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30 March 2015

Jervis Bay has a part to play

Kingsford Smith, from New Zealand to Australia.

cks_L96364_350 Commander Kingsford Smith while conducting one of his historic trans Tasman flights sought the help from the Department of Civil Aviation through ministerial sanction asking that lighting arrangements on the coast of New South Whales should be made at Newcastle, Sydney and Wollongong or Bulli.

Tentative arrangements were made for the military searchlights at Newcastle, Middle Head and the naval searchlights at Jervis Bay to be displayed from sunset until such time as the ‘OK’ was given that the fliers had landed at Richmond aerodrome.

It was decided that if the Southern Cross came into either of the three zones, Newcastle would send a succession of ‘N’s” from the shutter attached to the searchlight. Middle Head searchlight a succession of “S’s” by the same means and that Jervis Bay would switch over from a big search light to a 10in projector,  which was also fitted with a shutter signal a succession of “J’s”  If the pilot on picking up the coast,  saw any of these three lights,  discernable for a distance of 40 miles,  the watchers on the ground,  having heard him within their zones,  would send those signals,  and Flight-Commander Kingsford Smith would immediately know whether he had to turn north or south.


Kingsford Smith’s plane the Southern Cross, surrounded by onlookers sits on Seven Mile Beach Gerringong,  before one of his historic Trans Tasman Flights.

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