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-   -   Memories of the Connair murder-suicide (https://www.pprune.org/pacific-general-aviation-questions/589133-memories-connair-murder-suicide.html)

kaz3g 5th Jan 2017 08:25

Memories of the Connair murder-suicide
 
Connair disaster: Survivor of pilot's Alice Springs suicide mission 'not bitter' - ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

PLovett 5th Jan 2017 08:39

Having worked for the company who now uses that hangar it gives one a creepy feeling to walk through the building knowing what happened there. I am not one to believe in ghosts but it feels quite odd.

I also had quite a lot to do with Tony during my time in Alice Springs as he did the maintenance on the aircraft for another company who I worked for. Not sure whether he is still involved in it or not but he was heavily into desert racing and competed in the Finke race for many years.

Ivana Kransky 8th Jan 2017 06:28

Quote.."Having worked for the company who now uses that hangar it gives one a creepy feeling to walk through the building knowing what happened there. I am not one to believe in ghosts but it feels quite odd."

Pete, remember the big burn mark on the hangar floor ? Or the even creepier massively cobwebbed and dusty upstairs rooms, looked like the staff left everything as it was, bailed out in a hurry, locked the doors and never went back.....

And in the adjoining hanger ...if the bent and broken bits of airplanes (and various complete ones too) could talk, imagine the stories ? And The shorts 330 shed would have been nice converted into a bar i reckon :ok:

onetrack 9th Jan 2017 01:06

Colin Richard Forman was a classic misfit, an arrogant, angry young man with serious mental health problems, that should have been picked up on, long before he left his bitter, destructive mark on the world.

He wasn't even a good pilot, having failed his navigation tests - and forgetting completely about the time difference between W.A. and the Northern Territory when he set out on his suicide mission. It was lucky he did, or the death toll would have been much higher.

I can still remember my shock at the news of his low act, it must have reverberated around the world. I trust he's wallowing in eternal hellfire torment and misery for the utter evil that he perpetrated.

He should never have been buried in Alice Springs cemetery, his remains should have been taken out to the remotest part of Australia and discarded like trash, with no record of him ever having lived.

Territory Stories - Australian Advocate - The Connair kamikaze attack - page 4

Shaggy Dog 9th Jan 2017 07:12

Onetrack,
I knew Roger C quite well in my time with Connellans in the '60s.
Good times, good memories.
Such a tragedy is still beyond belief.
SD

PLovett 9th Jan 2017 09:03


Pete, remember the big burn mark on the hangar floor ? Or the even creepier massively cobwebbed and dusty upstairs rooms, looked like the staff left everything as it was, bailed out in a hurry, locked the doors and never went back.....

And in the adjoining hanger ...if the bent and broken bits of airplanes (and various complete ones too) could talk, imagine the stories ? And The shorts 330 shed would have been nice converted into a bar i reckon
Absolutely! I only went upstairs once, everything was so dusty and, as you say, the cobwebs were everywhere and judging by the size of them, the spiders were maneaters. But it feels very strange as well. Not good memories.

That Short 330 I reckon must have been sold about half a dozen times while I was in Alice but no one went through with the purchase. I reckon whatever is living in there by now is unknown to modern science as well.

The Wawa Zone 26th Jan 2017 14:07

The hangar certainly had some stories about it, but it's probably hard to spot the difference between some real sensing of spirits, and some expectation based on the stories that everyone hears. Mind you, if you want a ghost story, the time to think of one is while having to open the dark hangar at 0400, walk across the floor to get to the (dim) light switches, then spend 20 minutes shifting aircraft around in the gloom while the wind is howling outside and rattling everything.
I grew up in a house with a spirit in it, of the noisy kind, so I thought I'd use my spook endorsement. One morning I got there at 0300, left the lights off, and lay on the floor for an hour. Zero.
Also Marcie used to actually live upstairs for a while, and said she never noticed anything. But.. it does make a good legend.

KiwiBoyZac 24th May 2017 03:31

I've been researching Forman for a year or so with the idea of writing a book about him and the attack but it's been tricky. No records of his birth, no indication as to the identity of his parents - it's as if he never existed, like onetrack suggests.

gerry111 24th May 2017 08:08


Originally Posted by KiwiBoyZac (Post 9780599)
I've been researching Forman for a year or so with the idea of writing a book about him and the attack but it's been tricky. No records of his birth, no indication as to the identity of his parents - it's as if he never existed, like onetrack suggests.

Sadly, that's one aviation book I wouldn't buy.

Allan L 24th May 2017 09:51


Originally Posted by KiwiBoyZac (Post 9780599)
I've been researching Forman for a year or so with the idea of writing a book about him and the attack but it's been tricky. No records of his birth, no indication as to the identity of his parents - it's as if he never existed, like onetrack suggests.


A mention in this book says that he emigrated alone from England in early 1970s and drove trams in Melb. etc.
https://books.google.com.au/books?id...forman&f=false

KiwiBoyZac 25th May 2017 01:57


Originally Posted by gerry111 (Post 9780788)
Sadly, that's one aviation book I wouldn't buy.

I can completely understand that. I should make it clear I'm not seeking to glorify him or what he did - it's a story that intrigued me when I first read about it on Wikipedia and if nothing else I'm just interested to learn what went on in his head.


I have found some information online and through various museums and archives: which flight he arrived on, which court he appeared in for the Qantas ticket forgery, a few addresses, and other material but details about his family have been hard to find. It really does seem like they completely disowned him - his death certificate only gives a first initial for his mother, and the British government can't find a birth certificate for him.


A couple of PPRuNers who mentioned him have been kind enough to get back to me about their run-ins with him or relay detail about people who knew him.

onetrack 25th May 2017 13:34

I fail to understand what is to be gained by writing a book about a murderous, criminal loser - who no-one, not even his family, appear to want to remember.
I would consider it an unworthy project, and I couldn't really imagine where you'd even cover the cost of producing the book. Surely there must be other little-known, good people, who are worth writing a book about?
I have read all I need to know about Forman from the couple of newspaper pages reporting on his short, murderously evil, criminal career.
The only thing that Forman ever distinguished himself at, was stooping as low as any other bitter, twisted, and truly evil, suicide bomber.

megan 26th May 2017 01:44

I'm quite the reverse onetrack, I'd love to know the full story, and I emphasise the full.

pithblot 26th May 2017 01:58

The good folk in Alice Springs remember those who were slain and injured with a plaque near the Todd, street names and love. Many won't let the perpetrators name pass their lips but have been gracious enough to bury his bones in their cemetery and let let him deal with God for his multiple murders.


I'm with onetrack, megan. I also consider it to be an unworthy project.

Obviously, my opinion is very subjective KBZ. You should go ahead and do the research - maybe
there is something worth writing about, especially if there is more to the 'full' story.

Stationair8 26th May 2017 03:25

From reading the Eddie Connellan story, it appeared that he always did the recruiting of pilots and engineers. No one was ever employed on the spot, interviews would take place in your home town and the process would take a period of time. Did this guy slip through the net, or had they changed the way they recruited staff in 1977.

I know an engineer that worked for Eddie, and he said that Eddie arrived unannounced at his home one day and interviewed him for an engineering position and then a few months later arrived at his work place unannounced and just had a chat, then left and rang him late on a Friday night with a job offer.

Spare a thought, for the engineer and apprentice who were working on one of the DC-3's, and looked up and saw the Baron fly past and into the hangar.

JamieMaree 26th May 2017 07:40

I have been told by a pilot who worked for Connellan that it was Roger who employed this bloke.

KiwiBoyZac 29th May 2017 04:03


Originally Posted by Stationair8 (Post 9782998)
Spare a thought, for the engineer and apprentice who were working on one of the DC-3's, and looked up and saw the Baron fly past and into the hangar.

I think it was a father and son who were doing work - radios? - on the DC-3. I don't have their names to hand but I know the father has been interviewed about that day in one book.


I'm not doing this research with the aim of any sort of profit/monetary gain. Also I did point out I'm not trying to glorify him. I just want to understand what would drive someone to do this.


By all accounts onetrack is spot on and the man never accomplished much of anything! There are plenty of books, movies etc about criminals who are only known for doing one heinous act. There are whole TV networks dedicated to broadcasting sensationalised programming about criminals.


onetrack - if I've upset you by mentioning my project I do apologise. I only saw a tragic part of Australian aviation history that is sparsely covered online and became interested in learning more.


megan and pithblot - unless someone does the hard yards there's no way of knowing the full story. I've talked with a couple of writers, one of whom knew Forman personally, so I'm not the only one curious. I'm very much tempted to hand everything over to one of them so they can do it justice.

Rotor Work 13th Jan 2018 02:12

Hopes to remember Central Australia's pioneering outback airline, Connair - ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

Back in the news.
Reading previous posts, a very sad event.

Regards RW

Capt Fathom 13th Jan 2018 05:54

Love the photo of Christine Davy, who was the Chief Pilot at some time? And there was a Georgetti flying in Darwin or PNG? The memory is being tested now!

olderairhead 13th Jan 2018 06:39


Originally Posted by Capt Fathom (Post 10018313)
Love the photo of Christine Davies, who was the Chief Pilot at some time? And there was a Georgetti flying in Darwin or PNG? The memory is being tested now!

Tim flew F27's with Air Niugini in the late 70's and 80's


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