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Milestone anniversary for Australian aviation history

This weekend marks the 90th anniversary of one of the greatest pioneering journeys in aviation history. 

In May 1928, the first flight between America and Australia was attempted by pilot Charles Kingsford Smith.

Kingsford Smith and his crew completed the 11,585km journey in 83 hours and 50 minutes stopping to refuel and rest in Hawaii and Fiji.

Upon landing in Brisbane on June 9, the adventurous pilot had one thing on his mind.

“My kingdom for a smoke.”

Maureen Menzies was three-years-old when she went to Brisbane Airport with her dad and sister to watch the plane land.

Maureen tells Alan Jones she can still remember it to this day.

“I saw a lot of men wearing overcoats and big hats, and we waited for the plane to land.

“We raced along. It was a most exciting event.”

The now 93-year-old says she reminisces about the event often and will be celebrating the milestone anniversary tomorrow.

Full chat with Maureen can be heard below

Image: National Archives of Australia

There will be a special flight over Brisbane on Saturday to pay homage to legendary Australian aviator.

Brisbane and Gold Coast residents may get a glimpse of Alliance’s specially designed “Smithy” Fokker 100 aircraft VH-FGB as it departs from Brisbane Airport’s Domestic terminal from 09.30am and circles South East Queensland to land back in Brisbane at precisely 10.50am, the same time ‘Smithy’ did exactly 90 years ago.

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