Campbell, Alexander

Campbell, Alexander        1917 September 28th            Netheravon

Flying Officer Killed

Fatal Fall on his First Solo Flight

The Coroner for South Wilts (Mr F H Trethowan) held an inquest at Netheravon Military Hospital, on Tuesday, in connection with the death of Second-Lieutenant Alexander Findlay Campbell, who died as a result of a fall from an aeroplane.

Capt Paterson, of the Royal Flying Corps, said that Lieut Campbell was an officer on the General List but attached to the RFC at Netheravon. He was 18 years of age and his home was near Dundee. On Saturday, September 22nd, witness took him up for a short flight. He was flying the machine without witness’ assistance and landed correctly. He then took a solo flight. He went up all right and was flying for about ten minutes, but witness did not watch any longer, being quite confident about him, because he was a good pupil. He was in the machine in which they flew together.

Capt Atkinson, of the Reserve Regt of Cavalry, stationed at Tidworth, said that at about 7.15 on Saturday morning, he was riding near Sidbury Hill, Figheldean, when he saw an aeroplane flying about 200 feet up in a westerly direction. He took his eyes off it, but a difference in the sound of the engine caused him to look up again. Then he saw the machine in practically a vertical position, from which it moved over on its back, then nose-dived to the ground and burst into flames. He went up immediately, but could not get very close owing to the flames.

Evidence that the machine was in proper order before the flight was given by two 1st Air Mechanics, R Rowland and W Hollow.

Capt Moore, RAMC, stated that death was due to shock from injuries caused by the fall.

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