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Tue, Jun 03, 2003

75 Years of Transpacific Flying

Qantas Commemorates Feat

On May 31, 2003, Howard Goldberg (right), vice president of Qantas Airways, and Captain Alex Passerini (second from right), Qantas Airways B737 Captain, and crew welcomed Charles A. Kingsford-Smith (second from left), son of Sir Charles E. Kingsford Smith (who piloted the first transpacific flight 75 years ago), and Charles Ulm (left), grandson of Charles Ulm (who co-piloted the transpacific flight with Kingsford-Smith). [Note: at the time, Ulm reportedly wasn't actually a pilot --ed.] 

Seventy-five years ago, two Australian pilots (Kingsford-Smith, right; and Ulm), assisted by two Americans, Navigator Harry Lyon and Radio Operator James Warner, made the first successful transpacific flight, flying from Oakland, California, to Brisbane, Australia, in three legs, in a Fokker VIIb, Southern Cross.

Both relatives were among many community members, aviation enthusiasts and Qantas executives who gathered to commemorate the anniversary of the first flight across the Pacific Ocean. In commemoration of this distance-breaking event, Qantas celebrated the arrival of its newest Boeing 737-800 at Oakland International Airport's Kaiser Air Terminal. The aircraft departed Oakland and retraced the flight path of the original historic flight to Sydney, Australia, via Hawaii, Fiji and Brisbane on a memorable 75th anniversary voyage, which ended successfully as the trimotor landed on June 9, 1928. 

FMI: www.qantas.com

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