SEARCHING FOR THE PIPER COMANCHE PLANE WRECK
The hike to the Piper Comanche is a hike I have had on my to-do list since last year. Although it is short, it is quite technical. Due to its popularity, there is a quite a well-marked trail now which makes it much easier. The trail weaves through dense rainforest before heading down a steep section of Piccabeen forest layered with a bed of mossy rocks. According to my Garmin 66i GPS, the site of the plane crash was at an altitude of 520m, approx. 130m drop (in altitude) from the top of the mountain ridge.
The plane, which was flown by Paul Pavletich, crashed on 2nd March 1977 after striking a tree before crashing into the rainforest. According to reports, the cause of the accident was the pilot’s decision to fly at a low altitude in poor lighting and weather conditions.
On this hike I was joined by my brother. This hike is known for its big snakes and leeches…and it didn’t disappoint. It’s funny how when you’re out hiking (especially when solo), you constantly scan for snakes in front of you, but sometimes they are so still/camouflage/unexpected you still manage to miss them.
My foot landed within 30cm of this snake’s head when we were about to start the descent down to the site of the plan wreck. Although it is not venomous, it has a lot of teeth and is not something I would want to have to pull of my leg.
This hike would be great to do after rain as the landscape consists of dense subtropical rainforest and patches of eucalypt woodlands. The nature walk also offers partial views of the Brisbane’s Moreton Bay region from the earlier sections of the trail. After the first stint we hiked up to the Lepidozamia bush camp for lunch. The total trip time was 4 hours 20mins and we covered 13km in this time.
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