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c/n 142
VR-RBU at Benta - WMAC, Malaya.
Photo: Ken Mattocks © c.1952-55 - 656 Association
VR-RBU at Kuala Lumpor, Malaya.
Photo: David Mitchell © NA3T
VR-RBU hiding in the background.
Photo: Peter Keating © 1950's - Ken Tilley Collection

c/n 142



VR-RBU Government of Malaya. Delivered 10-Sep-1951. • "Raja Udang"

VR-RBU Federation Air Service, Kuala Lumpur, Malaya. Circa. Mar-1952.

VR-RBU Malayan Airways, Kallang, Kuala Lumpur, Malaya. Takeover of Federation on 01 Mar-1958.

(9M-ALU) Malayan Airways, Kuala Lumpur, Malaya. NTU.

Incident 11-Jun-1958 Kuala Lumpur / Sungai Besi - WMKF: Aircraft was scheduled to take up 9M-ALU in Jan-1959 on change of national registration code. However it was destroyed by fire and written off at Kuala Lumpur before it wore the marks.

Destroyed by fire


Hello Neil,
Being a former resident of Malaysia, I am always interested in the aeronautical history of that country.
I have very vivid memory's of the old Federation Air Services DH Beavers and was lucky enough to fly in several of them.

Through your excellent web page, I have been able to track the fate of 4 of the 5 Beavers that they used and I am pleased to see that all 4 are still "alive" and well.
But the fate of the 5th, C/N 142 has always eluded me. It just seemed to vanish off the face of the earth. There was no record of it ever being involved in an accident, which is what I assumed had happened.

Then a recent chance conversation with a retired Qantas Ground Engineer, who was the Station Engineer in Malaya for both Qantas and BOAC during the time that FAS were in operation, gave me the answer, which I think you will be interested in.

The ex Qantas man said that at the time, Qantas were operating the Lockheed Super Constellation and BOAC the Bristol Britannia to Malaya and Singapore.
He also assisted FAS engineers when required.

Anyway, he told me that FAS had a hangar at the old Kuala Lumpur airport at Sungai Besi (Sung ee - Bee see) which they shared with Qantas/BOAC. The airport Fire Brigade were on the other side.

One night, C/N 142 was parked outside the FAS hangar as it was scheduled for an early morning departure the next morning.
However during the night it caught fire and was totally destroyed in the ensuing blaze.

The conclusion was that someone was stealing Avgas from the Beaver by draining it from the tanks into container.
The thief had lit a match to see how much fuel he had been able to get into the container and set the lot alight!

C/N 142's airframe was declared a total write off.
Unfortunately he cannot recollect the exact date of the incident, except that it was sometime between mid 1958 and mid 1959.

Kind Regards

David Wood
(Geelong, Victoria, Australia)