top of page

Intrepid aviators narrowly escape serious injury

Updated: Oct 2, 2020

Lincolnshire Free Press - Tuesday May 16 1911

An exciting incident was witnessed at Haywards Heath on Tuesday evening last and, when the two aviators, Mr Oscar Morrison and Mr George England, started off in a biplane for Shoreham, where they intended to take part in Wednesdays race to Black Rock, Brighton. Shortly after the assent the biplane had reached the outskirts of a wood when the engine failed, and the machine fell into some treetops. Several spectators hurried to the scene, and found the aviators perched in the branches. Ladders were requisitioned, and the airmen were rescued.

Mid Sussex Times May 16th 1911

Haywards Heath was again on the lips of people all over the country last week in consequence of the narrow escape from death which Mr Oscar Morrison and Mr Gordon England had on Tuesday evening. These two enthusiastic aviators purposed flying from Oakwood to Shoreham, so as to take part on Wednesday in the proposed race from Shoreham to Roedean. They ascended from a meadow at Oakwood at about half past seven, and had not gone far when the engine failed and the biplane crashed into an oak tree in the wood.

It was a nerve-trying situation, and the spectators of the ascent rushed to the spot with their hearts in their mouths. To their great relief, however, they heard the aviators themselves call out “We’re all right.” None were more collected than they. Had it been otherwise, and they had made undue haste to extricate themselves from their perilous position, in all probability they would have had a serious fall. The height of the tree was about 30 foot.

It was impossible for help to be rendered them until ladders were obtained. These were placed against the tree and everybody was pleased when Mr Morison and Mr England safely reached the ground. The biplane was broken and torn, and was left in the tree all night. Before it was taken down on Wednesday by the Bristol company’s mechanics Mr Tullett, of Haywards Heath, secured several fine photographs of it. The damage is estimated at £100.

George England

Whether the public will be permitted to witness at Oakwood further flying exhibitions is a question which the law, perhaps will be called upon to settle. The owners of Oakwood have not taken kindly to Mr England's enterprise, and have warned him through their solicitor, Mr C. H. Waugh, that such a meeting or exhibition as took place on the 7th inst. is against the covenants of his lease, and should he resolve to hold a similar exhibition an injunction would be applied for to restrain him from a further breach of his covenants.


bottom of page