Latham, Edgar

Latham, Edgar        1917 October 26th          Netheravon

Flying Fatality

Two inquests (see also Mahaffy, Henry) have been held by the Coroner for South Wilts (Mr F H Trethowan) this week in connection with local aviation fatalities, both accidents occurring as a result of the aviator turning when the aeroplane had lost speed. The first was held on Monday at the Military Hospital, Netheravon, touching the death of Second-Lieut Edgar R Latham, who was 22 years of age, and came from Johannesburg.

Capt Beatty said Lieut Latham was a qualified pilot and was doing his second solo flight on an SFAD machine. He had done over 40 hours flying. He went up about 1000 feet, turned and started to glide down, and when about 300 feet up tried to turn, but having lost speed he made a spinning nose dive, and was too close to the ground then to recover.

Evidence that the controls and rigging were in order before the flight was given by First Air Mechanics Madding and Gibson. Capt Moore, RAMC, of Netheravon Military Hospital, said the lieutenant died while in the aeroplane from fracture of the base of the skull.

A verdict of accidental death was returned.

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