Accident Airco DH.2 5954, Tuesday 20 February 1917
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Date:Tuesday 20 February 1917
Type:Silhouette image of generic dh4 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different    
Airco DH.2
Owner/operator:CFS RFC
Registration: 5954
Fatalities:Fatalities: 1 / Occupants: 1
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Destroyed
Location:RFC Upavon, Salisbury Plain, Wiltshire -   United Kingdom
Phase: Approach
Departure airport:RFC Upavon, Salisbury Plain, Wiltshire
Destination airport:RFC Upavon, Salisbury Plain, Wiltshire
Confidence Rating: Information is only available from news, social media or unofficial sources
20.2.17: Airco (DeHavilland) D.H.2 No. 5954, Central Flying School, Royal Flying Corps. Written off (destroyed) when stalled turning into aerodrome on approach, RFC Upavon, Salisbury Plain, Wiltshire. Pilot - 2nd Lt John Libby Fry (Canadian, aged 19) - was killed. According to the aircraft accident records card for Airco (DeHavilland) DH.2 No.5954:

"Court of Inquiry 87/7954
Flying accident. Stalled turning into aerodrome. It is the opinion of the Court of Inquiry that the accident was caused by the pilot attempting a sharp turn oo near to the ground. Pilot lost flying speed and consequently control of machine, which nose dived"

According to a contemporary report in "Flight" magazine (March 1, 1917 page 203):

"Fatal Accidents
A verdict of "Accidental Death" was returned. Immediately following an inquest was held on Sec. Lieut. J. L. Fry. He was making a straight glide to land with the engine shut off, when, seeing that he would overshoot the landing ground, he turned sharply to the left. He continued to descend, and at 150 to 200 feet off the ground, made another sharp left turn.

This brought him into or across the wind in such a way that the machine nose-dived, and, at that height, there being no time for recovery, it crashed into the ground. A verdict of "Accidental Death" was returned"

Additional: According to one published source (see link #5):

"Training accidents continue to claim the lives of trainee pilots from all over the Empire. Today a Canadian, John Libby Fry from the RFC Special Reserve was killed training when his DH.2 crashed in poor weather near Upavon. His aircraft suffered engine trouble coming into land and he was unable to maintain height. The aircraft dived into the ground from 100ft. Fry was killed"


4. "Flight" magazine (March 1, 1917 page 203):

Revision history:

17-Jan-2019 20:20 Dr. John Smith Added
23-Jan-2019 09:13 stehlik49 Updated [Operator]

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