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Inlander

NC14947, Electra 1034, was delivered to Mesta Machine Co., in Pittsburgh, PA, on August 19, 1935; four years later the aircraft changed hands and was purchased by Lieut. Col. George R. Hutchinson, also of Pittsburgh. Hutchinson named his new Electra Amicitia, which is Latin for Friendship, and was planning to use the aircraft for his family, who had a CBS Radio kid's program at the time called The Flying Hutchinsons. The aircraft was to be flown to 68 different countries as goodwill ambassadors of CBS Radio's School of the Air while carrying a scroll of peace. However, the flight only made it as far as Mexico before the outbreak of WWII forced Amicitia into the service. In May 1941 Electra 1034 was sold to Qantas Empire Airways for $41,250 and was shipped to Sydney, Australia, arriving the following month; upon arriving in port, the aircraft was transported to Mascot where it was reassembled and renamed Que Sera Sera. The airline had purchased the Electra to operate on the weekly Brisbane-Darwin route, this was the first non-British aircraft to be oeprated by Qantas. After being reassmebled the aircraft was test flown on June 30, 1941, and, following the test flight, registration was changed to VH-AEC and was renamed Inlander.

July 3, 1941, the aircraft departed Archerfield, Brisbane, on its inaugural flight bound for Darwin, arriving almost an hour later than scheduled due to strong headwinds. Two days later VH-AEC left Darwin on the return trip to Archerfield.

In 1942 the aircraft was painted in camouflage and continued to fly the regular Brisbane-Darwin route, only this time under charter to the U.S. Army. Towards the beginning of December, 1942, the Electra was flown to Port Moresby to join the "Special Transport Flight" which carried troops and supplies in the Buna campagin; a total of 31 trips were made carrying 209 troops and 13.5 tons of supplies. It also helped carry wounded to hospital in Townsville. The following month the "Special Transport Flight" was disbanded and VH-AEC returned to regular services. Following the war, in 1946, Inlander, was used for a time on the Brisbane-Darwin and Brisbane-Quilpie routes but retired that same year to operate general charter flights in addition to Sunday joyrides from Archerfield.

February 11, 1948, while enroute from Brisbane to Roma, with nine passengers aboard, the starboard engine failed while flying in bad weather. Unable to maintain altitude with just one operative engine, Inlander struck a tree while attempting a landing and slid backward through the brush. Fortunately there were only minor injuries to one passenger and one crew member; unfortunately, for the aircraft, the damage was enough that the aircraft was written off.

Much of this information came from adastron.com

Amicita, date and location unknwon

Amicitia, date and location unknown

VH-AEC being re-assembled in Mascot, June, 1941

VH-AEC at Archerfield, possibly soon after it entered service, July 1941

VH-AEC, Inland, Archerfield, 1942

After the crash at Condamine, February 1948

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