparently crashed after flying into clouds about 50 miles northwest of Brisbane, Australia, on Sunday. The 1934 biplane is one of only four remaining airworthy Dragons in the world. The plane, with a pilot and six passengers on board, was returning to an airport north of Brisbane after an air show about 150 miles northwest of the city. The pilot made a distress call to controllers that he had encountered clouds and needed help navigating the rest of the way home. A short time later, officials received an ELT signal in the same area as the Dragon, and they lost radio communications with the pilot. Interviews with friends of the pilot indicated that the plane probably only had basic cockpit instruments that would have made IFR flying difficult or impossible. Pilot Des Porter, 68, rebuilt the De Havilland Dragon about eight years ago. The plane was largely destroyed when it crashed in 1954, killing Porter’s father and brother, and injuring Porter himself, who was 10 at the time.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2012-10-01/six-feared-dead-after-vintage-plane-disappears/4289656