Goldfields Air Services, Reg No VH-FYZ. Crash ABH.

Submitted: Sunday, May 13, 2018 at 16:10
ThreadID: 136698 Views:864 Replies:2 FollowUps:9
At the crash site of this plane on the Anne Beadell Highway there has been erected a plaque to William Baker. This person was not a passenger on this plane when it crashed so does anyone know why this memorial has been erected here?
Here is a picture. The only clue is he probably drove a Scania truck Rego UC2264


If you want to know more about this crash goto,
https://www.exploroz.com/forum/108331/comment--light-plane-wreckage

Chris
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Reply By: Greg J1 - Sunday, May 13, 2018 at 18:34

Sunday, May 13, 2018 at 18:34
I thought he was one of the people to walk in and find the crash scene. The blue bottle his ashes were in was in the baggage locker on the right wing behind the engine when we were there in 2016

Actually wasn’t really a crash. Was a forced landing after engine failure. Pilot speak for I didn’t really crash.

Cheers Greg
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Follow Up By: Idler Chris - Sunday, May 13, 2018 at 18:46

Sunday, May 13, 2018 at 18:46
And the blue bottle was still there in Oct 2017.
Chris
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Follow Up By: Idler Chris - Sunday, May 13, 2018 at 18:49

Sunday, May 13, 2018 at 18:49
Also it was not engine failure but ran out of fuel. The pilot was not trained properly and he did not follow procedures.
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Follow Up By: Greg J1 - Sunday, May 13, 2018 at 18:56

Sunday, May 13, 2018 at 18:56
After every accident there is a hundred versions of the truth
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Follow Up By: Idler Chris - Sunday, May 13, 2018 at 19:14

Sunday, May 13, 2018 at 19:14
Air crashes are thoroughly investigated so the truth is known. See here
https://www.atsb.gov.au/publications/investigation_reports/1993/aair/asor_199300002.aspx
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Follow Up By: Member - Roger K (NSW) - Wednesday, May 16, 2018 at 21:15

Wednesday, May 16, 2018 at 21:15
Chris,
I think I can add some background information about the plaque.

I (together with five companions) visited the crash site on 23 May 1997. At the time we were doing the Ann Beadell and Gunbarrel Highways, but knew nothing about the aircraft wreck until we came across this sign beside the ABH :-

At the wreck site we found a Visitors' Book in the luggage locker in the right wing and an entry in it showed that Bill Baker (from Perth) was the first person to visit the wreck by land but, unfortunately, the date of his visit was not recorded. However, the avionics had already been removed.

Mr Baker visited the site for a second time on 19 April 1997 and, as can be seen, the engines and undercarriage had been removed by then.

Even though the crash had occurred some four years before our visit, there was still a surprising amount of personal luggage scattered around the wreck site, as well as various items of electoral material.

Like you, I also subsequently obtained a copy of the Bureau of Air Safety Investigation Report (Occurrence Brief 9300002) to find out just what had happened and, in October 1997, I spoke (by phone) to the Officer who had carried out the investigation into the accident. Attached is a copy of the note I made about that conversation and, as can be seen, it adds a bit more information about how the passengers and pilot were rescued:-
I often wondered what happened to these people in later life and it was therefore very gratifying to peruse the information set out in thread 108331 (which I had not previously seen).

I have also attached a copy of a photo of the wreck which I took on 23 May 1997 and compare it with the photos posted by Scott M (NSW) on 20 June 2014 and Stephen L (Clare SA) on 21 June 2014. Despite being in a desert, the vegetation is clearly starting to encroach on the rear of the aircraft. Unfortunately, it is also sad to see how the wreck has been vandalized since the time of my visit.

So, to answer your question, I am fairly confident that Bill Baker died in recent times and the plaque was put there by his friends to honour the work he did in making this wreck available to all Australians who take the trouble to explore these remote parts of our marvelous country.

RogerK
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Follow Up By: Member - Roger K (NSW) - Wednesday, May 16, 2018 at 22:02

Wednesday, May 16, 2018 at 22:02
Chris,
This is the third photo referred to in my earlier post:- Apologies for the oversight!

Roger K
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Follow Up By: Idler Chris - Wednesday, May 16, 2018 at 22:27

Wednesday, May 16, 2018 at 22:27
These are two photos I took on the 7th October 2017.

As you can see the souvenir hunters have been in. But then again it is 20 years later.

Thanks for your info Roger it unravels a mystery and it is now recorded for future travellers who are interested. It was good have a chat as well. All the best.

Chris
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Follow Up By: Member - ACD 1 - Wednesday, May 16, 2018 at 22:38

Wednesday, May 16, 2018 at 22:38
What a well put together response Roger.

Fantastic that you keep detailed records. I struggle to even get my camera out to take photos - I much prefer the memories in my head than paper, only problem is I can't share them as readily with others.

I can understand Bill (or his family) wanting to place a memorial (plaque and ashes in the bottle) at the site. It obviously had a meaning that may well only be know to him.

I have taken locks of hair (of deceased family members) out to the desert, spread ashes of family members at various sites including the ocean, Uluru and old family pastoral leases. I even took a gold tooth back to where my grandfather found the nugget he had the tooth made from. All these little ceremonies and memorials were because there was some attachment for the family members involved.

Thanks for taking the time to dig through your memories.

Cheers

Anthony
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Reply By: Idler Chris - Saturday, May 19, 2018 at 16:07

Saturday, May 19, 2018 at 16:07
Ronny Dahl from www.4-wheeling-in-western-australia.com was at this crash site in about April 2018. Towards the end of this video at
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u85CdnUxAqw he is filming at this crash site.

What is interesting is I led a group from the Idlers Four Wheel Drive Club and we were there on the 7/10/2017. Ronny in his video at about the 26 minute mark is reading the visitor book some 6 months later and the last entry before he got there was the entry we made. Just as well we did not break down and was waiting until someone came along.
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Follow Up By: Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) - Saturday, May 19, 2018 at 18:41

Saturday, May 19, 2018 at 18:41
Hi Chris

And he called you the Elders Four Wheel Drive Club.....even though they are.....lol


Cheers



Stephen
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