Tommy McDonaldPrint Page
Cairn commemorates pioneer aviator Tommy McDonald who died in Cairns in 1978.
Tommy McDonald was a Cairns jeweller and bush pilot, and flew the first airmail between Cooktown and Cairns in 1934. He used the plane to bring his freight to Cairns rather than waiting for slower shipping. He is best remembered for his mercy flights landing his Gypsy Moth and Puss Moth machines at homesteads, mining camps and on beaches where no aircraft had landed before. The plaque states he landed the first plane in Cooktown, but the first aircraft to land in Cook town was piloted by Goble and Mclntyre in the first round Australia flight in 1924. The racecourse was chosen as the site for the memorial because McDonald had been the Amateur Turf Club`s biggest sponsor and had used the race course as an airstrip when he landed on his mercy flights.
|Address:||Endeavour Valley Road, Cooktown Race Course, Cooktown, 4895|
|GPS Coordinates:||Lat: -15.474405|
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
|Actual Monument Dedication Date:||Wednesday 2nd April, 1975|
A TRIBUTE FROM THE PEOPLE OF COOKTOWN
TO THE PIONEER AVIATOR OF NORTH QLD.
THE FIRST AIRCRAFT TO LAND HERE
WAS PILOTED BY TOM IN 1929.
2ND APRIL 1975