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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 196792
Last updated: 10 October 2019
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Time:11:02 LT
Type:de Havilland DH.89 Dragon Rapide
Owner/operator:Hillman's Airways
Registration: G-ACPM
C/n / msn: 6251
Fatalities:Fatalities: 7 / Occupants: 7
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:English Channel, 4 miles off Folkestone, Kent -   United Kingdom
Phase: En route
Nature:International Scheduled Passenger
Departure airport:LeBourget Airport, Paris, France (LBG/LFPB)
Destination airport:Stapleford Tawney, Abridge, Essex (EGSG)
First production DH.89 Dragon Rapide: Registered as G-ACPM [C of R 4955] 7.6.34 to Hillman's Airways Ltd, Stapleford, Essex. C of A 4365 issued 5.7.34. Entered by Lord Wakefield in King's Cup Air Race 13.7.34, flown by Capt Hubert Broad, but withdrawn following hail damage over Waddington. Delivered to Hillmans Airways 27.7.34.

Destroyed when crashed into English Channel in low cloud 4 miles off Folkestone 2.10.34 inbound from Paris; all seven on board (pilot and six passengers) were killed:

Flying Officer Walter Robert Bannister (pilot, aged 43) killed
Louis Beigneux (passenger, French national) killed
Jean Louis Bordaz (passenger, French national, aged 32) killed
Miss Phyllis Budden (passenger, aged 19) killed
Andrew McGregor Ritchie (passenger, aged 31) killed
Albert Paul de Sanno (passenger, American national, aged 66) killed
Helene Slabodsky (passenger, Ferench national, aged 32) killed

Registration G-ACPM cancelled 10.34 as withdrawn from use.

First accident involving a De Havilland DH.89 Dragon Rapide. The UK Air Ministry attributed the cause of the accident to a lack of skill and knowledge in matters of navigation on the part of the pilot. Significantly, it was noted in the investigative report that he lacked both a navigatorís license and previous experience in instrument flying. Evidence indicated that the pilot had followed the coastline, remaining below the clouds, rather than proceeding on a direct compass course to his destination.

Apparently losing sight of land while over the Channel, he may have turned back towards the west in order to once again make visual contact with the coast of England. It was theorized that while in a gradual descent through the mist he failed to distinguish the glassy surface of the water in time to avoid the accident. The crash was believed to have occurred fewer than 10 minutes after a second request from the pilot to Croydon Aerodrome for a position. However, the delay and ultimate failure to provide bearing information was not considered a contributing factor.


2. El Litoral 2 October 1934, page 1
6. Flight, 10 January 1935 page 57 at

Revision history:

20-Jul-2017 20:29 TB Added
24-Oct-2017 23:15 Dr. John Smith Updated [Departure airport, Destination airport, Source, Narrative]
24-Dec-2017 00:29 Dr. John Smith Updated [Location, Source]
24-Dec-2017 00:30 Dr. John Smith Updated [Time, Aircraft type, Location]
24-May-2018 21:57 Dr. John Smith Updated [Nature, Departure airport, Destination airport, Source, Narrative]

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