Barbara Trousdell looks over the plane piloted by her husband Ron Trousdell. The prototype was designed and built in Toowoomba and now hangs in the terminal at Wellcamp Airport.
Barbara Trousdell looks over the plane piloted by her husband Ron Trousdell. The prototype was designed and built in Toowoomba and now hangs in the terminal at Wellcamp Airport. Bev Lacey

Pilot's historic path leads wife to Wellcamp Airport

IT WAS like a trip down memory lane.

The wife of Rod Trousdell, who piloted the first civil aircraft designed and engineered in Queensland, followed his path by flying some of the route in a helicopter yesterday.

Barbara Trousdell, 88, also took a trip to Wellcamp Airport to see the Southern Cross plane which her husband flew and now hangs in the terminal.

Mrs Trousdell's daughter, Robyn Kehoe, said her mother was very excited and really appreciated the effort of everyone who helped her relive the memories.

"My parents whole life was about flying and my mother was originally an air hostess, so for her to go out and see the SC1 was fantastic," Ms Kehoe said.

"The aircraft went missing and dad was involved in tracking it down and bringing it back to Toowoomba for restoration.

"It was kept in the Oakey Australian Army Flying Museum and was on display there before coming to Wellcamp.

"The SC1 was close to my father's heart for a long time and equally close to my mother's."

Mrs Trousdell, who lives at Yukana Retirement Village, followed her trip to Wellcamp with a helicopter flight over Toowoomba.

"It was one very exciting morning. My mother can't believe that it happened to her," Ms Kehoe said. "She flew all over Toowoomba, Yukana and the old family home. It was quite a trip down memory lane to see Toowoomba from the air."

The Southern Cross, a four-seater all metal monoplane, was designed by Southern Cross Aviation and built in the Toowoomba Foundry workshops.

The plane was designed to be able to drop food to flood-bound communities.



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