LOSS OF AMANA LONG TRAIL ENDS AT WRECKAGE IN BUSH One of the biggest problems connected with the plane crash was the difficulty of finding exactly where the Skymaster was down.
When ambulance vans from the Perth and Midland Junc tion St. John depots set out their directions were: "A Sky master is down somewhere be tween the Chidlows turn-off and York on the main road to York." It is some of the most in hospitable and isolated country along the road and looking for an aircraft missing somewhere along a strip of road about 20 miles long was a hopeless task. Escorted by traffic police from Perth, the vans raced right through to York, only to find on arrival there that they had overshot their mark by about 14 miles. Two Press cars which left Perth shortly after the ambu lances met them running back towards Perth in a high-speed convoy. At the York police station they had picked up a guide. When they met the vans and motor cycles the Press cars joined in the chase. Convoy Leaves Good Road The few miles back to the turn-off was the last of good road running. From the main road the convoy wound its way over a typical bush track, rough in places, sandy in others and greasy in still others. Slip ping, sliding, but always main taining a good speed, the con voy at last stopped across a creek. To complicate matters ambu lance vans and police cars were showing signs of petrol short age. Because no guide had been posted at the turn-off many extra miles had been run by all vehicles and, with the possibility of an unknown num ber of miles still ahead, concern was felt that the task might not be completed. One representative of "The West Australian" raced back to
the turn-off, left a guide there and made a quick 14-mile trip to the nearest telephone to arrange for drums of petrol to be sent up from Perth. Journey On Foot Hastily seizing first-aid boxes -thought by most to be little more than a formality because from the nature of the country it seemed impossible that any one could escape a crash-a party consisting of three ambu lance drivers, two policemen, two representatives of "The West Australian" and a local resident plunged into the water- soaked undergrowth in search of the airliner. In the darkness-dimly lit when the moon broke through clouds-the country seemed al most impenetrable. Fifty yards from the start one man tripped and fell over a boulder, a few hundred yards farther on a steep gully brought another down. Unmistakable Beacon Then a figure loomed out of the darkness. "Where is she?" the searchers asked of Con stable C. Bake, of York, who had managed to get a utility truck about a mile along a track which residents said was used over 100 years ago by the Burges family as a direct route from Perth to their farm. "One man's alive; come on," was the answer. His words were a spur to the searchers and, half-running and at times stumbling, they covered the last two miles in quick time. For the last half-mile no guide was nec essary; ahead the glow of flames acted as an unmistakable beacon.