5 October 1916 – Pioneer Lucas killed

Captain Keith Lucas, Fellow of the Royal Society, was killed today in a flying accident.

Keith Lucas

Keith Lucas

Lucas had been at the Royal Aircraft Factory since just after the outbreak of war. He had spent his time developing improved instruments including accurate bomb sights and improved aeroplane compasses. Prior to that he had made unique advances in physiology at Trinity College Cambridge, assisting his experiments by creating well-designed instruments, some of which he made with his own hands. Other, more elaborate instruments were made by the Cambridge Scientific Instrument Company, where Lucas became a director in 1906.

He had spent much time as a passenger in various aircraft, but had felt that he needed to learn how to fly to better appreciate the requirements of pilots.

He was undertaking flying lessons when disaster struck today. While flying a BE2c (4174) at the Central Flying School at Farnborough he suffered a mid air collision with another BE2c (5389) piloted by 2nd Lieutenant Geoffrey Plateras Lawson Jacques. Both men were killed instantly.

In contrast 2nd Lieutenant Jacques was just 18 and had only joined the RFC in July 1916.




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