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Day 62: 12 February 1920: Charleville to Bourke: (420 km)

The crew was joined by Captain Frank Hurley, famed Antarctic explorer, a good friend of the Smiths. He was an excellent photographer and took many of the best pictures taken on the trip, including some movie film.

The 14.000 Miles timetable is contradicted by the newspaper reports. First there was a trial flight. According to newspaper reports, The machine reached a height of over 4,000 feet in the trial. With Sir Ross were Sergeant Shiers, the mechanic, the Minister for Lands (Mr Coyne), Mr F J Arnold, representing the agents for Vickers Ltd, and [a Herald reporter]. They wore Antarctic-like headgear.

The passengers stated that they greatly enjoyed the experience except during the descent, when they felt a trifle bilious. It was a beautiful, sunny, breezy morning, with scarcely a cloud visible in an azure sky.

There was a large crowd including the Mayor, Alderman Carter, and Brigadier-General Irving (State Military Commandant), who was attended by Major Glover, DSO. Many people had travelled long distances to attend.

The take-off was near the Glengarry Hotel; the aircraft ran along the ground for about 500 yards, straight towards the hotel, on the north-western edge of the plain.

At about 11 10 am the airmen left for Bourke, making a circuit over the airfield, then heading south, following the Warrego River. The Brisbane dignitaries caught the 3 15 train, arriving home in the evening of the following day.

Frank Hurley’s picture of Bourke.

The Vimy reached Bourke, 260 miles (380 km) away, at 3 24. They were welcomed by a large crowd including people from Brewarrina and stations 100 miles out. The Mayor welcomed the aviators to New South Wales.

Ross stated that he and his crew had a rough trip from Charleville, and that the journey occupied four hours.

There is very little material about Bourke and Narromine except this article