VH-SMK (1)   Lockheed L414-08 Hudson IVA                     (c/n  6043)


                                      Formerly A16-114, VH-SMK was the first* of the of the John Fairfax & Son machines acquired
                                      in 1948 to deliver Sydney Morning Herald newspapers to country towns in NSW. The above shot
                                      is from the Ron Cuskelly collection, while the image below from the John Laming collection shows
                                      a young John (aged 17) under the wing at Camden NSW in 1949    John went on to a long RAAF
                                      career and later as an airline pilot.     VH-SMK crashed on take-off at Camden in January 1950,
                                      possibly due, the accident report stated, to inadequate restraining of the (over-weight) load resulting
                                      in loss of control, of the aircraft it stalled in from approximately 150 feet).   The remains are seen in
                                      the photo at the foot of the page.

                                      * Technically VH-SMJ was the first, but this aircraft crashed and burned on Balmoral Station, south
                                      of Muswellbrook, NSW in October 1947 while on a trial newspaper dropping flight before it could
                                      be officially registered.