On this day in history : 29th November 1975 – British racing driver Graham Hill is killed in an aircraft crash at Arkley in Hertfordshire….
The two times Formula One World Champion (1962 and 1968) had retired from racing four months previously…. Hill was piloting his Piper PA-23 Aztec twin engined light aircraft back from a car testing session in the South of France…. He had on board five passengers, all from the Embassy Hill team : manager Ray Brimble, mechanics Terry Richards and Tony Alcock, designer Andy Smallman and driver Tony Brise….
It was a night flight and they were due to be landing at Elstree Airfield…. Visibility was appalling on account of thick fog….and just before 10pm the aircraft struck a row of trees on Arkley golf course…. All on board were killed….
At the later inquest it emerged that Hill had been flying at only 60ft above the ground – because of the poor visibility he had not realised…. The verdicts on all of the deaths was accidental….
3,000 mourners attended Hill’s funeral in St. Albans, Hertfordshire…. He left behind his wife Bette, two daughters, Brigette and Samantha – and a 15-year-old son, Damon – who was to follow in his father’s footsteps by becoming Formula One World Champion in 1996….