London, England Airliner Falls, Dec 1935
11 Die In England As Airliner Falls
Belgian Plane, Its Wings Coated
With Ice, Crashes in 'Valley
of Death' in Surrey Hills
ALL ABOARD LOSE LIVES
Sir John Carden, British Tank
and Plane Engine Designer,
Is Among 7 Passengers
LONDON, Wednesday, Dec. 11 —
Ice forming on the wings of a
Belgian air liner as it neared Croydon
air field at dusk yesterday was
believed to have thrown it into a
headlong dive into a garden in
which its eleven occupants, seven
passengers and a crew of four,
were instantly killed. It was one of
the worst disasters in the history
of British aviation.
Among the passengers was Sir
John Carden, noted designer of airplane
engines and a technical director
of Vickers-Armstrongs, Ltd.,
where his activities were principall
y related to Vickers army tanks,
in connection with -which he had
just been in Brussels. It was said
that every tank now u s ed by the
British Army had b e en wholly or
partly designed by.him.
The disaster occurred in t h e Tatsfield
district of the Surrey hills,
known among cross-Channel pilots
as "the valley of death." It is
usually cloud-ridden, with a number
of flashing beacons to guide
airmen the last few miles 'to the
Wreckage Bid Not Burn.
Witnesses suggest that the pilot,
seeing that the crash was inevitable,
promptly switched off all three
engines, for no fire resulted when
the forepart of the plane embedded
itself in the earth and wreckage
from the rest of the machine littered
the ground within a radius of
It was not until after midnight
that the police recovered the bodies.
All were mutilated.
One of the passengers -was Mrs.
Berthold Schueller, the wife of a
doctor from Duesseldorf, Germany,
resident in London. Policemen, after
recovering the bodies, intercepted
Dr. Schueller as he was climbing
a hill toward the -wreckage and advised
him t o return to London.
The other passengers were G. V.
Sonny, a Londoner employed at the
Ford motor works at Dagenham;
Mr. Heintzmann of the Bochum
iron -works in Germany, Miss Czaya
and the Messrs. Zukmann and
Samyn. Four of the passengers
The crew consisted of Jean
Schroombodt, 35-year-old pilot; Mr.
Berdinnen, flight, engineer; Mr.
Desmedt, radio operator, and Mr.
Lady Carden's Hopes Sashed
Lady Carden insisted upon seeing
the body of her husband, who was
identified by h i s automobile driving
license. He was an experienced
pilot and had vowed that he would
never fly in bad'weather, which
impelled his wife to hope that a
mistake had been made.
Dec. 12, 1935 edition of The New York Times