Les Holden, Australian aviator
The Civil Aviation Branch of the Department of Defence was formed in 1920 to regulate civil aviation in Australia. It was responsible for licensing of pilots, registration of aircraft and the surveying of landing fields and air routes. To carry out this work the branch used a number of aircraft.
After some scenes of Civil Aviation Branch aircraft at Point Cook this film documents a flight made by Australian aviator Les Holden in (most likely) September 1928 while undertaking survey work in Western Australia.
Interestingly, the film shows the crew using a carrier pigeon to communicate, as well as carrying out maintenance or repairs on the aircraft G-AUAY, a de Havilland DH 50A. A newspaper report published in the Adelaide Advertiser on 22 September 1928 shows this aircraft near Cook, South Australia upside down after being blown over while returning to Point Cook from Western Australia.
Les Holden hit headlines in April 1929 when he found the missing Charles Kingsford Smith and Charles Ulm who had disappeared in Western Australia attempting a record-breaking flight from Sydney to London.
The de Havilland DH 50A–G-AUAY ended up in Wau, New Guinea where it was destroyed by Japanese aircraft in December 1941.