Mr George Patrick Fairbairn



   b. 1 Sep 1908, Skipton, Victoria, Australia

He made an attempt in 1931 to set a record for the flight to Australia: 

"AIRMAN’S AMBITION. To Break Flight to Australia Record.

The Australian airman Mr. G. P. Fairbairn, who arrived at Lyons aerodrome yesterday evening in his light aeroplane, has had to postpone his departure this morning owing to unfavourable weather. As soon conditions improve, he will take off for Italy.

Mr Fairbairn made a short stop at Le Bourget yesterday before going on to Lyons. Mr. G. P. Fairbairn. who is a Cambridge graduate and the nephew of Mr. “Steve” Fairbairn, the famous rowing coach, learned to fly at the University. Last autumn, with a Cambridge friend named Shenstone, he left on a flight to Kenya, which had to be abandoned owing to mishaps in Italy and Egypt.

Mr. Fairbairn’s route on this occasion will be via Marseilles, Catania, Tunis, Benghazi, Cairo, Bagdad, Task, Karachi, Calcutta, Rangoon, Victoria Point, Singapore, and Batavia to Port Darwin." - Hartlepool Northern Daily Mail - Friday 20 February


However, it eventually took him nearly two months to get there:

"AUSTRALIAN FLIGHT Mr. Fairbairn Reaches Port Darwin PORT DARWIN.

. Mr. G. P. Fairbairn. the Australian airman who set out from Hanworth aerodrome, England. February 19 to beat Wing Commander Kingsford-Smith’s record under ten days for a light aeroplane flight between England and Australia, arrived here at. 3.27 this afternoon. The record is held by Mr. C. W, A. Scott, who overtook Mr. Fairbairn and completed the flight in 9 days, 4 hours. 11 minutes." - Portsmouth Evening News - Saturday 18 April 1931

'Flight' obviously lost interest:

"G. P. Fairbairn on a Spartan "Arrow" ("Gipsy II”). Left Hanworth February 19. Reached Nice February 20. Flight abandoned." Flight, October 30 1934


m. 1933 Mary Robertson [Murray] 1 daughter b. 1934


d. 26 May 1935

"PLANE NOSE DIVES INTO ROAD - Cambridge Pilot and Wife Killed


G. P. Fairbairn, former Cambridge man, and his wife, formerly Miss Mary Murray, Melbourne, were killed to-day when their ’plane crashed on a road near Essendon Aerodrome. The machine was the same as that in which Mr. Fairbairn flew from England to Australia in 1931 in company with Mr. K. Shenstone[sic].

Mrs. Fairbairn was in the pilot’s seat at the time of the tragedy. Apparently the engine stalled and the ’plane went into a spin, nose diving to the road. A motor-lorry passing at the time was grazed by one of the wings.

Mr. Fairbairn was one of the first Cambridge undergraduates to own his own ’plane and was a keen member of the University Squadron. While they were at the University together in 1930, Mr. Fairbairn and Mr. Kenneth Shenstone set out to fly to Kenya and back, but they crashed in landing at Heliopolis on the outward journey, and they abandoned the flight.

In the spring of 1931 they [sic] attempted to break Sir Charles Kingsford-Smith’s record of under ten days for a flight from England to Australia. They [sic] completed the journey, but took 57 days, and were overtaken on the way by Mr. C. W. A. Scott, who set up a record of 9 days 3 hours [sic]." - Belfast News-Letter - Monday 27 May 1935


 Obviously there are conflicting reports as to whether George was accompanied on his Australia flight by Kenneth Shenstone!


 see also Obituary - George Patrick Fairbairn - Obituaries Australia (



Melbourne, Sept. 23, 1935.

Estate valued at more than £91,639 was left by the late George Patrick Fairbairn, grazier, of Wooloomanta station, Lara, who, with his wife, was killed in an aeroplane crash earlier in the year. The late Mr. Fairbairn bequeathed Wooloomanta to the first of his sons who should attain the age of 25 years, but, as he had no son, the station is left to his nephew, George Michael Wheatley. The residue of the estate was left to his wife, but, as she was killed at the same time as her husband, it is now left to Fairbairn's infant daughter, Mary Frances Fairbairn, aged 21 months."


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