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Norman Hogwood, from New Zealand, sent us this information.

I’m reading a book called “One Summer – America 1927” by Bill Bryson.

In it, Lindbergh has flown to Paris, Byrd has crash-landed on the beach in Normandy so the papers are full of aviation stories.

He says they’re silent on the 12th of July, 1927 except for one small item about an event in Canada the day before when a survey plane took off from an airfield near Lake Manitoba. It carried a pilot, a photographer, and a surveyor. The weather was fine. Witnesses reckoned it climbed to about 2000 ft in a normal manner but when it emerged from a cloud bank they saw the occupants fall out, one at a time, and plunge to their deaths.  According to Bryson the events surrounding that incident are largely unknown. A very strange happening and I wonder if you or any of your friends have the answer to the riddle.

We, at the NetLetter, contacted, Betty Draper, one of our readers, who sent us this information -
I found this for you I think it is the one you are looking for. I didn't find it in the Winnipeg paper, that's odd as it happened in Manitoba, they always have the news from the 1800s. I found it in the New York Times, and this was the information-


Three Fall Our of Plane 1,000 Feet in Air;
Canadian surveyors Die in Strange Accident.
Winnipeg, Canada, July 11, 1927 (AP) -

Three members of a Manitoba aerial photographic survey party were killed near Fairford, Manitoba, this afternoon when in some unexplained manner they fell from their machine a distance of about 1,000 feet. The dead were Flight Officer W.C.Weaver of Melfort, Saskatchewan, pilot in charge; A.T.Hardley, photographic mechanic, of Locre, Manitoba; F.H. Wrong, Surveyor of Topographical Survey Branch, Ottawa.

Eyewitnesses say the plane entered a cloudbank. Lost to view for several minutes, it later was observed following an erratic course through the clouds. The watchers were suddenly startled to see three men come hurtling through the air and the machine follow in a shallow nose dive to earth.

The body of Flight Officer Weaver was recovered near the shore of Lake Manitoba, at Hilbere. The bodies of the others were also recovered.

Norman had also copied his request to Geoff Hayes, and this was his reply -
My good friend Andy Triolaire, (ex Director of Safety, Canadian Airlines) has attached a (possible) report of this mysterious event.

tmb vickers vikingThis was the pertinent paragraph -
Two of the eight Vickers Viking Mk. IV's were the only aircraft made at Vickers in Britain rather than the Canadian Vickers company. G-CYET, pictured, suffered a Category A accident on 11 July 1927. The accident involved the failure of the hull in the air and a structural test on G-CYEU at Winnipeg practically duplicated this failure leading to a local modification on the remainder of the fleet to strengthen the hull.


Following up on the article by Jean-Rene Cadorel regarding Captain Gordon Jones 
in NetLetter nr 1335, Pete Wakefield sends this comment -

Wow, the remarkable story of Captain Gordon Jones.
I've been with AC over 30yrs and was not aware of his heroics in this incident. I did some brief research and learned there were actually 29 people aboard the DC-8 that night. No doubt 28 of them eternally grateful to this man and his remarkable piloting skills. His obit is a testament to his life. Seems our hero was a modest man, and humble in nature.
A great legacy ... remarkable indeed.

Pete Wakefield

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