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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 18002
Last updated: 14 November 2021
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Type:Silhouette image of generic AUS6 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Auster AOP Mk.6
Owner/operator:656 Squadron Royal Air Force (656 Sqn RAF)
Registration: VF602
MSN: 2543
Fatalities:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 2
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:Thai/Malaya border, Upper Perak -   Malaysia
Phase: En route
Departure airport:Kroh, Malaya
Destination airport:
The Christmas 2010 issue of „Eastward‟ briefly mentioned the 1960‟s sighting, by an Australian Army patrol, of a „small‟ aircraft in high trees somewhere near the Thai border in Perak. Rod "Curly‟ Hartley writes: "Some months ago I gave a presentation to the Military History group of Pewsey U3A on “The Malayan Emergency” and one of our members mentioned that in the early 60‟s he has been attached to an Australian battalion based in northern Perak. While on patrol with them one day they saw the remains of an aircraft lodged in the jungle canopy above them (probably about 100 feet up). This led me to contacting the Association archivist to see if anything could be found out about the aircraft and following a prolonged search by him (and Laurie Bean) there was a possible identification of the aircraft, helped by it having landed in the forest canopy in the first place.‟

Taking up the story from Rod, from the description given it was thought the aircraft might have been an Auster, being small and light, so the search began from this point. Using maps and information from various resources, and bouncing ideas off Laurie, we came to the conclusion the aircraft was 656 Squadron Auster VF602.

From details of Auster crashes in north Malaya, we ruled out VF551 which crashed somewhere in the vicinity of Kampong Betis police post, with the crew walking twenty five miles to Gua Musang, as this aircraft appears to have "landed‟ on the forest floor. Records for another aircraft, VF602, state it "crash landed in trees whilst avoiding (a) hill, Malaya 3.6.52.‟

From this "landing‟ the pilot and passenger climbed down from the trees and walked out of the
jungle over the next twelve days. Walking out from a landing in Perak seems to present a better option over a twelve day period for the eventual rescue than one of coming down in Keletan. As Laurie replied in favour of the aircraft being VF602," None of the other jungle crashes seem to fit.

There was an airstrip at Kroh, which was used for ops. All my references just state location unspecified for this crash….the Gua Musang accident was too far south of the Thai border!‟


Revision history:

17-May-2008 11:10 ASN archive Added
21-Feb-2012 14:12 Dr. John Smith Updated [Operator, Total fatalities, Total occupants, Other fatalities, Location, Country, Phase, Nature, Source, Damage, Narrative]
13-Aug-2012 01:48 Nepa Updated [Aircraft type, Operator]
08-Mar-2013 10:40 Dr. John Smith Updated [Location, Departure airport, Source, Narrative]

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