On this day …….. 6th September 1952

The 12th Prime Minister of Australia Robert Menzies and his family were involved in a near-serious mishap when leaving Fairbairn airport, Canberra, to Melbourne on this day in 1952. The R.A.A.F. Dakota in which they were travelling blew out a tyre just before leaving the ground when travelling at about 90 m.p.h. The plane swerved to one side, ran off the airstrip and pulled up less than 50 yards from the fence at the end of the airstrip. Mr. Menzies commented after the accident: “I’m glad it happened going up and not coming down. I suppose this means I will have to miss seeing Carlton beating Fitzroy this afternoon.” This was the second accident in which Mr. Menzies was involved in approximately 500,000 miles of flying. The other occasion was during the referendum tour in 1951, when the flying boat in which he was to travel from Sydney to Hobart had to turn back twice because of engine trouble. On the third attempt to leave its moorings, a line which had not been released dragged a stanchion from the plane when it was running out to begin taxiing to take off. Carlton lost to Fitzroy by one point. Score was 68/69.