“Bushies”… The fascinating
story of Bush Pilots Airways.

Bush Pilots Airways Pty Ltd started as a private company in 1951 with less than 50 shareholders and operated in Queensland, Australia until 1988. The Foundation Directors were Chairman Jack Bell (Solicitor), Frank Mitchell (Aero Engineer), Stan Collins (Grazier, Spring Creek), Jim Woodhouse (Grazier, Valley of Lagoons), Walter Lawrence (Grazier, Wrotham Park), Bev Anning (Grazier, Cargoon) and Bob Norman (RAAF Pilot and Dry cleaner).

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As the number of shareholders increased, it was converted to a public company called Bush Pilots Airways Limited. In 1977 the name was changed to BPA Australia's Northern Airline. On the 1 December 1981, the name was again changed, this time to Air Queensland. Australian Airlines closed Air Queensland on 30th April 1988.

Sir Robert Norman, the beginnings.

The genesis of the company was 2 January 1951, in dramatic circumstances, when a Tiger Moth bi-plane rescued the dangerously ill wife of an outback cattleman from the couple’s flood-bound property. The mercy flight, which vividly displayed the dependance of country people on the airplane during the wet season, resulted in an agreement to form an airline with better aircraft. The resulting friendship between the pilot of the Tiger Moth Bob Norman and grazier Bev Anning, was instrumental in the company’s formation, and their association culminated in the first commercial charter flight almost six months later, on 23 June 1951.


Bushies. A history of Bush Pilots – Air Queensland.

In 2001 Ron Entsch, General Manager, detailed the history of Bush Pilots Airways in his book titled “Bushies – A history of Bush Pilots – Air Queensland”. This remarkable history is available for everyone to read. Simply click the book cover image to view the book.