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Narrative:23.2.1914: F.E.2, Royal Aircraft Factory. Written off (damaged beyond repair) when hit the ground in spiral dive, at West Wittering, near Chichester, Sussex. Of the two person on board, one - Ewart Temple Haynes (passenger, aged 26) - was killed, and the other, Ronald Campbell Kemp (civilian test pilot) was injured. According to a contemporary report in Flight magazine (July 31 1914 page 809 - see link #2):
|Date:||Monday 23 February 1914|
|Type:||Royal Aircraft Factory F.E.2|
|Owner/operator:||Royal Aircraft Factory|
|Fatalities:||Fatalities: 1 / Occupants: 2|
|Aircraft damage:|| Written off (damaged beyond repair)|
|Location:||West Wittering, near Chichester, Sussex, England -
|Phase:|| En route|
|Departure airport:||Farnborough, Hampshire|
|Confidence Rating:|| Information is only available from news, social media or unofficial sources|
"ACCIDENTS INVESTIGATION COMMITTEE OF THE ROYAL AERO CLUB.
REPORT No. 26.
REPORT ON THE FATAL ACCIDENT TO MR. EWART TEMPLE HAYNES, WHEN FLYING AS A PASSENGER WITH MR. RONALD
C. KEMP, AT WITTERING, NEAR CHICHESTER, ON MONDAY, FEBRUARY 23RD, 1914, AT ABOUT 11.45 A.M.
Brief Description of the Accident.—Mr. Ronald C. Kemp was flying an F.E.2 Biplane, fitted with a 70 h.p. Renault engine, at West Wittering, near Chichester, on Monday, February 23rd, 1914, at about 11.45 a.m., with Mr. E. T. Haynes as a passenger. The flight lasted about 5 minutes, and from a height of about 500 feet, the aircraft was observed to be making a steep right-hand spiral descent, but not heavily banked.
The spiral descent continued until the aircraft hit the ground. The aircraft was completely wrecked, the pilot, Mr. R. C. Kemp, sustained serious injuries, and the passenger, Mr. E. T. Haynes, was killed.
Mr. Ronald C. Kemp (aged 24) was granted his Aviator's Certificate, No. 80, on May 9th, 1911, by the Royal Aero Club.
Report:- The Committee sat on July 14th and 27th, 1914, and received the report of the Club's "representative who visited the scene of the accident within a short time of its occurrence, together with the evidence of eye-witnesses. Mr. Kemp also attended and gave evidence.
From the consideration of the evidence the Committee regards the following facts as clearly established:—
1. The aircraft was an experimental one and was built at the Royal Aircraft Factory, Farnborough, in August, 1913.
2. The wind at the time of the accident was about 30 m.p.h.
3. The pilot, Mr. R.C. Kemp had flown in several tests at Farnborough, under similar conditions of load.
4. The control wires were found to be intact.
5. The field where the pilot got into the aircraft was wet and muddy.
6. The pilot remembers nothing that occurred on the day of the accident.
Opinion.—The Committee is of opinion that there is no positive evidence to show why the accident occurred, but such evidence as is available points to the conclusion that the most probable cause was that the pilot's foot slipped over the rudder-bar, and that he thus lost control"
The aircraft which crashed on February 23 1914 was the second F.E.2, and was officially a rebuild of the first F.E.2, and may indeed have included some components from the earlier aircraft. It was, however, a totally new and much more modern design, larger and heavier than the 1911 aircraft, with the wingspan increased from 33 ft (10.06 m) to 42 ft (12.80 m) and a new, more streamlined nacelle. Loaded weight rose from 1,200 lb (545 kg) to 1,865 lb (848 kg). The new F.E.2 used the outer wings of the B.E.2a, with wing warping instead of ailerons for lateral control, and was powered by a 70 hp Renault engine. It was destroyed when it spun into the ground from 500 ft (150 m) on 23 February 1914, probably because of insufficient fin area. The pilot, R. Kemp, survived the crash, but his passenger was killed.
2. Flight magazine July 31 1914 page 809 at https://www.flightglobal.com/pdfarchive/view/1914/1914%20-%200809.html
7. Hare, Paul R. The Royal Aircraft Factory. London: Putnam, 1990 p.202. ISBN 0-85177-843-7.
8. Winchester, Jim. "Royal Aircraft Factory F.E.2." Biplanes, Triplanes and Seaplanes (Aviation Factfile). London: Grange Books plc, 2004. p.206 ISBN 1-84013-641-3.
The second aircraft bearing the F.E.2 designation (1913).