Australian & New Zealand Military Aircraft Serials & History

ARMY De Havilland Canada DHC-6 Twin Otter

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Twin Otter VH-HPT 
11th November 2004
Photo Michael Stappen


DHC-6 Twin Otter Gallery

Registration Type C/N Aircraft History
VH-HPT DHC-6-320 707 Past Rego's: 4R-UAA, VH-SFJ (Not taken up), VH-USW, VH-HPT.
21/08/1980, 4R-UAA Upali Trading Company (airline) - Sri Lanka.
VH-SFJ (Not taken up)
09/02/84, VH-USW Skywest Aviation - Kununurra/Kimberley diamond mine contract.
04/96, Storage - Perth, Australia.
23/12/96, VH-HPT Hawker Pacific (Banque Nationale de Paris).
01/02/97 to Australian Army under lease until 2002.
In Service with Army 173 Sqn.
Left Army service in 2004.
To UAE Joint Aviation Command in Al Ain.

Highlight for Album: Twin Otter VH-HPT

VH-HPY DHC-6-320 706 Past Rego's: F-ODGB, YJ-RV1, P2-RDV, VH-FNZ, VH-HPY.
22/08/1980 Air Melanesiae - Vanuatu.
09/89, P2-RDV Talair Goroka PNG. Twice repaired for takeoff/landing accidents PNG.
10/01/96, VH-HPY Hawker Pacific (Banque Nationale de Paris).
01/02/96, Australian Army lease from Hawker Pacific.
09/11/97, Crashed at Bismark Range - 9km SW of Simba PNG. 28/11/97,
4 Serious injuries

From the Accident Investigation Report Summary:

The crew were operating a de Havilland Canada DHC-6 Twin Otter aircraft in Exercise Highland Pursuit 2/97. The purpose of the exercise, which was conducted by No. 173 Surveillance Squadron, 1st Aviation Regiment, Australian Army, was to provide tropical mountainous flying training in Papua New Guinea. There were three trainees and one training pilot on board the aircraft.

On Sunday, 9 November 1997, the third day of flying operations in Papua New Guinea, the crew were conducting a flight from Madang and return via a number of airstrips in the central highlands. When haze and cloud prevented them flying the flight-planned direct track between the Koinambe and Simbai airstrips, they decided to fly north-west via the Jimi River valley and one of its tributaries. Two of the trainees were occupying the cockpit seats, one as flying pilot and the other as navigating pilot using a 1:1,000,000-scale chart. When the crew turned the aircraft to follow a tributary off the Jimi River, the training pilot was in the aircraft cabin.

A few minutes later, their discussion regarding the progress of the flight attracted the attention of the training pilot. By this time, however, the position of the aircraft in the valley, and its available performance, were such that an escape from the valley was not possible. The aircraft collided with trees before impacting steeply sloping ground.

It was subsequently established that when the crew turned from the Jimi River, they entered the wrong valley. Calculations based on the manufacturer's performance data showed that the aircraft did not have sufficient performance to outclimb the increase in terrain elevation from the Jimi River valley to cross the Bismarck Ranges via this valley. There was a low level of experience and corporate knowledge within the Army regarding the operations of fixed-wing aircraft such as the Twin Otter in tropical mountainous areas.

Against this background, deficiencies were identified in the planning and preparation for the exercise, including risk assessment and the selection and briefing of the training pilot.

Recovered to Oakey - stored and striped.
Reported as "The Body of VH-HPY is now located in a paddock in Richmond".
Registered P2-KSI to Hevilift (Spotted Cairns 28 June 2013)

VH-OHP DHC-6-320 527 Past Rego's: VH-FNY, P2-RDM, RP-C-1312, P2-RDM, N9SP, N379WW, C-GDHA.
1977 DHC factory test/experimental aircraft.
10/02/1977 Atlantis Airlines, USA
05/79, Atlantis Airline - Guam.
31/03/80, R/H wing damage during taxi.
12/88, P2-RDM Talair Goroka PNG.
12/89, RP-C-1312 Philippines contract (Talair).
04/91, Manila Airways International.
02/92, P2-RDM Sold back to Talair.
25/05/93, VH-FNY Flight West. 527
07/07/93, Storage - Mareeba, Australia. 07/95,
Flight West refurbishment (Aust C of A & wings changed).
11/08/95, Flight West Airlines.
15/01/97, VH-OHP Hawker Pacific (Banque Nationale de Paris).
01/07/98, to Australian Army under lease until 2002.
In Service with Army 173 Sqn.
Retired from Army service in 2004.
Twin Otter VH-OHP arrived Costa Rica June 2005.
It flew for a regional airline called Nature Air registered as TI-AZV.
Sold June 2008 and registered N716JP 28/07/2008 to Bald Mountain Air Service, Homer,Alaska.
26/10/2011 Registration N716JP renewed to Bald Mountain Air Service, Homer,Alaska.

Highlight for Album: Twin Otter VH-OHP


The Authors of this page is Darren Crick, Len Avery and Brendan Cowan.

Source: Australian Aviation Magazine, , , ,

Emails: Adam Clerget, James Hollingworth, Dean Norman, Mathew Hawkins, Gordon Birkett, Jurgen van Toor, Kevin Kerle, Robert Brosing, Clive Lynch, Roger Johnson, Alan Allen, Rod, Martin Edwards, Brendan Cowan, Rene Sikkerle, Simon, Len Avery, Josh Masterson.

Updated 03 July 2015


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