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25 'PLANES SEEK IN VAIN FOR MISSING STEVSON

HOPES MEN WILL BE FOUND ALIVE PRACTICALLY ABANDONED From Our Special Representatives SYDNEY. Sundav.

HOPES that the two pilots and five passengers of the missing Stinson airliner will be found alive have been practically abandoned. A concentrated search by air and land throughout the week-end has failed to reveal any trace of the 'plane.

it is reared mat a suaaen catasiropne overtooic tne aero plane within 15 minutes of its destination — the Kingsford Smith aerodrome at Mascot, to which it was flying on its normal air mail run from Brisbane. . The discovery of a large patch of oil in the Hawkesbury River; 10 miles from Bobbin Head, was reported to-night by a launch proprietor. He said it was approximately 100 square yards in extent. The spot is fairly popular with motor craft, but he did not think such a large qiiantity oJE oil could have come from any such craft.

Those in charge of the search are now satisfied that the 'plane passed Newcastle and reached as far south as Box Head, the northern headland of Broken Bay. It was not seen to pass Barrenjoey, the southern head land of Broken Bay. The machine is thought either to have -gone down in the sea off the coast, or in the waters of Broken Bay, or to have crashed into one of the deep and densely wooded gorges around Broken Bay. In the latter case it is feared that the occupants have either been killed or too seri ously injured to make their way to habitation. 25 'Planes Search Twenty-five_ 'planes searched to-day, and 23 of these concentrated on the area south of Newcastle. Large parties of police and civilians conducted ground searches in the area south of Broken Bay, between Cowan Creek, and Pittwater. Another police party investigated a report that 'coo-ees' had been heard in a deep gorge in Kuringai Chase on Saturday afternoon. A surf boat investigated a report that a dark object had been seen be yond the surf at Palm Beach. Police were stationed at the headlands to look for wreckage in the surf. . An intensive search was carried out by four Royal Australian Air Force 'planes during the week-end. The 'planes covered an area extending from Newcastle to Port Macquarle to a depth of about 12 miles, and from Sydney to Newcastle to a depth of 30 miles from the coast. A total dis tance of 6675 miles was' flown by the searching airmen, who were 51 hours in the a!r and flew over the sea f o*r a great distance. :

Air Force Assists The pilots proceeded to Brouehton Island, nine miles north-east of Port Stephens, where a thorough investisa tion from the air was made. Direct!1/ it was realised that the Stinson 'plane was missing, and that the outlook appeared grave, the Air Force autnori tles communicated with the Richmond aerodrome and instructed that a thorough search should be undertaken. Squadron-Leader Waters immedi ately held a conference with leading Air Force officers, and throughout the week-end he concentrated his energies on an intensive search. Air Board maps of the whole of the region extending from Sydney to the Northern Rivers on the one hand, and from the coast line to Bathurst on the other, were consulted, and definite areas of search were mapped out for investisation. - Fire In Ranges The search on Saturday was carried out by Flight-Lieutenanc W. L. Hely, who was once lost in Central Aus tralia, Flight-Lieutenant W. G. Com pagnoni deader of the flight), Pilot Ofncer C. T. Hannah, and Flying Officer J. H. Burgess. Observers and two wireless operators were in the search party, and the machines utilised Were three Demons and a Rapide. At 5.45 this morning the three Demons took the air again, followed five minutes later by the Rapide. A search was made up the coast as far as Port Macquarie and the 'planes returned to the aerodrome at the lunch hour. The officers then checked up on some of the. rough country round about the mouth of the Hawkesbury. and during the afternoon thoroughly searched two areas comprised in a radius extending

The area over which an intensive two days' in air search has been carried cut.

The area over which an intensive two days' in air search has been carried cut.

from Payne's Crossing to Cessnock, to Morriset and to Bucketty. The flying conditions were strenuous and at least two of the party suffered from air sickness At one stage of the flight one of the R.A.A.F. 'planes diverted to in vestigate a fire in the ranges, which on investigation was found to be a 6ush fire. The search will be continued to morrow farther westward and south ward, though it is probable that a search of the coast also will be made. Many conflicting reports have been received by those in charge of the search, from points widely separated. Many of them come from places be tween Brisbane and Newcastle, and are now regarded as Immaterial. It seems* certain that the 'plane was seen flying over Terrigai. From Box Head the machine seems to have disappeared, although a re port was received to-day that ic had been seen flying over Clareville, be tween Palm Beach and Newport. The hour stated, however, was so late, that the report was not taken seriously. On its flight from Brisbane to Syd ney to-day the Stinson airliner, piloted by Captain Kerr, made a search over the whole of the regular route. Jean Batten Helps Throughout the day many 'planes took off from Mascot, searched to the limit of their range, and. returned only to refuel before taking off again. Miss Jean Batten, in her Perclval Gull machine, was out in the morning, and again all the afternoon, when she flew as far north as Newcastle. Her 'plane was the last to land, almost at dusk. Mr. Claude Smyth, Mascot manager of Airlines of Australia, directed the search from the aerodrome, in co operation with Mr. T. E. Johnson, of the Civil Aviation Department. What Pilot Said Mr. A. Munro, chief engineer in Brisbane for Airlines of Australia, said to-day that Pilot Boyden had stated before leaving Archerfield Aerodrome that he had encountered rough weather on the morning journey. He had added that he would not leave the safe coastal route to pick up three passengers at Lismore unless the weather was good. ' ? The fact that the machine was seen passing over Currumbin proved that he had chosen the coastal route.

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