Van Emmerik Air CrashPrint Page
A plaque commemorates the Royal Flying Doctor Service plane which crashed at Hawkstone Peak in 1956.
The plane was on an emergency Royal Flying Doctor Service ambulance flight from Tablelands Station to Derby on the 4th February 1956. The crash killed the pilot (Peter J. van Emmerik), two Derby-based nurses (Frances Day (20) and& Margaret Newman (19)), the 9 month old patient (Helen Rudduck) and her father (Jack Rudduck).
After the aircraft had arrived at Tablelands, the weather had deteriorated but because the patient was seriously ill, Van Emmerick decided to make the 344 kilometre flight to Derby . The last reported location was some 16 kilometres from Mt. House Station.
Despite an extensive (38,850 square-kilometre) search by some 16 aircraft , the crash site submerged in flood-water, was not located until the 22nd February and was reached only after crossing some 27 kilometres of swamp. The aircraft and its occupants had been almost completely destroyed. Although the coroner’s report was inconclusive, it was generally thought that the aircraft had become uncontrollable in the severe electrical storm and hit the ground at an angle of some 78 degrees.
|Address:||Derby Highway, RFDS Hangar,Derby Airport, Derby, 6728|
|GPS Coordinates:||Lat: -17.591944|
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
|Actual Event STart Date:||04-February-1956|
|Actual Event End Date:||04-February-1956|
Royal Flying Doctor Service of Australia
This tablet commemorates the gallant and heroic attempt of Capt. Pieter van Emmerick to save the life of a sick child, Helen Rudduck in a mercy flight from the Tableland Station on 4th February 1956.
In an electrical storm of unprecedented violence, the aircraft was forced down at Hawkstone Peak. The child`s father Jack Rudduck and nurses Frances Day and Margaret Newman also perished.