It must have been around 3:30 this morning I was lying in bed thinking about this flight and my blog and I started to wonder what if!
During the run up phase the motors of the aircraft were each powered up separately to around 1500 RPM. This is to check the magnetos and to make sure that each engine is working properly for take off, Flt 216 was doing it’s run up just off the northern end of the North/South runway.
What if the prop had failed then, during the run up? Had it have fallen at this stage it must surely have caused a massive explosion. The blade on hitting the tarmac would undoubtedly has bounced up, pierced the wing and ruptured the tanks and the high octane avgas would have blown the aircraft to smithereens in seconds.
The drama that unfolded in the skies above Melbourne and Port Phillip Bay over the next two hours, relatively speaking would have been nothing to the drama had the prop gone during run up.The following pictures are published with the kind consent & courtesy of Mr. Robt.N. Smith of AussieAirlines.org; Mr Smith (no relation) has published several illustrated books on the Aviation History in Australia. http://www.aussieairliners.org/books/booksales.html