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Old 4th May 2012, 07:30   #3621 (permalink)
 
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The Railway

I understood the mined ore from the Astrolobes on the Sogeri Rd (Mainly Copper with some Gold and Silver) was transported to Bootless along the line before loaded into vessels. I dont know the dates and how successful the mine was. Haven't heard anything about branch lines elsewhere. I remember the abandoned Astrolobe mine structure. Sorry to see Bill Johns passed on. F/O'd for him on DC3s 1970. Very dry humour!. ("she will look ok in a coupla football seasons!!) He would feign sleep en route but didn't miss a bloody thing.(particularly conversations with the Hostie) Ansett/TAA reunion on 12th. Hope to see a few old faces.
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Old 5th May 2012, 04:10   #3622 (permalink)
 
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I understand it was the only railway ever to operate in PNG.....

Nope.

Read the Railways section at Ex Kiap - past Papua New Guinea Patrol Officers - PNG Past and Present

I do recall there was quite a discussion about Tetley's railway during 1968, probably in Black & White magazine (in the days before humour was banned)
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Old 5th May 2012, 06:15   #3623 (permalink)
 
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Bamahuta Billy Johns!!

Bamahuta Billy Johns!! A great man who gave his youth and spent most of his working life in the air over PNG and now flying in formation with my good wantok Sharpie! I had the privilege to fly with Billy on the "pocket rocket" and remember his encouraging words to the national pilots, which gave many of us the strength to push on and succeed. RIP Wantok.
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Old 5th May 2012, 08:03   #3624 (permalink)
 
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Yep a pleasure to fly with. I only did so a couple of times unfortunately.
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Old 5th May 2012, 14:17   #3625 (permalink)
 
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Have been following this thread for months and thoroughly enjoy it - mainly because of familiar places and people mentioned. In fact in the Sixties I landed a RAAF VIP Convair 440 at the then new Mt Hagen airstrip (Cornfield or similar name) to pick up two injured RAAF pilots who had crashed their Caribou after a botched up go-around somewhere in the mountains. The Convair performance charts were USAF designed and didn't take into account Density Altitude in those days. We lifted off right at the end of the strip and would have been in serious trouble if we lost an engine. Also flew the first HS 748 (RAAF) into PNG in 1967. That is a story on its own..

Mention was made in an earlier post of Athol Jory, a DCA Examiner I believe. Is he still around? He was awarded a DFC in Vietnam I believe. I was his RAAF flying instructor on Winjeels and Wirraways at No 1 BFTS at Uranquinty in late 1956. . He came close to being scrubbed for chronic airsickness in the early stage of Winjeel flying. Despite that affliction he topped the theory and flying stage of basic training. Again, that is another story
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Old 5th May 2012, 20:18   #3626 (permalink)



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Quote:
".......Mt Hagen airstrip (Cornfield or similar name) to pick up two injured RAAF pilots who had crashed their Caribou after a botched up go-around somewhere in the mountains."
The Mt Hagen airport is at Kagamuga. I'm guessing that DHC4 accident would be A4-147 that was written off beyond repair in a landing accident at Tapini 6 October 1969? The RAAF cdertainly broke a few Caribou in PNG!

I rather think the HS748 would have been a good aircraft for PNG?
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Old 5th May 2012, 21:03   #3627 (permalink)
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The Caribou could have been Porgera
Athol is still around as far as I know . Might have been a bit lapun for Nam and anyways he used to be a Kiwi. Mind you they gave the Kiwis a proper helicopter
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Old 6th May 2012, 00:02   #3628 (permalink)
 
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Stolen Railway/Caribou Prangs

The story of Keith Tetley "stealing" the Sogeri-Bootless Bay railway was always a topic of conversation, from time to time, in the SPAC bar in the Sixties and Seventies. As to the truth of the matter; it has been lost in the mists of time.

There was a Caribou prang at Tapini. I believe it undershot the runway.
Another Caribou, with a load of school children on board, went in in the Kudgeru. Some of the surviving kids managed to walk to Wau and helped to locate the crash site. Does anyone have any further details of the two incidents?
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Old 6th May 2012, 01:25   #3629 (permalink)
 
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Quote:
The Caribou could have been Porgera
Yes -that's the one. It happened on 3 June 1965. The crew had been operating at over 10,000 ft for some time in the area and the Court of Inquiry cited the effect of possible anoxia as one reason why they failed to twig they were landing at the wrong destination. In the event they saw fuel drums on the strip and went around again at low altitude but were slow to retract the flaps from full flap. The resulting speed bleed due to drag caused the aircraft to hit the strip. Both pilots were badly injured. Eventually a C208 (?) or similar was used to transport the pilots to Mt Hagen.

At the time we had just departed Momote for Brisbane in a VIP Convair 440 Metropolitan and heard about the prang on HF. The then Minister for the Territories (Barnes) was aboard. We volunteered to divert to Hagen to pick up the Caribou pilots thinking they would probably in any case be medivaced to Australia and we may as well do the job. The crew of the Convair was myself as captain, Flying Officer Eric Lundbeg as copilot, F/L Colin Braithwaite Navigator, F/L Taylor navigator, Sgt Downie and Sgt Hoy engineers.

The Caribou crew were F/L Bevan captain and Flying Officer Nicholson copilot. We landed at the new Mt Hagen airstrip called Corn Farm, 2.5 hours after leaving Momote. (according to my log book). The Caribou pilots were on stretchers when lifted into the the Convair. Instead of continuing to Brisbane as we had planned, we were directed to take them to Lae where they were put in hospital. We then continued our journey to Port Moresby, Brisbane and Canberra.

The take off from Mt Hagen was scary as we were obviously far too heavy for the runway length (5400ft) if I recall, and the density altitude. As explained earlier the Convair performance charts were quite limited in information. In any case from the brief information we were given on HF at the time we departed from Momote, we thought that it was vital to get prompt medical attention to the injured Caribou pilots.
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Old 7th May 2012, 09:04   #3630 (permalink)
 
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The original name for Kagamuga was in fact Korn Farm, which was the name of the DASF Experimental station on the south Minj road. My 1st posting as a didiman in PNG in January 1961. The research stn butted onto the east boundary of the airport.

Often muse over how we were unable to drink all the very good coffee grown there. Had 25 tonnes of it in the store. It was a question of whether we'll have the Jamaican Blue Mountain this week, or one of the many other exotic varieties grown there. give my left arm for some of it now!

I thought that Caribou was planted onto a ridge behind Liaigam after a late decision to go-round? That strip is/was about 7000 ft, so it was likely close to 9500 DA. It made a good auli haus for some years I'm told.

happy days,
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Old 7th May 2012, 09:32   #3631 (permalink)



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Quote:
Another Caribou, with a load of school children on board, went in in the Kudgeru. Some of the surviving kids managed to walk to Wau and helped to locate the crash site. Does anyone have any further details of the two incidents?
RAAF Caribou crash, Kudgeru Gap, PNG, 28 Aug 1972

http://www.pprune.org/dg-p-general-a...ug-1972-a.html

I remember the accident well. I think two cadets survived and around twenty four perished. The two cadets that survived reputedly had a transister radio and confused Garaina with Bereina and were walking south when they were sighted in a clearing. The cadets led searchers back to the accident site, where the remains of the Caribou had completely disappeared under the jungle canopy.

Poteroo is correct, he jogged my memory! Kagamuga was called Korm Farm when the strip was built, replacing the old Mt Hagen town strip.

Ah, the Highlands coffee. I wonder if Dick Hagen's 1,000 acre Gumache Plantation is still operating?
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Old 7th May 2012, 11:46   #3632 (permalink)
 
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I'll rustle up a composite picture I made up of movie frames, of the town strip taken from a Ford in the late thirties.

Found it!


Last edited by sixtiesrelic; 7th May 2012 at 12:14.
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Old 8th May 2012, 00:35   #3633 (permalink)
 
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This is my first posting. I have enjoyed reading aboutflying in Papua.

In 1963 STOL had the contract with the USAF AST7 B50’s to survey and supply drop to the tops of mountains, for ground stations for their photosurvey. When doing the drops at 11,306 feet on Mount Kinevi , [8,487 feet on my chart and I was told that at about 10,000 feet therewere about 5 war wrecks!] in c182 KLM, with the door off, I couldn’t decide whether I was warmer getting down more quickly at speed with more draught or slower and more time. When I arrived back at the terminal for black coffee,wearing all my clothing and shivering, the new people up from south on the dc6 wouldmove away from me.

At Baibara the strip was beside the sea and was the only place I saw surf in Papua. So I would get ahead on my run and let the boi load the plane so I could have a 20 minute surf. They gave me a hind of beef to take back to Yvonne McMahon, the secretary at STOL { I was bunking at her place}. I put it in her freezer, this was wrong as it was supposed to be cut up first and we had to use a hacksaw to dismember it.

There are many stories. After doing a croc survey of the Purari River at very low level I foundthe promised fuel at Kikori didn’t exist . So I dipped the tanks and flew to Bereina on the low one. I found by crossing the controls after the first cough I got 20 more minutes so proceeded to Moresby. My mistake was having both tanks filled, as when he put 42 gallons in he reported it to DCA.
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Old 8th May 2012, 00:52   #3634 (permalink)
 
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It'll be a long time before you see another hotel built alongside the strip as the Mt Hagen Hotel was!
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Old 8th May 2012, 01:47   #3635 (permalink)
 
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Sorry checked log C182 was KLJ, C180 MJF also TAA c182 and Mission C180 with needle valves on fuel [RBK and BVL or BUL.]
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Old 8th May 2012, 05:57   #3636 (permalink)
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Bill Johns funeral

William Joseph "Bill" JOHNS

| Visit Guest Book



JOHNS, William Joseph (Bill) Late of The Gap, formerly of Papua New Guinea. Passed away peacefully 1st May, 2012. Aged 84 Years Dearly loved Husband of Estelle. Loved Brother and Brother-in-law of Clare and Alan. Family and Friends are invited to attend Bill's Funeral Service, to be held in the West Chapel Mt. Thompson Crematorium, Nursery Road, Holland Park, Wednesday, 9th May, 2012, commencing at 10 a.m.. No Flowers by Request

The above is the obituary notice from the Courier Mail. There is a guest book with some entries and it is my intention to print these and leave them with Bills family at the funeral tomorrow. Anyone wishing to add to the guest book please feel free to do so.

Bob Braithwaite
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Old 8th May 2012, 09:49   #3637 (permalink)
 
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gumanche

A few years ago Dick and the nubile Anna Hagen were at Peter Harbeck's plantation at Banz. Gumanche was under local ownership. With the death of Wally Perdachre the expat scene faded. Quite a bit of Indian ownership in recent times. Broomhead's Baglaga also local when I left Dick Hagen one of the few expats I knew who could talk place in the Jiga/Moga area. Hargreaves and Jim Collins a bit also.Peter Harbeck was our agent Banz, Noel Rutledge (uncle of Gus/Will) was our agent at Minj. Could still get a drink at the Banz Club in 2006. ........Corrigan still a regular. End of an era!
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Old 10th May 2012, 11:09   #3638 (permalink)
 
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Now here's something to warm the cockles of the hearts of Chuck, Tinny and the other real pilots who came back from PNG. Me hat's off to you blokes.

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Old 10th May 2012, 23:28   #3639 (permalink)
 
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KIUNGA

Before it was upgraded it had a 48 hour 2 inches of rain limit, with Avril Croft [chief justice’s daughter, later murdered on her yacht.]as NPP and all the grog on so board they kept quiet about the storm that had dropped 4 ˝ inches since I left Moresby. It was like landing in a tunnel with the mud and water thrown up from the wheels.

On 02/04/63 I was told the Star Mountain Patrol was unsure of their position and was out of food. The TAA pilot doing their drop had had a breakdown trying to resupply them and it was now my problem. On 03/04/63 I flew from PY to Kiunga via Daru ending back at Daru 6.45hrs. 04/03/63 back to Kiunga to do the initial landing [also fun because there was a sprig of grass every three feet on the mud and when I wanted to leave the wheels had sunk into the mud and we require many natives to move us.] at Nomad River 3.05hrs. 05/03/63KIU-STAR MOUNTAINS-KIU 1.05hrs. This was difficult because the map was “here be Dragons” and after tooling around under cloud in mountains, valleys etc I also was unsure of my position, the communication left something to be desired as they called Kiunga on backpack radio, who called Port Moresby on Gov radio, who called DCA on phone, who called me on HF to say that the patrol had heard me 20 minutes before. I did 14.40hrs in the next three days before finding them and returning to Moresby. One of the flights I was so relieved to find Kiunga the I forgot to call on the ground, this lead to the embarrassment one and a half hours later calling departure to hear “All aircraft, all aircraft, all aircraft, cancel SAR for mike Juliet foxtrot.” DCA dictated my reply to the 225 so it went away. I later heard the PO onboard for the drop put in a formal complaint that got as far as the DC in Daru about my dangerous flying during the drop.

Based in Daru with all the bored tradies I ran a scheme. I rented the aircraft at charter rates and charged 30 shillings each for a wide circuit and some low flying over the mainland. I had people not getting out wanting another flight and made a week’s wages in one morning. No one mentioned this back at Moresby so I assume it was allowed.

Last edited by gusatstol; 11th May 2012 at 05:22.
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Old 12th May 2012, 05:20   #3640 (permalink)
 
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sixtiesrelic; Thanks for that!

Made me wish (yet again) that I had tried to do something similar. Briefly considered it when I was flying Bongos with Simbu Aviation out of Port Morbid but baulked at the cost of buying a suitable video camera.

Footage of an approach and landing at somewhere like Sopu or Kamulai would have been quite interesting.
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