Accident Royal Aircraft Factory B.E.12 A572,
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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 220751
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Date:Thursday 4 January 1917
Type:Royal Aircraft Factory B.E.12
Owner/operator:63 Sqn RFC
Registration: A572
Fatalities:Fatalities: 1 / Occupants: 1
Aircraft damage: Destroyed
Location:near Wallsend-on-Tyne, Northumberland -   United Kingdom
Phase: En route
Departure airport:RFC Cramlington, northumberland
Destination airport:
Confidence Rating: Information is only available from news, social media or unofficial sources
4.1.17: Royal Aircraft Factory B.E.12a A572, 63 Squadron, RFC Cramlington, Northumberland. Written off (destroyed) when pilot lost control and spun into the ground, near Wallsend-on-Tyne, Northumberland. Pilot - Lt William Maberly Fatt (Canadian, aged 24 attached from the Canadian Corps Cyclist Battalion) - was killed.

He was about to complete his flying training when the new airplane he was flying caught fire in the air over Wallsend-on-Tyne, Northumberland. Witnesses at the inquest stated;

"…the deceased was flying at a great height, and descended slowly. When within 100 feet of the ground the machine dashed down and caught fire. Deceased's body was badly burned."

Witnesses thought deceased was in difficulties in a strong wind and tried to alight. Captain H. Higgin, R.F.C., said the deceased was in a new machine, but it was impossible to say what occurred. A control wire or strap might have broken which would have caused deceased to lose control.

A verdict was returned that death was due to burns, but that there was no definite evidence to show what caused the machine to fall.

William was buried at Croydon cemetery on 10th January, grave number 9210; his wife and children had moved to England to be near him and lived in Croydon at the time of his death.

According to a contemporary report in "Flight" magazine (January 18 1917 page 73 - see link #4)

Lieutenant WILLIAM MABERLEY FATT, Canadian Contingent (killed in an aeroplane accident), saw nearly a year's service at the Front. The aeroplane accident occurred in England on the 4th inst. Lieutenant Fatt was in his twenty-fifth year, and was eldest son of the Rev. F. H. Fatt, of Victoria, B.C. He came over with the second contingent of the Canadian Expeditionary Force, and had his lieutenant's commission in June, 1915."

Note that the pilot's middle name is misspelled as "Materby" in some records, even official ones (such as the aircraft accident record card, link #3)



Revision history:

12-Jan-2019 23:20 Dr. John Smith Added
12-Jan-2019 23:21 Dr. John Smith Updated [Nature, Narrative]
12-Jan-2019 23:22 Dr. John Smith Updated [Narrative]
13-Jan-2019 13:21 stehlik49 Updated [Operator]

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