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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 25169
Last updated: 9 September 2021
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Type:Sopwith Gnu
Owner/operator:Southern Counties Aviation Co.
Registration: G-EAGP
MSN: WO 2976/3
Fatalities:Fatalities: 1 / Occupants: 3
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:Hardwick Road Cemetery, Hardwick Road, Kings Lynn, Norfolk -   United Kingdom
Phase: En route
Departure airport:Brooklands, Byfleet, Weybridge, Surrey
Destination airport:
First registered 12.7.19 as K-163 (in the pre "G-" register). Re-registered as G-EAGP 31.3.20. Owned successively by Sopwith Aviation & Engineering Co Ltd, Lt Col F.K. McLean, Major S.A. Packman, and finally Southern Counties Aviation Co, to whom registered 11.7.25. Perhaps the best-known of the Gnus was G-EAGP, for apart from being owned by the pioneer already named (McClean, who was also Chairman of the Royal Aero Club) it won the first race for the Grosvenor Challenge Cup - competed for annually, under Royal Aero Club conditions - on 23.6.1923. The pilot was Fit Lieut W. H. Longton, the engine a 110 hp Le Rhone (the rules admitting only British aircraft, with engines not exceeding 150 hp), and by flying the 404-mile (650 km) course at an average speed of 87.6 mph (141 km/h). Longton showed what these early British transports could accomplish on low power.

Written off 2.5.26 when crashed at Hardwick Road Cemetery, 49 Hardwick Road, King's Lynn, Norfolk. One of the three persons on board was killed, one injured, one unhurt:

Flying Officer Arthur Orde Bigg-Wither (pilot, RAFO, aged 27) killed
George Mark Lloyd injured
Arthur Barrett unhurt

The accident was debated in Parliament: according to the following excerpt from "Hansard", the official record of debates in the House of Commons on 5/5/1926 (see link #9):

HC Deb 05 May 1926 vol 195 cc274-5 274
Lord FERMOY asked the Secretary of State for Air if his attention has been called to the fatal flying accident which occurred at King's Lynn on Sunday last, the machine in question belonging to Messrs. Lloyd Aviation Company; whether he is aware that this machine also contained a pleasure passenger and, as advertised, was giving an exhibition of crazy flying over the town; and whether he proposes to take any action in this matter?

Sir S. HOARE The answer to the first part of the question is in the affirmative. With regard to the second part, the passenger was carried at his own request and was not fare-paying; crazy flying was advertised to take place, but the accident occurred during the first stage of this flying; the exhibition was being given from a licensed aerodrome outside the town.

As regards the third part of the question, the accident is now under investigation by the Inspector of Accidents, and I am awaiting his report.

Mr. PALING May I ask whether in the case of people who are carrying passengers in this way any regulations are issued for the safety of the passengers?

Sir S. HOARE Yes, Sir, there are very stringent regulations, and I am having an investigation to see whether the regulations were carried out or not in this case."



Revision history:

27-Sep-2008 01:00 ASN archive Added
26-Mar-2011 14:07 Johnny Johnny Updated [Aircraft type, Cn, Operator, Location, Source, Narrative]
13-Dec-2013 22:40 Dr. John Smith Updated [Total fatalities, Total occupants, Other fatalities, Phase, Nature, Departure airport, Source, Damage, Narrative]
30-May-2018 20:43 Dr. John Smith Updated [Time, Total fatalities, Total occupants, Location, Source, Narrative]
30-May-2018 20:46 Dr. John Smith Updated [Source]
31-May-2018 18:09 Dr. John Smith Updated [Source, Narrative]

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