Accident Royal Aircraft Factory B.E.8? ,
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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 218769
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Date:Saturday 29 January 1916
Type:Royal Aircraft Factory B.E.8?
Owner/operator:1 (Reserve) Sqn RFC
Fatalities:Fatalities: 1 / Occupants: 2
Aircraft damage: Destroyed
Location:Laffans Plain, Farnborough, Hampshire -   United Kingdom
Phase: En route
Departure airport:RFC Farnborough, Hampshire
Destination airport:RFC Farnborough, Hampshire
Confidence Rating: Information is only available from news, social media or unofficial sources
29.1.16: Royal Aircraft Factory B.E.8?, 1 (Reserve) Squadron, Royal Flying Corps, Farnborough. Written off (destroyed) when spun out of control and crashed, at Laffans Plain, Farnborough, Hampshire. Observer - 2nd Lt John Sleeman Reed (1st Battalion, East Kent Regiment, aged 19) - died 31.1.16 (two days later) of injuries sustained. The pilot - 2nd Lt George William Philip Newkey Burden - survived the accident despite suffering serious injuries

Born on November 14th 1896 in Great Yarmouth, John was the elder of two children, and only son, of a surgeon, also named John Reed, and his wife, Mary. He spent time at Great Yarmouth Grammar School and as a boarder at Epsom College before coming to Dulwich in 1912. During his three years at the College he was a boarder in Blew House and in his final year, 1914-15, was also a member of the O.T.C.

John had been hoping to follow his father into the medical profession but upon leaving Dulwich in the spring of 1915 went to Sandhurst. That November he passed out and was given a commission in The Buffs although he was straight away attached to the Royal Flying Corps. He spent that December in France, training, before returning to England in January at which time he was posted to Farnborough. On January 29th he was acting as observer on a training flight. It was stated during an inquest that 2nd Lt Reed had travelled by air to Laffan's Plain to look at the wreckage of an aeroplane that had been involved in a previous accident. An eyewitness stated that as he was walking across the plain, he saw a biplane pass over him at a height of around 200 ft. The aircraft suddenly came down, falling nose first and turning slightly as it dropped. The eyewitness suggested the biplane had been travelling at a slow speed, which could have caused it to fall before the pilot was able to regain control. The witness stated the plane was travelling at around 36mph and had dropped below a "safe flying speed".

He was taken to Cambridge Military Hospital in Aldershot, where he underwent an operation to relieve bleeding on the brain; despite these efforts he passed away from his injuries two days later, on January 31st 1916.

The coroner ruled a verdict of accidental death and said the pilot was not to blame for the accident. Second Lt Reed was buried at Gorleston Cemetery, in Norfolk, on February 5 1916 with full military honours.

The exact aircraft type involved is not referred to in contemporary reports. However, 1 Squadron RFC was reformed as an aircraft squadron in August 1914, after operating airships and balloons since 13.5.1912, and was equipped with a mixture of Avro 504s and Royal Aircraft Factory B.E.8s at this time.



Revision history:

29-Nov-2018 18:22 Dr.John Smith Added
15-Dec-2018 17:30 Nepa Updated [Operator, Operator]

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