ASN logo
ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 217949
Last updated: 12 October 2019
This information is added by users of ASN. Neither ASN nor the Flight Safety Foundation are responsible for the completeness or correctness of this information. If you feel this information is incomplete or incorrect, you can submit corrected information.

Date:17-FEB-1912
Time:11:10 LT
Type:Martin-Handasyde No. 3 Monoplane
Owner/operator:Douglas Graham Gilmour
Registration: Unregistered
C/n / msn: 1
Fatalities:Fatalities: 1 / Occupants: 1
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:Old Deer Park, Richmond Park, Richmond, Surrey -   United Kingdom
Phase: En route
Nature:Test
Departure airport:Brooklands Aerodrome, Brooklands, Weybridge, Surrey
Destination airport:
Narrative:
The Martin-Handasyde No.3 bore a strong resemblance to the Antoinette monoplanes, with a slender wood-covered triangular section fuselage, and tapered wings which were braced by mid-span kingposts. Lateral control was by wing-warping and the angle of incidence of the wings varied from 5 at the wing root to zero at the tip. The undercarriage consisted of a pair of wheels on a cross-axle supplemented by a forward-projecting curved skid. It was initially powered by a 60 hp (45 kW) Antoinette V-8 engine. This was later changed for a 40 hp (30 kW) J.A.P.

It was first flown at Brooklands by H.P. Martin during November 1910, and was flown throughout 1912 by Douglas Graham Gilmour, who was eventually killed in the aircraft when it suffered a mid-air structural failure over Richmond Park on 17 February 1912

Gilmour had set off from Brooklands at about 11 a.m. to make a trial cross-country flight in a Martin Handasyde monoplane. While flying over the Old Deer Park in Richmond at about 400 feet (120 metres) the aircraft suffered a structural failure and crashed, killing Gilmour instantly. Eyewitnesses reported that the left wing of the aircraft had folded in mid-air, although an examination of the wreckage revealed that all the bracing wires were intact. The accident was possibly due to Gilmour encountering an air pocket: other aviators had encountered such conditions that day.

An inquest into the death was held at Richmond on 20 February 1912, the coroner and jury first inspected the wreck in the Old Deer Park and had the assistance of the manufacturer Martin & Handyside, an aeronautical engineer and Tom Sopwith who had flown the aircraft previously. Witnesses talked about the state of health of Gilmour and the condition of the machine, a letter from Gilmour with his wishes for funeral was presented to the inquiry.

The coroner said the inquiry had to decide if it was a pure accident or a "weak spot" in the aircraft, the jury after consideration returned a verdict of accidental death, they thought that something had happened to the aircraft but they did not have enough evidence to show what.

His funeral at Mickleham near Dorking, Surrey featured a motor lorry driven by the aviator James Radley instead of a hearse, the flat bed draped in purple cloth: the grave was lined with pink azaleas, coloured flowers only were requested and no bells were tolled. The letter Gilmour had left outlining his wishes for his funeral ended "I want every one to be merry and bright, for I don't believe in moaning". He was buried at St. Michael's Churchyard, Mickleham with his parents David (18421907) and Margaret (18491910).

Sources:

1. Lewis, P. British Aircraft 1809-1914 London: Putnam, 1962
2. The Martin-Handasyde Monoplane, Flight, 25 March 1911 at https://www.flightglobal.com/pdfarchive/view/1911/1911%20-%200242.html
3. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Martin-Handasyde_No._3
4. http://www.rcawsey.co.uk/Acc1916.htm
5. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Graham_Gilmour#Death
6. Graham Gilmour Left Letter. Evening Telegraph: 1. 20 February 1912.
7. Graham Gilmour's Unconventional Funeral. Dundee Courier: 3. 22 February 1912.
8. The Late Mr Grahame Gilmour. Flight Magazine 24 February 1912 page 124 at https://www.flightglobal.com/pdfarchive/view/1912/1912%20-%200172.html


Revision history:

Date/timeContributorUpdates
16-Nov-2018 23:10 Dr.John Smith Added

Corrections or additions? ... Edit this accident description