Accident Heinkel HE12 D-1717,
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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 27540
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Date:Tuesday 6 October 1931
Type:Heinkel HE12
Owner/operator:Norddeutsche Luftverkehrs AG (NOLAG)
Registration: D-1717
MSN: 334
Fatalities:Fatalities: 2 / Occupants: 2
Aircraft damage: Destroyed
Location:Cobequid Bay, Nova Scotia -   Canada
Phase: En route
Departure airport:Sydney, NS (ca 00:00)
Destination airport:New York
Confidence Rating: Information is only available from news, social media or unofficial sources
Crashed in Cobequid Bay in fog and darkness when 18 m (60ft) tides were out. Wreckage found next day in the waddensea. Body of Fritz Simon (27) located by canadian pilot Leigh three days later. Mechanic/radio Fritz Wagenknecht not found.

The Heinkel (D-1717, named “New York”) had been catapulted off the SS Bremen 650 miles out to sea on 5 October.
They were attempting to break a previous record by beating the ship to New York by more than 30 hours.
The aircraft landed at Glace Bay first then made a short flight to Sydney.
While at Sydney the mechanic was seen working on the engine for hours.
Just after midnight on the 6th they took off.
Later the lighthouse keeper at Burntcoat heard a misfiring engine and a crash in the dark. He then heard cries for help or shouting.
The wreck was located between Minasville and Economy Point in Cobequid Bay the following day.
Lt. Louis Leigh, the Canadian pilot who found the Heinkel wreck, stated that both pontoons had been stripped away from the plane. One pontoon was broken in half. They showed signs of denting and scarring from hitting rocks. The pontoons had floated away a good distance from the main crash site when the tide reversed.
On the 7th and 8th the wreckage and mail were recovered by the tug Alamac which was equipped with a derrick.

Pilot Fritz Simon’s body was found in the water three days later. The radio operator/mechanic Rudolph Wogenknecht’s body was never found.

It was generally believed that Simon encountered engine trouble and alighted onto the Bay, in the dark, not realizing the tide was out and that he was landing on mud flats.


Heinkel HE 12/Fritz Simon
Jenaer Volksblatt 7/8/10 October 1931

Revision history:

27-Sep-2008 01:00 ASN archive Added
10-Mar-2011 02:31 Johnny Johnny Updated [Cn, Location, Country, Phase, Source, Narrative]
22-Feb-2013 00:37 Andre Updated [Source, Narrative]
30-Apr-2020 19:37 TB Updated [Time, Aircraft type, Operator, Total fatalities, Total occupants, Nature, Departure airport, Destination airport, Source, Narrative]
30-Apr-2020 20:05 TB Updated [Source, Narrative]
19-Mar-2024 13:20 ChrisB Updated [Narrative]
19-Mar-2024 13:35 ChrisB Updated [[Narrative]]

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