Ghost Plane at Hawker
Mounted Constable L.F. Butcher of Hawker received several enquiries on Friday 26 August 1948 regarding a low flying Tiger Moth biplane that was seen at 8:15am, then disappeared!
Railway workers witnessed the plane flying low near the township when it suddenly disappeared into a hillside. Afraid there had been a crash, they alerted the local authorities.
Enquiries to the Civil Aviation Department found that all planes from as far away as Broken Hill, Whyalla and Albany were checked, and none matched the plane, nor its flight path. M.C. Butcher enquired with locals in the area, and no one had seen, nor heard the aircraft flying in the vicinity of Hawker.
M.C. Butcher stated in the newspapers "It's a complete mystery."
The authorities would not believe a ghost plane could ever fly in our skies, so launched an investigation. It was widely rumoured that either a Tiger Moth or Puss Moth had been seen illegally flying somewhere near Beltana, South Australia. However, Mr A.V. Lauchland, an officer in charge of the Parafield Airport stated that there was no way the unregistered pilot could buy aviation fuel without a current registration. The Civil Aviation Department investigated through the Disposals Commission on the sales of light planes in the state.
238 km's south of
Hawker, at Clare, Meggitt’s Ltd. was using a Tiger Moth to crop dust with DDT, in fields around the Clare region. The same planes were being used in Queensland
and New South Wales for the same purpose.
So perhaps, one of the Tiger Moths had made its way to Hawker as well?
It was never determined inf the Tiger Moth seen at Hawker was a ghost plane or an illegal pilot. However, a similar style of plane was once flown over the skies of Kapunda by my Great uncle. Long after his death, and the plane being sold and removed from the area, a phantom Tiger Moth has been seen silently flying over the township from time to time…
Researched and Written by Allen Tiller © 2022
 '"Ghost" plane in north', News, (27 Aug 1948), p. 1., http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article129908639.
 'Is 'phantom' plane unregistered?', News, (28 Aug 1948), p. 1., http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article129899109.
 'Linseed Dusting in Clare District by Aeroplane', Northern Argus, (18 Nov 1948), p. 7., http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article97816206.