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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 220953
Last updated: 10 May 2019
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Date:28-FEB-1917
Time:08:00 LT
Type:Sopwith 1 Strutter
Owner/operator:CFS RFC
Registration: 7810
C/n / msn:
Fatalities:Fatalities: 1 / Occupants: 1
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:RFC Upavon, Salisbury Plain, Wiltshire -   United Kingdom
Phase: En route
Nature:Military
Departure airport:RFC Upavon, Salisbury Plain, Wiltshire
Destination airport:RFC Upavon, Salisbury Plain, Wiltshire
Narrative:
28.2.17: Sopwith 1 Strutter No. 7810, Central Flying School, Royal Flying Corps, RFC Upavon. Written off (destroyed) when broke up in dive; Dived too steeply causing wings to collapse over RFC Upavon, Salisbury Plain, Wiltshire. Pilot - 2nd Lt Alan D'Arcy Sutherland (Australian, aged 27, formerly 48th Battalion, Australian Infantry) - was killed.

According to the aircraft accident record card for Sopwith 1 Strutter 7810 (see link #3)

"Court of Inquiry 87/7954
16/3/17
Flying accident. Dived too steeply causing machine to collapse. Error of judgement. The Court of Inquiry was of the opinion that the accident as caused by excessive strain being put on the machine, due to an error of judgement on the part of the pilot"

According to a contemporary report in "Flight" magazine (March 8, 1917 page 240 - see link #4)

"Fatal Accidents
2nd Lieut. A. D'A. Sutherland, R.F.C. (S.R.), left his aerodrome at about 8 o'clock in the morning, and rose to a height of 1,000 ft. He was seen to dive towards another machine which was considerably below him. When he had nearly reached the same level he tried to straighten his machine too quickly, with the result that the right wing crumpled up. The left wing subsequently gave way and the machine nose-dived to earth."

According to a published biography of the pilot (see link #7)

Alan D'Arcy Sutherland was born on 14 April 1889 at Adelaide in South Australia and educated at St Peters College. Living at Minlaton on the Yorke Peninsula with his wife and two children, he worked as a stock agent and auctioneer before enlisting on 12 August 1915. From 16 October 1915, he attended Officers School and on 16 December was commissioned a 2nd Lt, with further promotion to Lt on 16 December 1915.

Sutherland embarked with 2nd Rifles, 48th Infantry Battalion in HMAT 60 "Aeneas" on 11 April 1916, and served in Egypt for about two months before embarking again to arrive in England on 16 June 1916. After a period as Adjutant for an AIF Training Battalion he transferred on 22 October 1916 to the RFC and was posted to No.2 Flying Corps School of Instruction at Oxford (later No.2 School of Military Aviation (SMA).

Sutherland completed his Ground School examinations at Oxford and then commenced his flying training, during which he was killed in Sopwith 1 Strutter 7810 on 28 February 1917 at CFS Upavon when the wings failed as he pulled out of a dive too quickly"

Sources:

1. http://www.rcawsey.co.uk/Acc1917.htm
2. https://www.cwgc.org/find-war-dead/casualty/406289/sutherland,-alan-d'arcy/
3. http://www.rafmuseumstoryvault.org.uk/archive/sutherland-a.d-a.-alan-darcy
4. Flight magazine (March 8 1917 page 240): https://www.flightglobal.com/pdfarchive/view/1917/1917%20-%200240.html?search=Alan%20DArcy%20Sutherland
5. https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/39064219/alan-d'arcy-sutherland
6. https://vwma.org.au/explore/people/795490
7. http://www.saam.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/SAAM-Profiles-SA-WW1-AIRMEN-OMITTED-FROM-WAR-MEMORIAL-Copy.pdf
8. Adelaide Chronicle (Adelaide, South Australia Saturday 17 Mar 1917 Page 39): https://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/87437908/8619463


Revision history:

Date/timeContributorUpdates
20-Jan-2019 00:59 Dr. John Smith Added
20-Jan-2019 01:00 Dr. John Smith Updated [Narrative]
23-Jan-2019 09:14 stehlik49 Updated [Operator]

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