A telegram unearthed by the Queensland State Archives has thrown light on a fatal air crash that occurred in Camooweal just after the Second World War.
The State Archives said on their social media that when one of their regular researchers discovered the "urgent telegram" of a plane crash in the main street of Camooweal in 1946, they wanted the full story.
The telegram stamped May 2, 1946 from Cloncurry's "Police Dept" to the police commissioner in Brisbane noted "Percival Gull aircraft UVAEJ Connellans Alice Springs to Camooweal service crashed main street Camooweal about 430pm today. Name unknown killed."
The Archives tracked down a report in the Townsville Bulletin May 2, 1946 "containing a dramatic eyewitness account of the incident."
The Bulletin said pilot Kyle Selllick was killed when his Percival Gull aircraft he was flying on the fortnightly Boorooloola run of Connellan Airways "crashed at Camooweal late this afternoon with no passengers aboard.
"Sellick, who lived in Adelaide, and was engaged to be married, was a Typhoon pilot with the R.A.F., and won the D.F.C. He had an exceptionally good war record," the Bulletin said.
"The manager of Connellan Airways (Mr. E. J. Connellan ) in Alice Springs tonight said the plane left there on its normal fortnightly Boorooloola run early this morning, with Camooweal its destination for tonight."
Mr Connellan said that according to eye witness' stories from his agent at Camooweal, the plane was flying low over the town before landing. While circling low, a wing touched a wire and was ripped off, and the plane crashed into the town. None of the local residents was hurt.
"A Civil Aviation investigating committee will leave Archerfield tomorrow morning. In spite of the long distances flown over rough country in all sorts of weather by single engine aircraft, this is the first accident sustained by ConFix this textnellan Airways for seven years," the article concluded.
There was a postscript in the Adelaide Advertiser, May 30, 1946:
"The air crash at Camooweal Queensland, on May 1 (sic), when Kyle Bowering Sellick, 24, of South Australia, the sole occupant of a Connellan Airways Percival Gull plane was killed, was because the aircraft was flown in a hazardous manner close to the ground, and in direct contravention of regulations of the Department of Civil Aviation. This is the substance of the department's report on the accident, which was released today," the Advertiser said.