50th Anniversary of the First Trans-Pacific Flight - 1978
Lady Kingsford SmithJoh Bjelke-PetersenKevin Cairns MPAlistair McLean

Over the years, Departmental aircraft were often used for VIP transport. This photo shows just such an occasion on the 50th anniversary of the first trans-Pacific flight by Kingsford Smith, Ulm, Lyons and Warner in the Fokker FVIIb-3m NC1985 (later G-AUSU/VH-USU) Southern Cross. Click here to see a photo of the Southern Cross arriving at Eagle Farm in 1928.

Fifty years later, on 9 June 1978, another Fokker, altogether more modern, transported Mary Tully, Lady Kingsford Smith, to commemorations of her late husband's momentous flight at Brisbane's old Eagle Farm Airport. With Lady Kingsford Smith are, on the right, Premier of Queensland Joh Bjelke-Petersen and, far left, Kevin Cairns, Member of Parliament for the area. The person third from left in the background is thought to be DoT Examiner of Airmen and F28 check pilot Alistair McLean.

The aircraft is one of the Department of Transport's Fokker F.28 airways calibration aircraft. These aircraft were fitted with a small number of passenger seats in the rear compartment. Click here to see the Airways Surveyors at work in the forward compartment.

Click here to see an air mail cover signed by Lady Kingsford Smith flown on the retirement of the Southern Cross in 1935

(Photo: Richard Hitchins)

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