MISSING AIRLINER FOUND
Crashed in Ranges on Border ONLY TWO OF COMPLEMENT ALIVE
Two Pilots and Three Passengers Killed Brisbane, Feb. 28.
Air Lines of Australia's Stinson 'plane, which was lost on Friday week last on a trip from Brisbane to Sydney with seven on board, was found wrecked this afternoon on top of the MacPherson Range, on the Queensland - New South Wales border, with two of its complement alive. They were J. S. Proud, of Sydney, and J. H. Benstead, of Manly, Sydney, who was travelling under the name of "J. J. Barnett." The latter was hot injured, but Proud has a fractured leg.
The wrecked machine was found in rugged country, 3000 ft. to 4000 ft. up by Bernard O'Reilly, of O'Reilly's Guesthouse, National Park, who set out at midday on Saturday in search of the missing 'plane, as the result of reports throughout the district that the 'plane had been seen about 2.30 p.m. on the day it was reported missing, and with the possibility that it might have crashed in the MacPher- son Range. Proud could not be moved, but Benstead was all right, so O'Reilly, leaving them with a small quantity of food which he carried, left them to seek help from Hillyiew, near the township of Lamington, on the range. O'Reilly was induced to investi- gate as a result of the reports of several farmers in the Albert River district, on the Brisbane Sydney air route, who had seen the 'plane fly low over the locality about 2.30 p.m. on the afternoon the Stinson was lost. It was training heavily and the 'plane appeared to be fighting the elements: The machine was also seen in the Darlington district, in the shadow of the MacPherson Range, where it circled the homestead of Gordon Stephens and then headed towards the range. A third passenger had escaped when the 'plane crashed, but he had set out for help and had evidently fallen over a cliff and was found dead a mile from the machine. He was J. K. Westray (25), of Lloyd's, Ltd., London. O'Reilly spent half an hour with the survivors and, after making tea for them, left them with half a loaf of bread. He set out for Hillview to arrange for a relief party, which left at 11.30 p.m. O'Reilly said the 'plane had crashed between two trees in dense scrub. It had caught fire and was a heap of ashes and twisted metal. The two pilots and two passengers had evidently been killed instantly and their bodies were incinerated. Mr. John Percival, who, in a 'plane piloted by Captain P. G. Taylor, searched for the missing 'plane on behalf of the "Sydney Morning Herald," said that the finding of the 'plane and the two survivors could only be described as a 'miracle.' The area in which the 'plane was found was searched thoroughly from the air by one of the Stinson 'planes, which made special flights over the locality from Brisbane. 'Because of the rugged nature of the country,' said Mr. Percival, 'it is easily understood why the searchers could not see the wreckage of the 'plane."