Monday, October 19, 2009


There's a story in our family about the exploits of my Great Aunt Helen (My Grandfather's Sister in Law) and as my parents have been visiting for the last two weeks it came up in conversation one night.

The story was this: Helen and Bill were flying out of Sydney Australia by flying boat, when one of the planes floats fell off. The captain, wanting to avoid a disaster asked for volunteers to climb out inside the opposite wing in order to counter balance the aircraft. The first people out into the wing were the co-pilot, Helen and Bill at which point an argument ensued. It would appear that volunteers were expected to be men only and Helen was politely asked to return to the cabin with the other ladies, Helen refused in her own particular way and stayed put much to the consternation of the flight crew.
Well they made it back safely, went on their trip to Hobart and, upon their return to Sydney, Helen to her great embarrasement, was met with a ceremony where the Captain of the stricken flying boat presented her with the aircraft's log book.

Given that this was all we knew, which in itself may have been embellished over time and countless tellings, I decided to do a quick search on google and typed in "helen smith flying boat sydney".
You can imagine our surprise when at the top of the results was this article from the Melborne news paper "The Age" dated March 8th 1955.

The internet is a wonderous invention and hats off to the guys and girls at Google for allowing us all to make the most of it.

1 comment:

Nachos Recipes said...

Very thoughtful bllog