By Dean Watson
On the 7th September 1981, Chinook A15-008 crewed by FltLt Tib Kovaks and PltOff Dean Watson lifted a Brisbane tram off a flatbed trailer and released it just offshore from Tangalooma in Moreton Bay.
It was to join some 25 other vessels there and become part of the Curtain artificial reef that was a project of the Underwater Research Group of Queensland.
The tram was stripped of its motors and fittings, and even had several parts cut off to reduce its weight for the Chinook only carrying a minimum fuel load to be able to lift it using maximum power. An earlier attempt using maximum torque barely eased the suspension of the flatbed let alone lifted the tram, so it was obviously far in excess of the originally calculated weight.
The chase Chinook was flown by FltLt Lawry Playle (RAF exchange officer) and FlgOff Joe Lynch