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PostPosted: 21 Nov 2018, 11:27 

Joined: 20 Nov 2018, 16:13
Posts: 11
Incident 4

Ok not strictly SAAF (see below though) but I hope you don't mind.

Date Before November 6, 1936

Pilot: Mr. Pierre Emile Nicole

Location: Johannesburg


New Zealand Herald, Volume LXXIII, Issue 22594, 5 December 1936, Page 17


YOUNG PILOT'S ORDEAL [from our own correspondent] JOHANNESBURG, Nov. 6 A young pilot struggled desperately at the controls of his blue monoplane as it spun earthward at a terrific speed in Johannesburg recently. When the machine came' within 600 feet of the ground the pilot jumped and landed safely by a parachute. The aeroplane struck the ground 20 yards in front of him and was smashed to matchwood. The pilot, Mr. Pierre Nicole, probably owes his life to the fact that the parachute was of the type which opens automatically when the pilot jumps and is not released by the pulling of a cord.

Mr. Nicole's only injuries were a sprained ankle and a bruised heel.

I can't find an incident to match and this (and a number of other newspaper reports) say the same story

Pierre Emile Nicole was Born May 9, 1911 in South Africa (I believe in Johannesburg) to Swiss parents. His father was a watchmaker

He travelled to the USA in 1934 and leant to fly with Ryan School of Aeronautics (California)

A later update has him

"Pierre Nicole, transport graduate of the Ryan School, wrote from England to report that he now is employed by the Imperial Airways System. He was graduated from the Ryan School in August, 1935. "

Based on the dates - I suspect he went back to South Africa after qualification in August 1935 and was using a civilian aircraft when he had to bail out before taking a permanent job with Imperial Airways in UK

By 1942 he had married a lady from Puerto Rico and was a Naturalized a US Citizen Dec 7, 1942

He may be SAAF in ww2 as I have a reference to a Captain Pierre Nicole, of 12 Squadron (Bostons) serving in SAAF WW2 where he is said to be a "Frenchman" - But maybe a confusion with his Swiss parenthood

I can't find his death anywhere, but he definitely was working as pilot in the 1940's as he appears on a number of plane manifests as crew

I hope someone can come up with an actual incident and date and location from sparse info above

Many Thanks

Paul McMillan

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