Hundreds attend funeral for pilot Sandra Southwell killed in Tasmania light air crash

Posted on 02/18/2019

Sad Loss: Plane crash survivor, Barry Bransden, receives support at the funeral of his partner Sandra Southwell. Picture: Brodie Weeding. The partner of a respected Tasmanian aviation identity has penned aheartfelt tribute to his “soulmate Sandy” delivered at her funeral on Friday.

Pilot Sandra Southwell, 63, of Sheffield, who was killed in last month’slight aircrash,was farewelled by about 400 mourners at a fitting celebration of her adventure-packedlife in Devonport. Her partner Barry Bransden, 68, survived the crash.

Ms Southwell was attemptingto landher Cessna 182 aircraft on a runway on a property atBoobyalla on January 20 when it crashed. Sadly Ms Southwell died being airlifted tohospital.Mr Bransden attended herfuneral on crutches and asked his brother, Brian, to readtheloving words he wrote.

Mournersat the Mersey Gardens Chapel included members of the aviation communitywho camefrom around the country to be there.

A picture was painted of anaccomplished, loving andgenerous woman who contributed a lot to aviation andgavelife everything. Mr Bransden thankedpeople for comingto help wish “my princess a good flight to her final destination.”

“Sandy and I have had the best time together I doubtmany couples could have fitted the number ofadventures in their lives Sandy and I have,” he said.

“Sandy was one of the most hardworking, honest and loving people on this Earth…she was strong-willed and extremely highly principled. She was a great role model to young women.”

Glowing tributes for pilot killed in Tasmania light air crash Brian Bransden delivers the tribute his brother Barry wrote for his beloved Sandy.

President of the Devonport Aero Club, Terry Travers, speaks at the funeral of aviation identity Sandra Southwell.

TweetFacebook The funeral of pilot Sandra Southwell.Mourners heardaboutthe talented equestrian’s lifelong passionfor horses. She first met Barry at the Trowutta Showground wherehesaid hecould not help but notice “she was a star”.After becominga couple she joined him in his business, Tasmanian Horse Transport, as office managerand within two weeks was driving a truck.

“Together with a lot of hard work, long days and determination we turned itinto one of ’s leading horse transport companies,” hesaid.

Sandra Southwell and Barry Bransden at the Devonport Aero Club.

After 17 years of shipping horses it was time for a change of pace and retirement.

Mr Bransdenrecalled whenhe gave Sandy a diary forChristmas and later she gently suggested she was possibly worth a bit more.

“Out of the blue so to speak, I gave her a birthday present of five flying lessons and I was redeemed,” he said.

Aviation soon became a huge part of her life. Ms Southwell was Tasmanian president of the n Women Pilots’ Association and astrongadvocate for womenin aviation.

Devonport Aero Club president Terry Travers,Cessna 182 Association of president Frank Lewis and n Women Pilots’ Association president Deborah Evans also deliveredtributes.

The Examiner