World

Australian pioneer aviator who died in '33 crash in mountains in Tuscany is honored in Italy

Australian ambassador to Italy, Mike Rann, right, lays the Australian flag on the occasion of the unveiling of a memorial dedicated to the Australian aviator Bert Hinkler in Castel San Niccolò near Arezzo, Tuscany, central Italy, Sunday, Aug. 2, 2015. The pilot died in an accident 1933 and for decades it has been unclear where he exactly fell, but thanks to discovery of new photos and the effort of local researchers it was possible to find the crash point on the Pratomagno mountain, in Arezzo province. (AP Photo/Paolo Santalucia)

Australian ambassador to Italy, Mike Rann, right, lays the Australian flag on the occasion of the unveiling of a memorial dedicated to the Australian aviator Bert Hinkler in Castel San Niccolò near Arezzo, Tuscany, central Italy, Sunday, Aug. 2, 2015. The pilot died in an accident 1933 and for decades it has been unclear where he exactly fell, but thanks to discovery of new photos and the effort of local researchers it was possible to find the crash point on the Pratomagno mountain, in Arezzo province. (AP Photo/Paolo Santalucia)  (The Associated Press)

An Australian aviation pioneer has been honored with a memorial stone and a hiking path in the Apennine mountains, where he died in a plane crash in 1933.

A great-nephew of aviator Bert Hinkler, the Australian ambassador to Italy, and a local man in his 90s who recalled how people looked to the sky as the plane crashed were among those attending the ceremony Sunday in the mountains near Arezzo, in Tuscany, Italy.

Ambassador Mike Rann called Hinkler an Australian hero, but stressed the aviator had worldwide fame, too. Rann recalled how Hinkler was the first to fly solo from Britain to Australia and the second person, after Charles Lindbergh, to fly alone across the Atlantic.

An 8.4 kilometer (5-mile) long trekking path was dedicated to Hinkler.