It was a very narrow escape, but it didn't discourage Temple from further attempts. Although he had successfully become the first
Englishman to fly upside-down in Britain, the loop still eluded him. According to a note in Flight (31.1.1914) Temple "wisely listened to
the advice of older pilots that his machine was not quite suited to the strain put upon it, and had decided to give up all thought of
looping the loop till he could get a machine from Bleriot specially designed for the purpose." However this did not mean that Temple
refrained from 'aerobatics'.
"On Saturday (Flight 3.1.1914), G L Temple flew against the strong wind to Uxbridge, the trip taking exactly one hour, and very bad weather being encountered. On arrival there a forced landing was made in an exceptionally small field, it being necessary to bring the machine in between two trees. One wing actually touched a tree, but the machine was quite undamaged." Temple returned to Uxbridge the following Saturday to give further exhbition flights which took him above the clouds and included steep dives and vertical turns. This performance was then repeated over the grounds of Hillingdon Court, the home of Lord Hillingdon. Flight went on to report that Temple received "a tremendous ovation from a large crowd."
Despite the adulation, or perhaps because of it, Temple was taking too many risks. On Sunday January 25, 1914, he insisted in going down to the aerodrome at Hendon to make an exhibition flight despite the very cold and gusty weather. Furthermore, he was still recovering from a bad case of influenza, which had kept him bedridden for two weeks.
Despite his health and the weather, Temple took off in his 50 hp Gnome powered Bleriot in front of a crowd of approximately 100 spectators. For ten minutes he flew round the enclosures at 500 feet, and then came down to 150 feet. At this height he flew level for about 200 yards, and then his engine suddenly stopped. The Bleriot went into a steep dive, passed beyond the vertical, executed a complete loop, and landed upside down in the middle of the aerodrome. Temple died from his injuries, which included a broken neck.
Richard Gates, general manager of Hendon aerodrome, witnessed the crash; "I was standing at the door of my office watching Mr Lee Temple making one of his customary daring descents. The flying was practically over for the day, and the public was leaving the ground. I noticed that Mr Lee Temple had descended to about 100 yards from the ground in an almost perpendicular position, and just as he was about to make a turn for landing a gust of wind caught the tail part of the 50 hp Bleriot monoplane in which he had been flying and turned it completely over. The monoplane struck the ground rather heavily. When we got to the scene it was found that the machine was very little damaged, but poor Mr Lee Temple was lying in his seat dead. Dr A B Leakey, who was on the ground on behalf of the St John's Ambulance Association, hurried to the scene in a motorcar, and, after a cursory examination of Mr Lee Temple, pronounced life extinct. His neck and an arm were broken, but the body was not crushed or mangled in any way. The doctor expressed the opinion that Lee Temple's neck was broken by the sudden jar when the monoplane struck the ground. Lee Temple went up about 4 o'clock for about ten minutes, and the highest point he reached was about 500 feet. It was most unfortunate that he was not higher in the air when the mishap occurred, for it is