Accident Royal Aircraft Factory R.E.8 7997,
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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 220820
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Date:Wednesday 24 January 1917
Type:Royal Aircraft Factory R.E.8
Owner/operator:59 Sqn RFC
Registration: 7997
Fatalities:Fatalities: 1 / Occupants: 1
Aircraft damage: Destroyed
Location:Farnborough Airfield, Farnborough, Hampshire -   United Kingdom
Phase: Initial climb
Departure airport:Farnborough Airfield, Farnborough, Hampshire
Destination airport:RFC Narborough, Norwich, Norfolk
Confidence Rating: Information is only available from news, social media or unofficial sources
24.1.17: Royal Aircraft Factory R.E.8, No.7997, 59 Squadron, RFC Narborough, Norwich, Norfolk. Written off (destroyed) when Spun into the ground from 400 feet and caught fire on impact, Farnborough Aerodrome, Farnborough, Hampshire. Pilot - 2nd Lt Philip Evans (aged 21) - was killed.

After leaving school Philip also went to work for the Great Western Railway. In 1915 Philip enlisted in the 21st Battalion Royal Fusiliers and he was posted to France on 14th November 1915. In September 1916 he left the army having gained a commission as a Second Lieutenant in the Royal Flying Corps commencing on 4th September. He qualified as a pilot on 31st December 1916 and was killed in a flying accident at Farnborough just over 3 weeks later on 24th January 1917.

His death was reported in a number of newspapers across the country, the following report appears in Berrow’s Worcester Journal, 27th January 1917:

"A flying accident at Farnborough on Wednesday resulted in the pilot, Lieut. Philip Evans, R.F.C. being burned to death. He was flying at great height over the aerodrome when he was seen to be in difficulties. The machine made a spinning nose dive and crashed to the ground, bursting into flames."

According to the aircraft accident record card for R.E.8 No.7997 (see link #3)

"Court of Inquiry 87/9308
Flying accident. Nose dived from 400 feet. Machine in good condition before flight. Court of Inquiry was of the view that the machine was damaged owing to a nose dive from a height of about 400 feet, and destroyed when on the ground by fire, Machine was in good flying condition when it left the ground."

According to a contemporary report in "Flight" magazine (February 8 1917 page 140 - see link #4)

"Fatal Accidents.
AT the inquest at Farnborough on January 26th on 2nd Lieut. P. Evans, R.F.C., the evidence appeared to show that the pilot attempted to make a sharp left turn when the machine was climbing too steeply. From 500 ft. the machine nose-dived for 200 ft. and then started to the left, apparently out of control. The engine was still running when the machine struck the ground, and the wreck caught fire. A verdict of "Accidental Death" was returned."


4. Flight magazine (February 8 1917 page 140):

Revision history:

14-Jan-2019 20:15 Dr. John Smith Added
15-Jan-2019 13:00 stehlik49 Updated [Operator]

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