Episode 4 – A mid-air collision involving a De Havilland in 1922 leads to the fly to the right rule


Manage episode 279825208 series 2838438
By Plane Crash Diaries and Desmond Latham. Discovered by Player FM and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Player FM, and audio is streamed directly from their servers. Hit the Subscribe button to track updates in Player FM, or paste the feed URL into other podcast apps.
This week we’ll feature two accidents from the early 1920s that changed rules. The first is a mid-air collision that took place in April 1922 over Picardie in France, and the second was the response to an investigation into a crash of a passenger plane flying between London and Manchester in England. As we’ll hear, both led to new air regulations and rules that we still use today including a rule of keeping to the right, the introduction of air routes and the other allowing for transparency in reporting of accidents. In the section at the end of this podcast The History of... I’ll cover the concepts of keep to the right, how air routes work, and transparency in aviation. But first, let’s head back to 1922 and France. Flying was in its infancy after the first world war, and 1922 was an exciting time to be alive. Pilots were the astronauts of their age and were idolised and the rich and famous began to use these wonders of modern invention, the aeroplane. Folks had survived the first world war and then the massive influenza epidemic afterwards that killed 17 million people so the second decade of the 20th century became known as the Roaring Twenties. The music was effervescent and the parties were wild. Jazz and ragtime music was in the dance halls and the advent of radio and ready availability of phonograph records meant even those in remote locations were listening to the latest music, very much as they do today. But in 1922 it was considered a unique time, openness, freedom, growth and technical developments like heavier than air machines. Aviators were trying to break new records every month and no one had flown across the Atlantic Ocean – yet. Public dance halls, clubs, and tea rooms opened in the cities. Strangely named black dances inspired by African style dance moves, like the shimmy, turkey trot, buzzard lope, chicken scratch, monkey glide, and the bunny hug were adopted by the general public. The cake walk, developed by slaves as a send-up of their masters' formal dress balls, became the rage. White audiences saw these dances first in vaudeville shows, then performed by exhibition dancers in the clubs. And of course, in France these gained traction quickly. That’s what drew two of the passengers on board the French biplane involved in this terrible accident. American couple, Christopher Bruce Yule and the new Mrs. Mary Yule, were on their honeymoon and had travelled to France for a romantic holiday. They boarded the French aeroplane known as the Farman F.60 Goliath registration F-GEAD piloted by M Mire at Le Bourget and were looking forward to landing in Croydon airport near London. Little did they know their special honeymoon flight would end in tragedy.

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