#53320
Nick
Participant

The Death of Capt. Mapplebeck.
It is with very great regret that we have to record the fatal accident to Capt. G. W. Mapplebeck, D.S.O., which occurred on
the 24th ult. at Joyce Green, Dartford, when landing after a flight on a Morane monoplane.

Capt. Mapplebeck had a magnificent record of work at the front; hebeinglone of the first officers of the R.F.C. to cross to France,
where he rendered invaluable help during the retreat from Mons. At the end of September he successfully bombed a German ammunition
train, but, during the operation, was severely wounded when at a height of 6,000 ft., and had to spend three months in hospital.
His work was rewarded by the D.S.O. and being mentioned in dispatches. On being discharged from hospital, he returned to the
front and on March 11th when engaged in a raid on the German lines near Lille, with two other pilots, he win shot down. After
setting fire to his machine, he managed to hide in a wood and by skilful disguise managed ultimately to make his way across the Dutch frontier and so home to England. Shortly afterwards he again went out to the front being specially promoted flight commander and temporary captain.

Capt. Mapplebeck, who held a commission in the King’s Liverpool Regiment, learnt to fly on a Deperdussin monoplane at Hendon in January, 1912, and was appointed to the 4th Squadron R.F.C. in December, 1913.

The remains of Capt. Mapplebeck were interred in Streatham Cemetery on Saturday las’, the Royal Flying Corps supplying a firing
party under Capt. Cox. Among I hose present at the grave-side were Major General Henderson. Lieut.-Col. Longeron, Major Warner, Major Cogan, Capt. Penn Gaskell, Capt. Leighton and Lieut. Wynne.

Flight, 3.9.1915, p652

Or was it a Type L ?

No. 70. Hansard.??illed in action while testing a type of machine condemned, by the French six months ago. Supplementary statement,??ate, August 24th, 1915. Type of machine, French Morane monoplane. Officer, Captain Mapplebeck. Place, Joyce Green. Not in action,. ?5 stated
in Hansard. Safety belt of pilot fastened to three-ply wood with wooden screws, and pilot found to have fallen forward.
Facts.??he monoplane was fitted with an 8o-h.p. Gnome engine. Captain Mapplebeck was ascending. He executed, when about 80 ft. from the ground, a sharp, heavily-banked right-hand turn. The machine spun round on its own axis and then nose-dived vertically. There was very little wind.

The accident appears to have been due to the machine “spinning” on a heavily-banked turn, the pilot not having sufficient speed and height to regain control before hitting the earth. It is the fact that the French have largely, but not entirely, discarded this type of machine, as also have we.

Both they and we continued to use a few as single seaters. It was a good machine in the hands of an expert flier, as Captain Mapplebeck was. It was, in fact, the type of machine on which the famous French airman, Garros, did such good work before he was brought down.

Conclusion.??he accident was due to an unfortunate error of judgment on the pilot’s part. There is no evidence as to the alleged faulty attachment of the belt. Nor in the opinion of the Committee did such faulty attachment, assuming it existed in anyway, contribute to the accident. It may be mentioned in passing that many pilots prefer not to use a safety belt. Tins type of machine was not one fit to be used
by an inexpert flier, and had Captain Mapplebeck not been a pilot of experience the Committee would have considered it
negligence to allow him to fly it. In view of Captain Mapplebeck’s skill and experience the Committee do not think there
was any negligence in supplying him with this machine.

Flight, 17.8.1916, p698