1937 Airlines of Australia Stinson crash

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Stinson Model A City of Brisbane crash
Stinson A NC15155 (7001128611).jpg
A Stinson Model A, similar to the accident aircraft
Date19 February 1937
SummaryControlled flight into terrain
SiteLamington National Park
28°18′33″S 153°07′04″E / 28.309156°S 153.117789°E / -28.309156; 153.117789Coordinates: 28°18′33″S 153°07′04″E / 28.309156°S 153.117789°E / -28.309156; 153.117789
Aircraft typeStinson Model A
Aircraft nameCity of Brisbane
OperatorAirlines of Australia
Flight originArcherfield Airport, Brisbane
StopoverLismore Airport, Lismore
DestinationSydney Airport, Sydney
Crew2 (pilots)
Fatalities5; both pilots and 2 passengers died in crash (one survivor died later while searching for help)
Survivors3; passengers who survived crash, 1 died later while searching for help

The 1937 Airlines of Australia Stinson crash was an accident which occurred on 19 February 1937. The Airlines of Australia Stinson Model A airliner disappeared during a flight from Brisbane to Sydney, carrying five passengers and two pilots. Both pilots and two passengers were killed in the crash. One of the surviving passengers died while attempting to bring help to the other survivors.

The wreckage was found by Bernard O'Reilly of the Lamington Guest House who went looking for the aircraft believing it had failed to cross the border. The aircraft had crashed in the McPherson Range on the border between Queensland and New South Wales.[1][2][3]

Crash and discovery[edit]

Bronze statue at O'Reilly's Rainforest Retreat depicting the rescue

The aircraft was heard by people in Lamington and Hill View at approximately 2pm on 19 February. It was circling at low altitude and then headed towards the mountain range. There was heavy rain in the area at the time. After the aircraft was discovered to be missing, O’Reilly believed that it hadn’t had enough height to clear the mountains and must have crashed somewhere in the McPherson range. He hiked into the mountains to look for it on Saturday 28 February. After camping overnight, O’Reilly found the wreckage on Sunday 1 March. Two survivors were waiting by the wreckage; Joseph Binstead who was uninjured and John Proud who had a broken leg. On seeing O’Reilly they asked to shake his hand and then asked what the cricket scores were. They had been able to get water from a creek about a mile from the crash site but had had no food. J. G. Westray, aged 25, from London, received only minor injuries in the crash but died later when he fell over a waterfall while going to find help. The other two passengers and the two pilots died from injuries as a result of the crash.[1][2]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Rescuer's Graphic Story of Finding of Stinson 'Plane". The Barrier Miner. 1 March 1937. Retrieved 12 December 2014.
  2. ^ a b "Stinson plane crash inquest". Queensland State Archives. Retrieved 12 December 2014.
  3. ^ Job 1991