HISTORIC AIRPLANES: A Fatal
Error - the de Havilland Twin
When manufacturer L.W.E. Engineering Company
produced its first retrofitted twin engine de Havilland, postal
officials were ecstatic about the result. The new airplane would
fly faster and carry more mail than the standard de Havilland.
On its first trip, the airplane carried 630 pounds of mail (as
opposed to 500 pounds in a standard de Havilland), and could
fly up to 15 miles per hour faster.
The first trips were the only successful ones
for this airplane. Soon reports were flooding Air Mail Service
headquarters of crashes and mechanical problems with the airplanes.
The first airmail employee killed by a twin de Havilland airplane
was Charles Nanista, a field worker who was hit on the head
on August 8, 1920, by a twin DH-4 propeller at Chicago field.
On February 3, 1921, Kenneth M. Stewart lost his life in the
twin DH-4 when engine failure caused his craft to crash in
The twin de Havillands were removed from service.
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Fatal Error - the de Havilland Twin.