Accident Maurice Farman MF.11 Shorthorn , Wednesday 31 May 1916
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Date:Wednesday 31 May 1916
Type:Maurice Farman MF.11 Shorthorn
Owner/operator:CFS RFC
Fatalities:Fatalities: 2 / Occupants: 2
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Destroyed
Location:RFC Netheravon, Salisbury Plain, Wiltshire -   United Kingdom
Phase: Approach
Departure airport:RFC Upavon Salisbury Plain, Wiltshire
Destination airport:RFC Netheravon, Salisbury Plain, Wiltshire
Confidence Rating: Information is only available from news, social media or unofficial sources
31.5.16: Maurice Farman MF.11 Shorthorn, Central Flying School, RFC Upavon. Written off (destroyed) when Dived into the ground, at RFC Netheravon, Salisbury Plain, Wiltshire. Both crew members - Flight Sgt Enos George West (pilot, Service Number 1343, aged 22) and Air Mechanic 2nd Class William Burlinson (aged 28, Service Number 22180) - were killed.

The Coroners Inquest into the deaths of the two crew (Flight Sgt George West and Air Mechanic William Burlinson) was held "back to back" on June 2 1916 at the same time as the inquest into the deaths of 2nd Lt Ernest Davies Le Sauvage and Air Mechanic 2nd Class William John Woodland (killed 30 May 1916 in Henry Farman No. 2841).

Below is the transcript of the Coroners report into the deaths of the crew of Maurice Farman MF.11 Shorthorn on May 31 1916:

"Le Sauvage, Ernest, and Woodland, John
June 2nd 1916
West, (Enos), and Burlinson, William
June 2nd 1916

Four Flying Men Killed
Double Fatalities at Upavon and Netheravon

The toll of the air has been very heavy in Wiltshire of late, and to the fatalities which have recently been reported in our county there must be added four other victims, who met with their deaths on Tuesday and Wednesday. Mr Coroner F.A.P Sylvester held inquests at the Central Flying School, Upavon, on Wednesday afternoon on four victims,

Lieutenant Ernest Davies le Sauvage, 1st Dorset Regiment.
Air Mechanic John Woodland, RFC.
Flight-Sergeant West, RFC
Air Mechanic Burlinson, RFC.

The two first named were killed at Upavon on Tuesday by falling with a Henri-Farman bi-plane, and the others at Netheravon on Wednesday morning with a Maurice-Farman bi-plane. The lieutenant was 19 years of age, and his home was at Beaumont, Jersey. Woodland was 28 years of age and married, his home being at Islington. The others were aged 22 and 26...

...The second inquest, on the bodies of Sergeant West and Mechanic Burlinson, followed on the arrival of the witnesses from Netheravon.

The evidence of Lieutenant Marshall Thorn, instructor RFC, was to the effect that the two men went up in a Maurice-Farman biplane, with dual control. West was instructing Burlinson, who was sitting in the front seat. Witness noticed this particular machine make a nose dive, and on going to the spot where it fell he saw the two men lying a little way from the machine, both dead. He could give no theory as to the cause of the occurrence, except that in a nose-dive of 75ft there was not sufficient room to recover. The machine was absolutely nose on to the ground. One man’s belt had burst, but this might have been caused by the impact. It is possible that one of them might have fallen forward on to the controls, but the machine was so smashed that it was impossible to arrive at any conclusion as to this. The machine had been properly tested, as usual.

The medical evidence showed that both men suffered from fracture of the skull.

The Coroner briefly summed up, and a similar verdict to that in the other case was returned.

The Coroner expressed sympathy with the relatives of the unfortunate men, and the jury concurred."



Revision history:

08-Dec-2018 15:55 Dr.John Smith Added
09-Dec-2018 21:13 Dr.John Smith Updated [Source, Narrative]
09-Dec-2018 21:28 Dr.John Smith Updated [Narrative]
24-Jan-2019 08:45 Nepa Updated [Operator, Operator]

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