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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 218268
Last updated: 18 September 2019
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Date:08-APR-1914
Time:07:30 LT
Type:Bristol Boxkite
Owner/operator:School of the British and Colonial Aeroplane Co., Ltd
Registration:
C/n / msn:
Fatalities:Fatalities: 1 / Occupants: 1
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:Brooklands Aerodrome, Brooklands, Weybridge, Surrey -   United Kingdom
Phase: Manoeuvring (airshow, firefighting, ag.ops.)
Nature:Training
Departure airport:Brooklands Aerodrome, Brooklands, Weybridge, Surrey
Destination airport:Brooklands Aerodrome, Brooklands, Weybridge, Surrey
Narrative:
8.4.1914: Bristol Boxkite, Bristol School of Flying written off (damaged beyond repair) when Pilot lost control and fell out of the aircraft, Brooklands Aerodrome, Brooklands, Weybridge, Surrey. The pilot - and sole occupant - Sgt Eric Norman Deane, Royal Flying Corps (aged 24) was killed. According to a contemporary report in Flight magazine (May 15, 1914, page 515 - see link #2)

"ACCIDENTS INVESTIGATION COMMITTEE OF THE ROYAL AERO CLUB.
REPORT No . 21.
REPORT ON THE FATAL ACCIDENT TO SERGT, ERIC NORMAN DEANE, R.F.C., WHEN FLYING AT THE BROOKLANDS AERODROME, WEYBRIDGE, ON WEDNESDAY, APRIL 8TH, 1914, AT ABOUT 7.30 A.M.

Brief Description of the Accident.
Sergt. Eric Norman Deane was flying a Bristol Biplane (Pusher type), fitted with a 50 h.p. Gnome engine, at the Brooklands Aerodrome, Weybridge, on Wednesday, April 8th, 1914, at about 7.30 a.m., and was undergoing the test for his Aviator's Certificate. He had completed the two sets of figures of 8 and alightings in a satisfactory manner and was carrying out the altitude test at the time of the accident.

At a height of about 1,000 feet., the pilot commenced a spiral descent at a very steep angle. After descending about 600 feet, and when about 400 feet from the ground, the pilot fell out of the aircraft and was killed.

Sergt. Eric Norman Deane was a pupil at the School of the British and Colonial Aeroplane Co., Ltd., at Brooklands.

Report.
The Committee sat on Tuesday, April 28th, 1914, and received the report of the Club's representative who witnessed the accident. Eye-witnesses of the accident also attended before the Committee and gave evidence. From the consideration of the evidence, the Committee regards the following facts as clearly established:

1. The aircraft was built by the British and Colonial Aeroplane Co., Ltd., in November, 1913, and was of a type in which the pilot sits on the front edge of the lower plane with the engine and propeller behind, and is quite unenclosed.
2. The wind at the time of the accident was about 5 miles per hour.
3. The control wires were found to be intact after the accident.
4. Sergt. Deane had been a pupil at the Bristol School for about six weeks, and during the latter part of the time had made many good flights.
5. The School instructor has stated that in his opinion Sergt. Deane was fully competent to pass the tests for his Aviator's Certificate.
6. The pilot was not strapped into his seat, nor was the aircraft fitted with a safety belt.
7. A spiral descent is not laid down as part of the tests for Aviators' Certificates.

Opinion.
The Committee is of opinion that the accident was due primarily to the pilot forcing the aircraft down at too steep an angle, resulting in his falling forward on his control and accentuating the steepness of the descent.

Recommendation.
In view of the numerous instances which have come before the Committee in which the use of a safety belt might conceivably have either prevented the accident or mitigated the results, the Committee strongly recommends that all aircraft be fitted for and with some form of quick-release safety belt in order that the pilot may avail himself of this safeguard should he wish to do so. In making this recommendation the Committee is fully alive to the objections that have been raised to the use of the safety belt."

Sources:

1. http://www.rcawsey.co.uk/Acc1916.htm
2. Flight magazine (May 15, 1914 page 515): https://www.flightglobal.com/pdfarchive/view/1914/1914%20-%200515.html?search=Sgt%20Eric%20Norman%20Deane
3. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_pilots_awarded_an_Aviator%27s_Certificate_by_the_Royal_Aero_Club_in_1913


Revision history:

Date/timeContributorUpdates
21-Nov-2018 22:17 Dr.John Smith Added
21-Nov-2018 22:23 Dr.John Smith Updated [Narrative]

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