Accident Avro 504A 4050, Friday 9 June 1916
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Date:Friday 9 June 1916
Type:Silhouette image of generic A504 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different    
Avro 504A
Owner/operator:Royal Flying Corps (RFC)
Registration: 4050
Fatalities:Fatalities: 1 / Occupants: 1
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Destroyed
Location:RFC Filton, Bristol, Gloucestershire, England -   United Kingdom
Phase: Initial climb
Departure airport:RFC Filton, Bristol, Gloucestershire
Destination airport:RFC Filton, Bristol, Gloucestershire
Confidence Rating: Information is only available from news, social media or unofficial sources
9.6.16: Avro 504A No. 4050, Royal Flying Corps. Written off (destroyed) when Stalled and crashed, Filton, near Bristol, Gloucestershire. Pilot - 2nd Lt Frank Dudley Evans (aged 18, attached to RFC from the 4th Battalion, Royal Warwickshire Regiment) - was killed. According to a contemporary report in "Flight" magazine (June 15, 1916, page 516)

"Fatal Accidents
On June 9th Lieut. F. D. Evans, R.F.C., was flying near Bristol when, apparently owing to engine trouble, the machine dived to the ground, the pilot being instantly killed. At the subsequent inquest a verdict of "Accidental Death " was returned."

Additional: According to the aircraft records card for Avro 504 No. 4050. there is a handwritten entry (see link #3):

"Court of Inquiry - Accident caused by 'stalling' by making a very 'flat' turn". On the back of the card is a further note, which is typewritten:

"The Court of Inquiry, having duly considered the evidence, is of the opinion that the accident was due to 2nd Lt F.D.Evans putting his machine into a spin, possibly intentionally, and holding it in the spin until it was too late to regain control.

The court further finds that the accident was in no way due to any fault in the engine por in the rigging of the machine. On examination of the wreckage, it would appear that the controls did not jam and nothing had happened to interfere with their free working"

According to a biography of 2nd Lt Frank Dudley Evans (see link #5)

Second Lieutenant Frank Dudley Evans from Castle Bromwich died of wounds on 9th June 1916 after a flying accident at Bristol. He was 18 years old and was serving with the 4th Battalion, Royal Warwickshire Regiment, attached to the Royal Flying Corps (RFC).

The Newcastle Journal 12th June 1916 reported that the engine of his [Avro 504] biplane misfired at about 150 feet, but that he continued climbing to about 400 feet when the aircraft made a very flat turn and nosedived to the ground. Lieutenant Evans suffered a fractured skull.

His coffin was draped in a Union Flag, topped with a large floral cross from his comrades, and was borne back to Castle Bromwich on a transport wagon by officers and men of the Royal Flying Corps. His funeral was held at St Mary & St Margaret’s Church, with the choir singing “Lead, Kindly Light” and the large congregation included a uniformed detachment of Red Cross auxiliary nurses, of whom his mother was an officer.

Frank was the eldest of the two sons of Alfred Dudley Evans and his wife, Charlotte Ann (née Beswick). His brother, William Norman Dudley Evans, was 12 years younger. Frank was born in Handsworth on 3rd August 1897. The family was still in Handsworth in 1901, when the father, Alfred, was listed as being a newspaper reporter. He was also Honorary Secretary of the Institute of Journalists around this time. They had moved to Castle Bromwich by the time of the birth of their youngest son in 1910.

Frank obtained his flying certificate on 27th April 1916 at the Military School, Thetford, flying a Maurice Farman biplane.

He is buried in Castle Bromwich graveyard, and is also commemorated on the village war memorial and the roll of honour plaque in St Mary & St Margaret’s Church."


4. Flight magazine (June 15 1916 page 516):

Revision history:

10-Dec-2018 17:43 Dr.John Smith Added
15-Feb-2021 20:04 Anon. Updated [Operator, Location, Operator]

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