Bromet Crash (1)

Hawker Hart K2455 at South Cliff Gardens, Scarborough

On 8th August 1938 Hawker Hart K2455 of the London Communications Squadron took off from Hendon airfield at 09:30hrs. It was to be flown north to Abbotsinch Aerodrome, Glasgow with a number of re-fuelling stops en-route. A common route for such long distance flights was to follow the Lincolnshire coast, across the Humber and then up the Yorkshire and Durham coastline further north using the airfields close to the coast as re-fuelling points. One such stop was made at North Coates airfield and the aircraft headed north after leaving the Humber area, probably following this usual coastal route. Catfoss airfield was also a common stopping point. As the aircraft arrived in the Scarborough area the coastline was obscured by a sea fret which reduced visibility. At just before 12.30hrs the aircraft was flying very low just off Scarborough when it headed towards land and straight for the cliffs in the South Bay which were hidden in a thick fog that was blanketing the area at the time. It was thought the pilot saw the cliffs at the last moment and he put the aircraft into a steep climb. This caused the aircraft to stall and it crashed into the Cliff Gardens, narrowly missing the tower of the Waldorf Hotel. It was thought that he had put the aircraft into a steep banked turn to avoid this tower and its forward speed was too slow to avoid a stall occuring. The aircraft went into a dive and struck the ground. The local newspapers covered the incident in great detail stating it had crashed into trees ten feet below the Esplanade, with the wheel section hitting a sharp bend on a path way. The crash happened just in front of the Granville Hotel and close to the Marina Hotel. It was completely wrecked but somehow both the occupants only had scratches, they were seen by a local doctor who told them to have bed rest and they were put up in the Granville Hotel over-night. The pilot was blamed for the crash: it was said he should have turned back for North Coates instead of flying on through the fog.

The Pilot - Pilot Officer David Iain McMonnies (40001) was slightly injured.

The Passenger - Air Commodore Geoffrey Rhodes Bromet RAF DSO OBE, of Tadcaster, Yorkshire was also slightly injured.

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