Major Risk, the CO of the Dover Aeroplane Station was away on duty, and Flight-Lieutenant Harold Rosher as second in command, was in charge.
Part of his duties was to train new pilots on fast machines, and he would always personally test a new machine or a newly-repaired machine before allowing anybody else to try it.
Today he ordered a number of machines to be brought out of the sheds for practice flights. Among them was a Bristol Scout Type C (1258) which had just been repaired after a mishap three weeks earlier. The pilot had already got into his machine. Harold told him to get out as the machine was untested, and himself took it up for a trial flight of eight or ten minutes.
Everything seemed fine until Harold began the descent about a mile away from the Aerodrome. Then, at a height of 300 feet or less, the machine suddenly made a nose-dive and crashed to the ground within seconds. Harold was killed instantly.