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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 234080
Last updated: 16 March 2020
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Date:23-JUN-1923
Time:day
Type:Bristol Type 77 M.1D Bullet
Owner/operator:Bristol Aeroplane Co Ltd
Registration: G-EAVP
C/n / msn: 5888
Fatalities:Fatalities: 1 / Occupants: 1
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:Stonehill Road, Ottershaw, near Chertsey, Surrey -   United Kingdom
Phase: En route
Nature:Demo/Airshow/Display
Departure airport:Filton Aerodrome, Filton, Bristol, Gloucestershire
Destination airport:Croydon Airport, Croydon, Surrey (EGCR)
Narrative:
The Bristol 77 M.1D Monoplane G-EAVP was a one-off conversion of a Bristol M.1C Monoplane for high speed testing of the 140-hp Bristol Lucifer three-cylinder radial engine. This conversion was carried out in January 1922.

The aircraft was painted all-over in scarlet with a black nose and tail and white registration. It was first raced at Croydon on 17th April 1922, taking third place in its first race and second place in the second race. On its next outing, the M.1D won a handicap race at Croydon on 3rd June.

The aircraft, flown by Larry Carter, then won the prestigious 1922 Aerial Derby Handicap on 7th August 1922 at an average speed of 107.85 mph. It was unsuccessful in the inaugural King’s Cup Air Race held at Croydon in September 1922, when it suffered a forced landing following minor engine trouble.

Sadly, Major Leslie Foot was fatally injured when the aircraft crashed near Chertsey on 23rd June 1923 during the Grosvenor Cup Race. It was making good progress, until, on landing at Filton, Foot complained of petrol fumes in the cockpit. A fuel tank leak was diagnosed and repaired, whereupon Foot took off again. Flying low at full throttle, G-EAVP was seen to dive into the ground and burst into flames near Chertsey. It's thought this was caused by a failure of the tail or the flying wires, rather than by the fuel tank leak. However another source claims it lost a wing.

A contemporary local newspaper report covered the inquest into the death of Major Leslie Foot ("Folkestone, Hythe, Sandgate & Cheriton Herald" - Saturday 30 June 1923):

"SAD LOSS TO THE COUNTRY."
An inquest was held at Chertsey on Tuesday on Major Ernest Leslie Foot.

Albert William Grant, of Bristol, employed by the Bristol Aeroplane Company, said that Major Foot was one of the most experienced pilots in England. He went through the war from 1915, and since demobilisation had flown for the Handley Page Company between Croydon and Paris. The dead man had had several flights in the machine which he used on Saturday, and was thoroughly acquainted with it. He went in it from Bristol to Lympne to take part in the race. When the accident happened Major Foot had flown well over 300 miles.

A police constable stated that on arrival at the scene of the accident he saw the body of the pilot smouldering among the debris of the burnt aeroplane, which was smashed to pieces and simply a smouldering heap. Major Foot was burnt beyond recognition.

William Burroughs, of Chobham, said that he watched the monoplane for about a mile when the left wing suddenly doubled back and the machine made a spiral nose dive to earth."

Medical evidence was to the effect that death was caused by the fall, the walls of the skull being smashed in and both legs broken off at the thigh.

The Coroner said there was not sufficient evidence to show what went wrong either with the engine or the machine itself. It was a sad loss to the country to lose such an experienced airman.

A verdict of "Accidental Death" was returned".

Registration G-EAVP cancelled by the Air Ministry 23 June 1923 (same day) due to "destruction or permanent withdrawl from use of aircraft"

Sources:

1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bristol_M.1#Rejection_and_limited_production
2. https://cwsprduksumbraco.blob.core.windows.net/g-info/HistoricalLedger/G-EAVP.pdf
3. https://www.sas1946.com/main/index.php?topic=34820.0
4. https://www.baesystems.com/en/heritage/bristol-77-m1d-monoplane
5. http://www.afleetingpeace.org/index.php/gallery/g-e-aeroplanes/g-eavp-bristol-m1-0383-0067-3788
6. https://www.skytamer.com/Bristol_M.1c.html
7. http://www.airhistory.org.uk/gy/reg_G-E1.html
8. http://www.afleetingpeace.org/index.php/15-aeroplanes/81-register-gb-g-ea

G-EAVP

Revision history:

Date/timeContributorUpdates
16-Mar-2020 20:38 Dr. John Smith Added
16-Mar-2020 20:43 Dr. John Smith Updated [Narrative]

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