Author Topic: Sopwith Tractor Biplanes (324 & 325) fatal mid-air collision, Aldershot, 12.5.14  (Read 222 times)

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Online pomme homme

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On the afternoon of 12 May 1914 two Sopwith Tractor Biplanes (Nº 324 and Nº 325) of Nº 5 Squadron RFC collided in mid-air over Farnborough. Nº 324 had just taken off from Farnborough Aerodrome when Nº 325, returning from Brooklands, flew into it, the upper starboard mainplane of the former making contact with the lower port mainplane of the latter. They separated and flew on for some 600 feet before both aeroplanes then crashed onto the nearby Aldershot Golf Course. Nº 324, which was being flown by Captain Ernest Vincent Anderson with Air Mechanic Henry Wilfred Carter as his passenger, dived in vertically. Both men were killed on impact with the ground as a result of broken necks. Nº 325, which was being flown by Lieutenant C (Charles or Christopher) William Wilson, spun in with a damaged wing. He survived the crash with a broken jaw and bruising. An inquest was held at Aldershot on 14 May 1914. Lt. Wilson did not attend or give evidence. The jury returned a verdict of accidental death on Capt. Anderson  and AM Carter. Blame for the accident was not attributed.   

Offline alkhamhills

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Ernest Vincent Anderson
Born 1887 Adelaide

In 1911 a Lieut 2nd The Black Watch. In India

Soldiers Effects:- £4.12.05 to Colonel Edmund Anderson & Mark Attenborough.

He had been with 42nd Royal Highlanders (1st Battalion Black Watch), since 1907

Probate. Of Oudenarde Barracks, Aldershot. Died 12.5.1914. Probate to Edmund Bullar Anderson Colonel His Majesty’s Army & Mark Attenborough Solicitor. Effects £4910

Offline alkhamhills

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I see in his pic his 2nd name was Vivian

Offline John

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Air Mechanic Carter has his own topic - please see:

Air Mechanic Henry Carter, aeroplane collision
"You know, if you don’t read history, you’re a bloody idiot." - James Clavell

Online pomme homme

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Whether it contributed to the collision, I know not, but it is recorded that whilst Capt. Anderson had experience of flying tractor biplanes, he had not previously flown a Sopwith and was making his flight in order to gain experience of it. Dallas Brett ('History of British Aviation 1908 - 1914') says that whilst it was impossible to apportion blame for the mid-air collision, technically Lt. Wilson was to blame as he was the pilot of the higher aircraft. Dallas Brett says that it is probable that the pilot of neither aircraft was aware of the presence of the other machine until their proximity was such that a collision was inevitable.