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Stefan honours pioneering aviators

Stefan Drury flew into Bourke airport last week to honour the 100th anniversary of the first flight into Bourke. Inset photo: the plaque that celebrates the first flight from London to Australia, landing in Bourke Photo TWH

A young pilot very much part of the technological age arrived in Bourke this week to honour two pilots who a century earlier achieved a feat of aviation that still defies belief.

Stefan Drury, a technology whiz and dedicated aviator, was in Bourke to recreate the journey of pioneering aviators Arthur Murphy and Henry Wrigley in November 1919.

Stefan’s flight is very much 21st Century and he is not alone in wanting to honour the feats of the pioneering aviators who defied the odds to make history.

His trip to Bourke is a reminder that the town played an important role 100 years ago, when Ben and Ross Smith flew from England to Australia, landing in Bourke as they made their way across the country.

Stefan is recreating the flights of Wrigley and Murphy who went ahead to prepare landing strips and routes for the brothers – including a strip in Bourke, now commemorated with a plaque in the grounds of what is now the Bourke Pre-school.

Stefan flew into Bourke in his state of the art 310 horsepower Cirrus SR22 twin engine, four seater aircraft- a far cry from his aviation heroes Wrigley and Murphy who flew across some of the most inhospitable country in the world with little but the suns and stars to guide them.

Read more in the printed edition of the Western Herald.

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