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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 233021
Last updated: 5 June 2020
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Date:30-JUN-1913
Time:19:30 LT
Type:Bleriot XI
Owner/operator:Royal Naval Aviation School, Eastchurch
Registration: 39
C/n / msn:
Fatalities:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 1
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:Ashburnham, five miles west of Battle, East Sussex. -   United Kingdom
Phase: En route
Nature:Military
Departure airport:Shoreham, West Sussex (EGKA)
Destination airport:RNAS Eastchurch, Isle of Sheppey, Kent
Narrative:
Bleriot XI No.39 Royal Naval Air Service: Written off (damaged beyond repair) 30 June 1913 when force landed at Ashburnham, five miles west of Battle, East Sussex. Aircraft "ran away" on landing, collided with a fence, and then ran into a ditch. The pilot seems to have been unhurt. According to a contemporary newspaper report ("Hastings and St Leonards Observer" - Saturday 05 July 1913):

"ASHBURNHAM
VISIT FROM AN AEROPLANE
AN INTERRUPTED FLIGHT FROM SHOREHAM TO EASTCHURCH
Considerable excitement was created in Ashburnham and district on Monday evening when an aeroplane descended in one of the fields on the estate of the Earl of Ashburnham.

About 7.30pm an aeroplane was noticed flying at a considerable height and coming from the direction of Lewes. The engine was heard to stop and the aviator made a beautiful volplane down to a field on the estate that had recently been cut for hay. The machine ran along the ground for about 100 yards and went into a wire fence that protected a steep ditch. A very large number of people came from all parts to see the mechanical bird.

On Tuesday morning from an early hour many people were present in the hope that the aeroplane would be pulled out of the ditch and the interrupted flight continued. At about twelve o'clock three mechanics arrived from Eastchurch in a motor car with a large lorry attached, and the machine, having been hauled from its awkward position, was dismantled and placed on the lorry, and taken to Eastchurch.

It appears that the flying machine was a two seater Bleriot monoplane, No 39, attached to the Naval Depot at Eastchurch, driven by an 80 horse-power Gnome engine, and had been piloted by Engineer-Lieutenant T. Briggs of the Royal Naval Aviation School, Eastchurch, Isle of Sheppey, from Eastchurch to the aerodrome at Shoreham-by-sea. He was on his return journey when, over Ashburnham, something went wrong with the engine, and he was compelled to descend. He alighted safely in the field, but owing to the impact with the wire fence and the ditch, one of the wooden struts of the chassis was broken and the end of the huge propellor was slightly damaged. Lieutenant Briggs, who was not carrying a passenger at the time, was not injured, as the aeroplane had almost stopped when it came into contact with the fence."

Sources:

1. http://sussexhistoryforum.co.uk/index.php?topic=11894.0
2. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ashburnham_Place


Revision history:

Date/timeContributorUpdates
17-Feb-2020 17:17 Dr. John Smith Added

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