Date: 09 Feb 2019
Capacity: 0 (0 remaining)
Time: 06:00 PM
Type: Daywalk

Piper Comanche

Day Walk – Saturday 9 Feb 2019. The threat of showers did not eventuate but underfoot was damp due to some rain during the previous 24 hours. Previous trips to this area were in 2010 and 2011. Most participants car pooled from the Council Bus Station west of The Gap on Waterworks Rd and then proceeded to the starting point via Mt Nebo Road. From the car park at the Lepidozamia Track ten members including the leader set off for this 7km return walk to the plane wreck. The first leg heads east undulating along an old logging road on top of a ridge now somewhat overgrown and blocked by tree falls. We had morning tea on a rise with a big log well placed for the event. We then followed another ridge south for a similar distance before turning east again and going down to the wreck site some 155 metres below. This last leg initially required much care picking our way over slippery rocks. With the passage of time, little remains of the plane except for part of the fuselage including tail and two other pieces. The engines and other items of value were retrieved by salvage agents at the time. At the morning tea spot we met a young couple who were having trouble finding the correct route as it is much narrower and overgrown from this point so we allowed them to tag along with us for which they were very grateful. This is a feature of this walk as quite a few never find the wreck on their first attempt. The Piper Comanche piloted by Paul Pavletich slammed into the mountain in March 1977. There were no other passengers and the pilot was killed on impact. The disaster has been reported as due to navigational difficulties in bad weather and poor visibility. After returning to the ridge top we headed further south to an old Survey Trig Point where we had lunch seated on some rounded rocks. Return to the car park was by retracing our morning route. Track conditions on the ridges have deteriorated over the years with tree falls and encroaching forest while routes down to the wreck are almost trackless. One of our party who lives in the area said that many years ago he had driven his car out on these ridges. We saw an old timber jinker beside the track on the southerly ridge; evidence of timber getting in earlier years in this mix of Wet Rainforest and Wet Sclerophyll Forest. Also seen were numerous ferns, crows nest ferns, fungi, palms, and elkhorns. To create a round road trip home we took the Mt Glorious Rd to Samford where we had a delicious afternoon tea at the Samford Patisserie & Café.