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Day 73: 23 February: Richmond to Cootamundra: (385 km)

The air-minded Premier, William Holman, was carried to his electorate at Cootamundra as a passenger in the Vimy, as had been widely publicised in the press. Take-off was at 10 05 am, and the flight of 240 miles, 380 km took 4 hours 15 minutes. A huge crowd – ‘probably so many thousands of people had never been seen congregated heretofore’ – gathered in the heat and waited for two hours. Instead of coming direct, a roundabout route was followed. Mr Holman explained: They had left Richmond this morning at 10, circled Sydney Harbour, flown down the coast and then inland to Moss Vale, Sutton Forest (over the Governor’s country residence) and Goulburn. They saw the Federal Capital (barely more than a marked-out site) and Burrinjuck Dam and landed at Cootamundra. The Premier was ecstatic. ‘Practically, I have been over the South East corner of the state in an afternoon!’ ‘There is no other transport in the future!’.

The aviators were welcomed with the customary speeches. In his response, Ross paid tribute to the enthusiasm of the Premier, and said that the Richmond airfield had greater potential than any other place in the world

Holman had been a major force in the establishment of the State Flying School at Richmond and one of its machines had also flown to Cootamundra so that Holman could use its aircraft for electioneering. See this newspaper article

Video link: https://www.nfsa.gov.au/collection/curated/ross-smith-flight-london-australia-hearty-cootamundra-welcome

Newspaper articles: cootamundra departure from Sydney.pdf  Cootamundra arrival.pdf