Bessouter Plane Crash

Bessouter Plane Crash

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Hanworth Aerodrome, Hanworth Air Park




February 1930







black and white


Campbell Family Collection


Campbell family, Fiona Campbell Hicks

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Fiona Campbell Hicks

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A crashed Bessouter I. plane is already upside-down by the time the camera rolls, so we don’t know how John Dermot Campbell managed to escape from it. A couple exits a plane after landing on grass, this time the right way up. The footage was probably shot at the Hanworth aerodrome, which started to offer air-taxi services around this period.

This is one of a series of clips from the Campbell Collection about gliding and aviation. 

The film was probably shot by Pat Campbell and it is part of the Campbell Family Collection.  


Hanworth Park was purchased in 1916 to be used as a civil airfield and testing site for aeroplanes during the First World War, opening for operations in 1917 it became known as Hanworth Aerodrome and was the first airport in Middlesex.  In 1917 the aerodrome was officially designated an Aircraft Acceptance Park, a location where aircraft were finally assembled and tested before delivery to RFC squadrons, and in the same year the Whitehead Flying School was set up.

In 1928 National Flying Services Ltd was formed, in response to a call for a central organisation to co-ordinate a national network of flying clubs and aerodromes, and the Hanworth Park was developed as a functional aerodrome changing its name to London Air Park. In 1930 National Flying Services started operating Desoutters for air-taxi and charter work. Flying clubs based at the London Air Park at the time were The Hanworth Club and London Air Park Flying Club.


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