GAAR  2017









Eighty years past on 19 February 1937 an Airlines of Australia Trimotor Stinson "Model A", VH-UHH departed Archerfield Airport, Brisbane, for the daily mail/passenger flight to Lismore then onto Sydney.

  There was no ground to air radio communication in Australia at that time.

  Unbeknown to the pilots, they were heading directly into a fast-developing severe storm front with cyclonic winds and down draughts that the Stinson could not out climb.

  The Stinson struck a mountain side in the McPherson Ranges, Lamington National Park, south of Brisbane, then plummeted into the dense forest below, bursting into flames.

 A five-day search was carried out to no avail closer to Sydney, unfortunately proving to be the wrong area due to false reports from people claiming to have heard or sighted the plane.

When the official search was called off, a bushman and owner of O'Rieleys Guest House (then in its infancy) situated in Lamington National Park near the McPherson Ranges, a Mr Bernard O'Rieley believed the Stinson may have come down in the local area as on the day of the crash he had not heard or seen the Stinson fly over as it did every day.

Bernard O'Rieley set out on horseback then on foot to the high advantage points of the ranges to look for any signs that may depict a crashed aircraft.  On one observation, he noticed in the distance a single burnt tree amongst all of the greenery. His thoughts were that the tree had been struck by lightning but decided to investigate. After trekking across the valley for most of the day and finally arriving at the tree, there he found the wreckage and two very weak survivors.

After leaving a few supplies with the two men, O'Rieley then headed in darkness to the nearest civilisation to organise the rescue, which in itself was a mammoth task cutting tracks through the dense bushland. O'Rieley went 48 hours without sleep leading the rescue party back to the survivors and their return to civilisation and medical care.

This event became part of Australian Folklore and today O'Rieleys Guest House is a popular tourist venue hosting a full-scale replica of VH-UHH at the front entry.

Captain Rex Boyden--------------Killed in crash

Co-pilot Beverley Sheperd-------Killed in crash

Passenger R. Graham-------------Killed in crash

Passenger W. Fountain-----------Killed in crash

Passenger J.K.Westray-----------Survived crash but fell from a cliff and died while attempting to go for help.

Passenger J. Binstead-----------Survived and rescued

Passenger J. Proud--------------Survived and rescued


For those interested there is a full length movie that can be watched on "You-TUBE" named "Riddle of the Stinson.



  DATE / TIME----------------FEBRUARY 19 @ 1300 hrs Local

  DEPARTURE RUNWAY-----------10L---4826 FT---PAVED---ELV 40FT

  WEATHER--------------------GRAY AND RAINY

  WIND-----------------------180 DEGREES @ 30 KNTS

  NAVAIDS--------------------AS PER LEG 1 ARRIVAL


  After departure track direct to LISMORE AIRPORT---159 DEREES---77 NM




  ARRIVAL RUNWAY-------------15---5403 FT---PAVED---ELV 35FT