Chamberlin, Lieutenant

Chamberlin, Lieutenant              1916 June 9th             Netheravon

Dropped 5,000 Feet

Mr F H Trethowan, Coroner for South Wilts, on Saturday held two inquests (see also Prickett, Launcelot) in connection with fatal aeroplane accidents on the Plain.

At Fargo Camp the enquiry concerned the death of Lieutenant Chamberlin, aged 19 years, a native of Toronto, of the Canadian Forces, attached to the 48th Squadron Royal Flying Corps, stationed at Netheravon. The evidence showed that on Friday he started in a biplane for a height test and flew about three-quarters of a mile across the downs, gradually ascending. Observers saw the machine dropping quickly, and parts of it fluttering, when it was about 4000 or 5000 feet in the air. It fell to the ground, and Lieutenant Chamberlin was found to be dead. He was described as a promising pupil, and had done 22 or 23 hours’ flying, being nearly ready for his pilot’s certificate. It was a comparatively new machine, and had been flown just before by another officer, and then examined and found fit for further use. It was stated that the lieutenant may have intended to descend in a spiral, and this possibly strained the machine. The right wing came off in the air, though for what reason it was impossible to say.

It was stated that an exhaustive enquiry into the whole matter was going to be held.

The jury returned a verdict of accidental death.


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