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Tuesday, 21 June 1949

Mr WHITE (BALACLAVA, VICTORIA) - I ask the Minister for Air a question relating to a Convair aircraft which, while on government order, crashed in Iceland and only recently arrived in this country. How long ago is it since the aircraft left the United States of America ? Who salvaged it ? What was the approximate cost of the salvage, and to what department will that amount be charged? Why was not the aircraft shipped to Australia in order to save expenditure ?

Mr DRAKEFORD - The aircraft to which the honorable member has referred left the United States of America about the beginning of the year. Unfortunately, due to the lighting having been interfered with at Keflavik, it met with an accident at that airfield. As it was so severely damaged and its repair involved considerable expenditure, the vendors of the aeroplane arranged with a firm of aircraft engineers to undertake the work. The job was successfully completed; and the aircraft is expected to arrive in Australia to-day. It would have been much more expensive to have shipped the aircraft from the United States of America to Australia. Offhand, I cannot say what the cost of repair was. I believe that the honorable member already has that information. I shall ascertain what that cost was. I imagine that it would be charged to the Australian National Airlines Commission which made arrangements some time ago for the purchase, of this very modern aircraft.

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