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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 218444
Last updated: 16 August 2021
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Type:Silhouette image of generic be2 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Royal Aircraft Factory B.E.2c
Owner/operator:CFS RFC
Fatalities:Fatalities: 1 / Occupants: 1
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:Rushall Down, near Larkhill, Salisbury Plain, Wiltshire -   United Kingdom
Phase: En route
Departure airport:RFC Upavon, Salisbury Plain, Wiltshire
Destination airport:
4.11.1914: Royal Aircraft Factory B.E.2, Central Flying School, Royal Flying Corps, Upavon. Written off (destroyed) when crashed on landing in dense fog, Rushall Down, near Larkhill, Salisbury Plain, Wiltshire. The pilot - Flt Sub-Lt Petchell Burtt Murray (aged 30) - was killed. According to a contemporary report in Flight magazine (November 19, 1914 page 1117 - see link #2):

"The Upavon Fatality.
AN inquest was held on Thursday of last week in connection with the fatal accident to Sub-Lieut. P. B. Murray, which was briefly recorded in our last issue. The officer had been at the Central Flying School since September, having previously obtained his pilot's certificate on a hydro-biplane at the Lakes Flying School, Windermere, and he was regarded as more than usually competent, having regard to his short experience.

The evidence showed that when he started his flight the weather was clear but subsequently a thick fog arose. A shepherd on Challton Down saw the deceased pass through the fog overhead and shortly afterward heard a crash. Some time was spent in locating the wreck owing to the mist, and then it was found that the machine had its nose buried in the ground, while the pilot was dead, still strapped in his seat.

It was estimated that the machine struck the ground at a speed of about one hundred miles an hour. Death was due to dislocation of the neck, and the jury returned a verdict to the effect that the airman was killed owing to his machine accidentally striking the ground."


2. Flight Magazine November 13, 1914 page 1117 at
3. Biography:
5. The Eccles Journal, 13th November 1914, (Salford Local History Library).
6. Evening Telegraph and Post, (Dundee), 6th November 1914.
7. Manchester Courier and Lancashire General Advertiser, 9th November 1914 & 8th January 1915.
8. Teesdale Mercury, 11th November 1914.
9. The Times, 6th November 1914.
10. The Sedberghian (Sedbergh School Magazine), Vol XXXV, No. 5, November 1914.

Revision history:

23-Nov-2018 23:04 Dr.John Smith Added
23-Jan-2019 09:06 stehlik49 Updated [Operator]

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