Pilatus Porter PC-6-B1-H2
A14-686 was delivered to the 1st Aviation Regiment at RAAF
Base Amberley, QLD on 17 January 1968 after being flown to Australia
from Stans in Switzerland.
Together with A14-680 and A14-681, these were the first three
Pilatus Porters to be sent to Vietnam for operational service
with 161 (Indep) Recce Flt. They travelled to Vietnam aboard
HMAS Sydney accompanied by LT Damien Aird (Fixed Wing Pilot)
and CPL John Crawford (Engine Fitter).
Due to a problem lifting A14-680 by Chinook, the remaining two Porters on
HMAS Sydney (681 and 686) were off loaded onto barges and
transported to Vung Tau Airfield where they were re-assembled by
members of 161 (Indep) Recce Flt, test flown serviceable and flown
forward to Nui Dat for operations with the Recce Flt. A14-686 served
with 161 (Indep) Recce Flight from 29 November 1969 until 3 December
1969. On the first night training mission
Vietnam, A14-686 was hit by enemy fire and destroyed on the night of
3 December 1969. The aircraft was being flown by CAPT Barry Donald
with LT Alan Jellie as observer. They crashed on Bin Ba airstrip, in
a rubber plantation, north of Nui Dat on Route 2.
CAPT Barry Donald was the Fixed Wing Section commander. Both crew
were killed and the remains of the aircraft were later destroyed.
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