With reference to the letter from Mr. Classey concerning Lt-Cmdr. Kidston and the Meopham air crash, perhaps I may be able to clarify things a little.
The Junkers G-AAZK which crashed at Meopham on July 21st, 1930, disintegrated in mid-air as the result of tail buffeting. Various pieces of the aircraft fell to earth along a line covering 1 1/2 miles and had Kidston been on board, it is doubtful whether quick reactions or braced hands and feet would have been of much avail.
The occupants of the aircraft were, respectively, Lt-Col. G. P. Henderson, pilot; Mr. C. D. Shearing, co-pilot; the Marquess of Dufferin and Ava; Viscountess Ednam; Sir Edward Ward and Mrs. Henrik Loeffler. Six occupants of an aircraft built to carry six persons, so all seats were taken and all on board killed.
As the Editor points out, there is no record of any other air disaster in 1930, so the story concerning Kidston may well have been apocryphal.
Kidston was killed on May 5th, 1931 whilst flying over the Drakensberg, Natal in Puss Moth ZS-ACC. It is perhaps interesting to note that this accident was also a case of structural failure, the starboard mainplaine of the aircraft becoming detached in flight.
Philip D. Trevor.