Accident Morane-Saulnier monoplane , Sunday 26 April 1914
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Date:Sunday 26 April 1914
Type:Morane-Saulnier monoplane
Owner/operator:Philippe Marty
Fatalities:Fatalities: 1 / Occupants: 1
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Destroyed
Location:Hendon Aerodrome, Hendon, Middlesex, England -   United Kingdom
Phase: Landing
Departure airport:Hendon Aerodrome, Hendon, Middlesex
Destination airport:Hendon Aerodrome, Hendon, Middlesex
Confidence Rating: Information is only available from news, social media or unofficial sources
26.4.1914: Morane-Saulnier monoplane written off (damaged beyond repair) when stalled and dived into the ground on landing, after giving an air display at Hendon Aerodrome, Hendon, Middlesex. The pilot - and sole occupant - Philippe Marty (aged 21 and a French national) - was killed. According to a contemporary report in Flight magazine (May 9, 1914 page 490 - see link #2)

IN connection with the accident which resulted in the death of Philippe Marty on Sunday week, an inquest was held at Hendon on the 29th April.

John Stanton Chapman stated that Many had given an exhibition of trick flying, and just before the accident he had been making some small circles with the engine off. The machine was about 100 feet from the ground when the engine was shut off, and the machine fell head first to the ground.

Harold G. Carpenter also gave similar evidence. Louis Noel said he tried Marty's machine earlier in the afternoon and found it all right. After the accident he examined it and ascertained that the controls were in order.

Richard T. Gates, general manager of the Grahame-White Aviation Co., said that in his last flight Marty flew several times round the course, and while doing so switched his engine on and off. That was done in order to reduce the speed of the machine to try to fly at a slow speed. Marty was descending when he began a spiral. He did not do many circles, but those he did were very small and were not banked.

Apparently Marty's intention was to go round and round and land, and when he was 40 feet or 50 feet from the ground the machine was perfectly straight. It seemed to bank a little, then stay motionless, then tip onto its nose and dive to the ground. Witness thought that was brought about by the fact that Marty lost his air speed, consequently bringing the machine round at a slow turn. If he had had another 250 feet to drop he would probably have been able to operate his elevator successfully.

Mr. Gates said he had no doubt that Marty was endeavouring to straighten the machine out as it came down, but it had not sufficient velocity to enable the elevators to act efficiently. The machine was passing too slowly through the air for the elevators to act efficiently and control the machine. Marty was an experienced aviator, and had a wonderful record for one so young.

Possibly the accident was due to the fact that Marty left his motor switched off too long. Mr. Grahame-White said that he did not see the accident, but from inquiries he had made he formed the opinion that Marty got into a steep spiral with his engine switched off, and there was a possibility that he switched on again and his motor would not go.

Such a thing did happen sometimes. Failing that it might have been an error of judgment. Aviators, however skilled, did make such errors sometimes. Mr. Grahame-White said that he had just given permission to Marty to go to France for a week, and there was no necessity for him to have gone up again that evening.

The jury returned a verdict of " accidental death."

The remains of Philippe Marty were taken to France for interment on Thursday evening, and the coffin was borne to the funeral compartment in the boat express at Charing Cross by a party of men, under Superintendent Muller, from the 56th division of the St. John Ambulance Association. In the procession which followed were M. Maurice Marty (brother), Mr. H. E. Penin (secretary, Royal Aero Club), Mr. Richard T. Gates (General Manager of the London Aerodrome), Mr. B. Isaac (secretary), Messrs. Louis Noel, W. Birchenough, Beatty, Howarth, Baumann, Carr, and Strange, with about a score of mechanics also from the aerodrome. Among the many floral tributes was one in the form of a monoplane "From Hendon Aviation Pupils and the Staff of the Aerodrome".


2. Flight magazine (May 9 1914 page 490 at

Revision history:

21-Nov-2018 22:58 Dr.John Smith Added
11-Jun-2023 21:04 Nepa Updated

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