Flying Doctor Operations - c.1950s

The Bush Church Aid Society's Lockheed 12A VH-BHH (c/n 1275) in 1957 at Tarcoola, SA, situated on the trans-continental railway line 90 NM (170 km) north of Ceduna. The aircraft had just taken the Doctor from Ceduna to the Anglican Church's Bush Hospital at Tarcoola. The handsome chap with the suitcases is pilot Macarthur Job and the woman in the red cardigan is the Nursing Sister.

VH-BHH was purchased by the Anglican Church's Bush Church Aid Society in 1957 and named S.J.Kirkby. The Lockheed replaced earlier DH84 Dragon VH-AGI. It was based a Ceduna and used as an aerial ambulance transporting the resident doctor to emergency cases as well as conducting regular clinics at local settlements.

On 24 June 1959 the aircraft was re-registed VH-FMS (Flying Medical Service). A heavy landing at Ceduna on 17 March 1960 caused the undercarriage to collapse during the landing roll. Incorrect assembly of the undercarriage actuating screws had led to reverse folding of the drag-struts. The pilot and four passengers were unhurt, however the aircraft suffered major damage and it was struck off the Register on 4 Nov 1960.


Lockheed 12A VH-BHH S.J.Kirkby on the tarmac at Ceduna, SA, c.1957-59.


(Photos: Macarthur Job collection)

Click here to see the next in this series of Flying Doctor photos

Back to the main Items of General Interest index

If this page appears without menu bars at top and left, click here