Flying Kilo-Whiskey-Oscar and other tales


Rosemary had a love affair with flying that lasted many years. She hangared her beloved Cessna, VH-KWO on the farm in Wyalkatchem, and she became the driving force behind the local Aero Club.

In 1973, Rosemary entered the American All Women’s Transcontinental Air Race, ‘The Powder Puff Derby’, with her friend and flying partner, Robin Miller. The pair finished in  sixth place. Rosemary was the pilot, and Robin was the navigator.

To be eligible to fly the race, the pilot had to have completed a hundred solo hours, with a minimum of 25 hours cross country. Amelia Earhart was among the 1929 competitors.

Rosemary and Robin particpated in the event to promote and raise funds for the Royal Flying Doctor Service in Australia and were sponsored by the Australian Wool Board, who outfitted them in some smart suits for the event.

The 2,600 mile race from California to New York took three days and was not for the faint hearted. They had engine trouble on the last couple of legs, but managed to make it across the finish line. After the race had finished, they tried to restart the engine to taxi away, but it had died and they had to be towed away.


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