Lt-Col George Lockhart Piercey Henderson

  1920, aged 32

 

 

b. 15 Apr 1888 in Simla, India, a 'law student' in 1915

RFC in WWI; commanded 66 Squadron in 1917.

In 1919, he offered flights to the general public in an Avro at Hounslow Aerodrome: £1 a head. There was enormous interest; queues of 50 or more were patiently waiting and the aeroplane could hardly get up and down fast enough. Consequently, he was described as the 'best-known of the competitors' in that year's Aerial Derby.

He and a Lieut Herrstrom then opened a flying school in Sweden - "ideal conditions for winter flying", they said.

Later, President of the Federation of Pilots; in 1924, he and Frank Barnard were in talks with Lord Thompson about the dispute over terms and conditions for the pilots of the newly-formed Imperial Airways.

He was still competing in 1927, coming third in the Poole Handicap for owner-pilots.

He got some flak in 1928 when he opened a service from Cape Town and Johannesburg using Junkers tri-motor aeroplanes but, as he pointed out, it was the cheapest option.

He was killed 21 July 1930 in Junkers F.13ge G-AAZK belonging to the Walcot Air Line, which crashed near Gravesend, Kent. His co-pilot and the four passengers also died. The inquiry concluded that the aeroplane had broken up in flight due to 'buffetting', but Junkers produced convincing evidence of pilot error, suggesting that he pulled out of an inadvertent dive too violently.

His ashes were scattered from an aeroplane over Croydon.

His book 'A Complete Course of Practical Flying' was published almost the same day.

 

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