RAI catalina crash 1958

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RAI catalina crash 1958

Postby fredgell » Mon Feb 27, 2012 9:08 pm

Whilst researching the history of the Short Bermuda / Sandringham in Tahiti I came across this page

http://histoire.assemblee.pf/articles.php?id=749

detailing the crash of a catalina in 1958 - I'm interested in the picture which is not as captioned - obviously a Solent so presumably one of the Teal boats - but I've not heard of one going there at the time.

Anyone got anything re this story or have they just just the wrong picture - nice as it is!

Cheers

Fred
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Re: RAI catalina crash 1958

Postby DavidLegg » Tue Feb 28, 2012 5:43 pm

Fred: not being a French language speaker, I am not sure what the relevance of that first photo in the link is but the accident certainly involved a Catalina. It was F-OAVV, built originally by Consolidated at San Diego as a Model 28-5MC/Canso c/n 296 serial 9712 and transferred to the RAF as a Catalina IIA V9712 (later re-serialled VA712 when it was discovered that V9712 was already a Lysander although the airframe continued to wear the former serial). Post-war it became VR-BAB in Bermuda then N1937M and temporarily F-BAVV before becoming F-OAVV with Regie Aerienne Interinsulaire (RAI). It was lost upon landing on a glassy water surface at Raiatea in the Leeward Islands on 19/2/1958 when the starboard float dug in. Of 26 on board, 15 were lost, this Catalina being fitted with high-density seating. It was a pure flying boat Catalina, not an amphibian.

Another RAI Catalina F-OAYD was lost at Raiatea in October 1960 and its scuttled remains are still to be found underwater there. 'YD is interesting inasmuch as it was built as an amphibious PBY-5A but post-war was converted to a flying boat by the rempoval of the undercarriage. But I digress!
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Re: RAI catalina crash 1958

Postby DavidLegg » Tue Feb 28, 2012 6:57 pm

As a postscript to my message below, and having had another look at the shot of the underwater Catalina in the original link and photosI have of the sunken F-OAYD, I believe that the photo may actually show F-OAYD and not F-OAVV. That being the case, the compilers of that French article didn't do a particularly great job all round!
David Legg
Editor: The Catalina News, The Catalina Society
Author: Consolidated PBY Catalina - The Peacetime Record
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Re: RAI catalina crash 1958

Postby flyernzl » Sat Mar 03, 2012 10:56 am

The photo of the Solent is indeed a TEAL boat.

The Coral Route operated between Auckland, up through the Pacific Islands and terminated in French Polynesia at Bora Bora.
The international airport at Faa'a was not built until after the Coral Route operations were terminated, so the photo would almost certainly be at Bora Bora.
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