Edgar Johnston's ANA Equator Crossing Certificate - 1947

In the days before cheap mass public transport by air, the experience of air travel was akin to sea travel in many respects. On international flights the crossing of the equator, traditionally an event celebrated aboard ship, was commemorated by the issue of a nicely illustrated certificate signed by the Captain of the aircraft.

In July 1947 Captain Edgar Johnston, Assisant Director-General of the Department of Civil Aviation travelled home from the first Assembly of the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) at which he had been Leader of the Australian Delegation after the Minister, Arthur Drakeford, was elected President of the Assembly. The Assembly met from 6-27 may 1947 in Montreal, Canada. The Australian Delegation travelled home aboard Australian National Airlines' Douglas DC-4 VH-ANA Amana, flagship of the ANA fleet, under the command of Captain Louis 'Lou' Lohse.


Between September 1946 and April 1948, ANA operated trans-Pacific services from Melbourne to Vancouver on charter to British Commonwealth Pacific Airlines. BCPA was a joint creation of the Australian, New Zealand, British and Canadian governments, intended to compete with the American Pan American airline on the Pacific. However, it was not until 1948 that BCPA was able to obtain its own aircraft. Captain Lohse was one of the ANA personnel who joined BCPA.

The Amana was tragically lost in an accident near Perth, WA, on 26 June 1950. Parts of the Amana's wreckage were dontated to the Airways Museum in 2007.

(Card: CAHS/Edgar Johnston collection)

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