VH-INO Yarrana

Towing Bird
The Bird
The Bird
The Bird

Type: Bristol 171 Sycamore Mk 4
MSN: 13403
Previous Identities: G-AODL


29JUN55 Registered G-AODL to British European Airways.
01MAY56 Purchased by Australian National Airways Pty. Ltd. for 65,000.
02MAY56 Arrived in Melbourne for trans-shipment to Hobart.
11MAY56 Registered to ANA as VH-INO. CofA issued and test flown at Hobart same day.
19MAY56 Entered commercial service on a publicity flight transporting an umpire to a football match at North Hobart. The aircraft was named "Yarrana" (Swift Whirlwind) in ANA service.
56-57 Chartered by Adastra to conduct an electro-magnetic survey at Queenstown, Tasmania. The helicopter was used to tow a magnetometer/scintillometer "bird" through the tree tops. The pilots were Max Holyman and Jim Ferguson (ex RAN).
15JAN57 The Sycamore was damaged in a forced landing which is believed to have happened on the same day that the above photos were taken. The incident is described in Peter Yule's history of ANA, "The Forgotten Giant of Australian Aviation" (pp.270-272):

"In the early afternoon of Tuesday January 15th [1957], Australian National Airways' Bristol Sycamore helicopter 'Yarrana' was forced to make an autorotational landing on its return flight to Queenstown after positioning geologists on remote hilltops in southern Tasmania. The mishap was not due to any mechanical fault, but was the result of water in the aircraft's fuel system which stopped the engine while flying over wild country near the base of Mt. Sorrel, some 19 miles from Queenstown. Although the pilot, Captain Max Holyman, successfully carried out an emergency landing, a patch of soft marsh ground caused one wheel of the helicopter to sink, titling the aircraft, and thus damaging the main and tail rotor blades. [Max Holyman and a passenger camped for four days by the helicopter until help arrived.]"
21OCT57 From this date operated by the Ansett-ANA Helicopter Division.
11JAN60 Crashed and damaged beyond repair in the Nundle State Forest, NSW.


Chasing Birds in Tasmania - by Ken Richards

Issue Date Remarks
7 31DEC22
Added a Slideshow
6 21JUL04
Added Max Holyman as one of the pilots during the Adastra charter. Also added a link to Ken Richards story of the Adastra charter in Tasmania.
5 12SEP03
Added six new images thanks to Bob Love.
4 11JUN03
Added a reference to an accident on 15JAN57.
3 18FEB03
Added the name of the ANA pilot who flew the aircraft during the Adastra charter. Thanks to Jim Hilferty.


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