The wreckage of the Peace Loan Aeroplane which crashed in Gympie on September 17, 1919.
The wreckage of the Peace Loan Aeroplane which crashed in Gympie on September 17, 1919. State Library of Qld

The historic Gympie plane landing that went wrong

SEPTEMBER 17, 1919 was a big day for Gympie.

It was the first time a plane had ever landed in town.

It was also our first plane crash.

The wreckage of the Peace Loan Aeroplane which crashed in Gympie on September 17, 1919.
The wreckage of the Peace Loan Aeroplane which crashed in Gympie on September 17, 1919. State Library of Qld

The Peace Loan aeroplane was a bi-plane which left Brisbane late in the morning, stopped for an hour in Nambour before flying into the Gympie Showgrounds at 12.52pm.

The Peace Loan Aeroplane after it landed at Nambour. It crashed while trying to take off from Gympie later that same day on September 17, 1919.
The Peace Loan Aeroplane after it landed at Nambour. It crashed while trying to take off from Gympie later that same day on September 17, 1919. State Library of Qld

It was supposed to continue on to Maryborough, but crashed into a stringy bark tree on take-off.

Fortunately the only thing injured was the pride of the pilot and his passenger, but the plane was destroyed.

A spitfire which landed at Gympie Sunday to commemorate 100 years since the first plane landed in Gympie.
A spitfire which landed at Gympie Sunday to commemorate 100 years since the first plane landed in Gympie. Aviation Lovers Qld

To mark the centenary of this historic event, the landing - not the crash - the Gympie Aero Club hosted a breakfast on Sunday at the Gympie Aerodrome with 10 vintage planes (nine bi-planes and a tri-plane) flying in for the event.

The wreckage of the Peace Loan Aeroplane which crashed in Gympie on September 17, 1919.
The wreckage of the Peace Loan Aeroplane which crashed in Gympie on September 17, 1919. State Library of Qld

GAC president Robert Fraser said the breakfast was a closed event for members and visiting aviators.

A gypsy moth bi-plane which landed at Gympie Sunday to commemorate 100 years since the first plane landed in Gympie.
A gypsy moth bi-plane which landed at Gympie Sunday to commemorate 100 years since the first plane landed in Gympie. Aviation Lovers Qld

"Unfortunately to invite the public to an event like this requires a lot of permits from CASSA and lots of extra safety precautions,” Mr Fraser said.

"We felt it was a huge success with about 150 people in total and we served around 115 breakfasts,” he said.

Happily, history did not repeat itself and all of the vintage planes took off safely after the event.

Several of the historic planes take off after a breakfast at Gympie Sunday to commemorate 100 years since the first plane landed in Gympie.
Several of the historic planes take off after a breakfast at Gympie Sunday to commemorate 100 years since the first plane landed in Gympie. Aviation Lovers Qld