ROTTERDAM - For the first time in Rotterdam history, someone was killed in a plane crash. The woman from Deventer sat in a KLM plane with five others and crashed into the water, just after take-off from Waalhaven airport. The five others could be saved.

The Fokker F-3 H-NABR took to the air at three o'clock for one flight above Rotterdam. The Fokker aircraft started to sink immediately after the start to a dangerous height, probably from a downwind.

“And above the Waalhaven the plane hit a mast of a ship moored there, which was the cause of it, that the plane struck crookedly and shot into the water with its head and right wing ”

(Rotterdamsch Nieuwsblad, 25-07-1928)

The mast of the ship De Kolenmijn broke at nine meters height by the blow with the plane. The pilot tried the masts of the other ships to avoid, but he also hit the steel wires of De IJsselstroom, another ship, at a height of ten meters.

The blow with the iron wires broke part of the right wing. The blow that the plane received from the collision, ensured that the plane was flying straight down, into the Waalhaven.

“The cabin disappeared almost completely under water and the people, including some skippers, who witnessed this dire spectacle uttered a cry of terror ”

(Rotterdamsch Nieuwsblad, 25-07-1928)

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Immediately after the blow, the staff arrived at the airport action. Skippers on the ships also jumped directly into the water. Skippers Pieters, who almost immediately dropped a small boat into the water, knew forcibly opening the cabin and lashing out the first two occupants the water. Two other women were saved by two other skippers. The pilot could get out of the device himself.

 In the search for the fifth passenger, KLM staff were also launched. The fifth victim was brought up unconscious from the destroyed cabin. A physician, who happened to be on the way to the airport, provided first aid. The woman was still transported to the hospital, but still died of her injuries.

The pilot did not have to go to the hospital. He was brought home in shock.


According to those present, the death toll was even higher may fail, if the rescuers hadn't been on the scene so quickly. The four ladies who survived the accident, have a head injury or bone fractures, but can retell it.

A start was made immediately after rescuing the victims recovering the wreck. Even before evening the device was taken out of the water hoisted.

The river police have the wreck confiscated and later released to KLM again. According to the authorities the device was fine, when it started the sightseeing flight. The machine was still checked by mechanics and pilot Schott. The pilot is known as one of the most experienced KLM pilots. He's already flying 13 years and even won awards for his flight performance.

To care

Concerns have now arisen about safety around Waalhaven airport. This week already the 4200e noted this year's flight. That is a lot more than last year.

It is not the first time that complaints have been made about the masts of the ships that are just outside the airport grounds.

"One knows, that the number of passenger flights from Waalhaven has become exceptionally large… And KLM can be happy, that nothing happened to passenger flights before yesterday's accident. That does demonstrate care, that KLM there, equal to all her work, spend on it. Therefore there is certainly nothing to blame for her. Only a fatal combination of circumstances interrupted the happy development of entertainment flies. ”

(The Fatherland, 25-07-1928)


Rotterdamsch Nieuwsblad – 25-07-1928 – The fall of the HNABR

New Rotterdam Courant – 25-07-1928 – Mixed News – The plane crash

The Fatherland – 25-07-1928 – The plane crash in the Waalhaven

Words and Deeds – in the history of Rotten aviation – Jan Willem de Wijn – once. 94

List of known accidents and incidents in 1928 – H. Dekker – Link

Author: Dave Datema

published: 28-09-2019

story number: 132

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