De Havilland DH.84 Dragon VH-UXG
Des Porter, a well known aviator in the Queensland Aviation community has passed away in his famous DH.84 Dragon reg. VH-UXG. The aircraft was reported missing in Queensland on 1 October 2012.
A search for the aircraft was coordinated by Australian Search and Rescue (AusSAR). The aircraft wreckage was located south-west of Gympie on 3 October 2012.
The aircraft departed Monto that day with six persons on board. The pilot later reported entering cloud and requested assistance from air traffic control to exit those conditions. Communication with the aircraft was subsequently lost.
On location of Des Porter’s Dragon UXG, all six passengers were confirmed dead. This was a great shock to the whole Australian Aviation community, in particular the Queensland Aviation community. The DH.84 was always at fly-ins or airshows, and was instantly recognisable. Des Porter was a great man, a father, grandfather and all round good aussie bloke.
I personally had the pleasure of seeing this amazing aircraft at the Bundaberg Airshow in both 2009, and 2011. Mr Porter was a humble man who absolutly loved mixing with the crowd, and always up for a chat.
The Australian Transportation Safety Bureau (ATSB) is continuing their investigation and have recently completed the on-site part of it. Their progress can be followed at the cases webpage on the ATSB website. Case No. AO-2012-130 “Collision with terrain - VH-UXG, De Havilland DH-84, Gympie, QLD, 1 October 2012
Des will be greatly missed, and the aviation community sends its thoughts to the family and friends of those affected.