Where’s the Caribou?

Caribou (pic from dept of defence) (Custom).jpgI put in a call last week to Australia’s Department of Defence to find out what the situation is with the Royal Australian Air Force’s de Havilland Canada DHC-4 Caribou tactical transport aircraft.
The air force phased the aircraft out in December but I wanted to find out if there was any chance these aircraft might be sold to commercial cargo operators. Is it a big story ? No, but
I just like this aircraft. It has unique STOL capability, meaning it can land on incredibly short runways and unpaved airstrips.
These aircraft were a popular military transport during the Vietnam War and because of the aircraft’s unique capabilities and ruggedness, some have found their way into commercial freight operations. For example, Indonesian carrier Trigana Air Service operates a Caribou in West Papua.
Anyway, here’s the response I got from the department of defence’s spokesman.
Dear Leithen,
Response to your query is as follows.  Could you please attribute any quotes to ‘a Defence spokesperson’:

Questions and Responses:

1. What has happened to the various Caribous?

Response – One has been transferred to the Royal Australian Air Force Museum at Point Cook in Victoria, while another has been transferred for use by the Australian War Memorial, both as static displays.


Two more have been transferred within Defence for use as static displays (Amberley and Townsville).  The remaining aircraft and associated equipment are being readied for sale.


Defence expects that up to two Caribou aircraft will be tendered with the intention that they be retained in Australia in flying condition as items of military heritage.  Up to a further seven will be tendered for sale as going concerns or as exhibits for display.

Kind regards,

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One Response to Where’s the Caribou?

  1. Gary Glover 22 March, 2010 at 4:46 pm #

    Have very fond memories of flying in a Caribou as an AIr Training Cadet at RAAF Richmond in 1977 – their STOL abilities were awesome but they seemed like old aircraft then – even older than the F111 which could only manage STOL on a carrier.

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