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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 218836
Last updated: 27 April 2019
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Date:27-FEB-1916
Time:day
Type:Bristol Scout Type C
Owner/operator:5 Wg RFC
Registration: 1258
C/n / msn:
Fatalities:Fatalities: 1 / Occupants: 1
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:One mile from RFC Dover, Swingate Down, Dover, Kent -   United Kingdom
Phase: Approach
Nature:Military
Departure airport:RFC Dover, Swingate Down, Dover, Kent
Destination airport:RFC Dover, Swingate Down, Dover, Kent
Narrative:
27.2.16: Bristol Scout Type C 1258, 5 Wing, RFC Dover. Written off (destroyed) when nose-dived into ground from about 250 feet, RFC Dover, Swingate Down, Dover, Kent. Pilot - Flt Lt Harold Rosher (aged 21) - was killed. According to the preface to a collection of Harold Rosher's letters home to his parents between 11 August 1914 and 24 February 1916 (in a sense, his autobiography) (see link #6):

"Three days after the date of the last letter Harold was killed. On 27th February, Major Risk, the C.O. of the Dover Aeroplane Station being away on duty, Harold, as second in command, was in charge. Among other duties he had to train new pilots on fast machines, and he would always personally test a new machine or a newly-repaired machine before allowing anybody else to try it.

On that Sunday morning he ordered a number of machines to be brought out of the sheds for practice flights. Among them was one which had just been repaired after a mishap three weeks earlier. The pilot had already got into his machine. Harold told him to get out as the machine was untested, and himself took it up for a trial flight of eight or ten minutes.

Everything seemed to go right until Harold began the descent about a mile away from the Aerodrome. Then, at a height of 300 feet or less, the machine suddenly made a nose-dive and crashed to the ground. Harold was killed instantly. The disaster occupied seven seconds. At the inquest nothing was ascertained as to the cause of the accident.

One theory is that the controls jammed. Harold was buried on the 2nd March at Charlton Cemetery, with full naval honours. The cemetery is on the cliffs within sight of the Aerodrome, and while his body was being lowered into the grave aeroplanes were flying overhead."

Sources:

1. http://www.rcawsey.co.uk/Acc1916.htm
2. https://www.cwgc.org/find-war-dead/casualty/365403/rosher,-harold/
3. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bristol_Scout#Variants
4. https://www.greatwarforum.org/topic/55262-book-in-the-rnas/
5. http://www.naval-history.net/xDKCas1916-02Feb.htm
6. Harold Rosher's letters home to his parents 11 August 1914 to 24 February 1916: https://www.gutenberg.org/files/53168/53168-h/53168-h.htm#Page_133
7. https://cis.photoarchive.merton.gov.uk/entity/186883-flight-lieutenant-harold-rosher
8. http://www.naval-history.net/xDKCas1916-02Feb.htm
9. Flight magazine (March 2 1916 page 173): https://www.flightglobal.com/FlightPDFArchive/1916/1916%20-%200173.PDF

RNAS Bristol Scout C with Rear Oil Tank No picture has been found for Bristol Scout Type C 1258: the above picture is of Scout 1255 from the same production batch

Revision history:

Date/timeContributorUpdates
30-Nov-2018 21:32 Dr.John Smith Added
24-Jan-2019 08:40 Nepa Updated [Operator, Operator]

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