Jackson, Arthur

Jackson, Arthur         1917 February 9th         Figheldean

Flying Officer’s Death – His First and Last Solo Flight

The sad story of a young flying officer’s fatal fall from an aeroplane was told at an inquest held yesterday (Thursday) at the Flying School at Figheldean by Mr F H Trethowan, the Coroner for South Wilts.

Capt. H L Moore, RAMC, stated he understood that Second-Lieutenant Arthur Jackson arrived at the Flying School on February 1st, and from the records it appeared that he was passed as fit on that day. He was informed on Wednesday, February 7th, at 10am, that there had been an accident and he went to the spot, which was within half-a-mile of the hospital, and found that Mr Jackson was dead. Death was due to fracture of the skull.

Lieutenant V I Hardy, RFC, stationed at Netheravon, said that Second-Lieutenant Jackson was 18 years of age and his home was in Stoke Newington. Mr Jackson was given four hours and 50 minutes of dual instruction, and in several of those flights witness allowed him to have complete control. He asked him on Wednesday if he was confident about taking his solo flight, and he replied, “Yes.” About 9.45am, he started, slightly swung to the left, though he should have made a right-hand circuit. Soon after he saw him coming down nose downward, and making a right-hand turn down wind. He thought the machine side-slipped, but after that there would still have been time to recover if he had not lost his head.

Sergt. Appleton, of the RFC, said he saw the machine coming down. It was about 300 feet up when he first saw it falling.

Sidney Herbert Sterle and Percy William Chapman, air mechanics, gave evidence as to their examination of the machine and finding everything in order.

A verdict of “Accidental death” was returned.

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