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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 218035
Last updated: 20 July 2020
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Date:13-JUN-1913
Time:17:30 LT
Type:Martin-Handasyde 4B Dragonfly
Owner/operator:Charles Gordon Bell
Registration: Unregistered
C/n / msn:
Fatalities:Fatalities: 2 / Occupants: 2
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:Brooklands Aerodrome, Brooklands, Weybridge, Surrey -   United Kingdom
Phase: Approach
Nature:Private
Departure airport:RNAS Eastchurch, Isle of Sheppey, Kent
Destination airport:Brooklands Aerodrome, Brooklands, Weybridge, Surrey
Narrative:
13 June 1913: Martin-Handasyde monoplane (Type 4B Two Seater, also known as the Dragonfly) was written off (damaged beyond repair) when stalled in climbing turn and dived into the ground, Brooklands Aerodrome, Brooklands, Weybridge, Surrey. Pilot - Lt James Robert Branch Kennedy (aged 22), Naval Wing, RFC killed Charles Gordon Bell (pilot) injured. According to a contemporary report in "Flight" magazine (July 5 1913 page 735 - see link #3)

"ACCIDENTS INVESTIGATION COMMITTEE OF THE ROYAL AERO CLUB
REPORT No. 14.

REPORT ON THE FATAL ACCIDENT TO LIEUT. JAMES ROBERT BRANCH KENNEDY , R.N., WHEN FLYING AS A PASSENGER
WITH MR . CHARLES GORDON BELL AT BROOKLANDS, ON FRIDAY, JUNE 13TH, 1913, AT ABOUT 5.30 P.M.
Brief Description of the Accident.-

Mr. Charles Gordon Bell, flying a Martin Handasyde Monoplane fitted with a 120 h.p. Austrian Daimler motor, with Lieut. J. R. B. Kennedy as a passenger, on Friday, June 13th, 1913, arrived over the Brooklands Aerodrome at about 5.15 p.m., having flown from Eastchurch.

The aircraft was observed to approach Brooklands at a very low altitude. The pilot then proceeded to circle over the sheds, still at a very low altitude, and only just clearing the roofs. He flew in this manner for about 15 minutes, making perhaps a dozen complete turns always at a low altitude and always steeply banked. On what proved to be his last turn, he flew down a passage between the sheds and turned down another passage at right angles to the former, and, whilst still turning, rose over and just cleared the roof.

After this the aircraft must have side-slipped, the left wing tip struck the ground at about 40 yards from the sheds, thus bringing the aircraft headlong to the ground. The aircraft was wrecked, trie passenger, Lieut. Kennedy, who was sitting in front of the pilot, was killed instantly, and the pilot, Mr. C. Gordon Bell, was seriously injured.

Lieut. J. R. B. Kennedy was granted his Aviator's Certificate No. 423, on February 18th, 1913, and Mr. C. Gordon Bell, No. 100, on July 4th, 1911, by the Royal Aero Club"

The Wikipedia summary of the report says that it was found that the crash was entirely due to pilot error and Bell was formally cautioned by the Royal Aeronautical Club for his reckless flying. Bell survived another five years before he was killed in the crash of a Vickers FB.16 that he was testing at Villacoublay, France, on 29 July 1918.

Sources:

1. Lewis, P. British Aircraft 1809-1914 London: Putnam, 1962
2. The Martin-Handasyde Monoplane, Flight, 25 March 1911
3. http://www.rcawsey.co.uk/Acc1916.htm
4. http://britishaviation-ptp.com/early_aviators_401_450.html
5. Flight magazine July 5 1913 page 735 at https://www.flightglobal.com/FlightPDFArchive/1913/1913%20-%200709.PDF
6. http://sussexhistoryforum.co.uk/index.php?topic=16986.0
7. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_Gordon_Bell
8. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Martin-Handasyde_No._3

Martin-Handasyde 4B Dragonfly monoplane at Brooklands Summer 1911Martin-Handasyde No.4B Dragonfly 2

Revision history:

Date/timeContributorUpdates
17-Nov-2018 22:51 Dr.John Smith Added
17-Nov-2018 22:52 Dr.John Smith Updated [Narrative]
20-Jul-2020 22:54 Dr. John Smith Updated [Aircraft type, Registration, Source, Embed code, Narrative]

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