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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 162066
Last updated: 11 February 2021
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Type:Vickers Virginia VIII
Owner/operator:9 Sqn Royal Air Force (9 Sqn RAF)
Registration: J7439
C/n / msn:
Fatalities:Fatalities: 2 / Occupants: 4
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:Thames Estuary, Beresford Gap, off Birchington, Kent -   United Kingdom
Phase: En route
Departure airport:RAF Manston, Kent
Destination airport:
On 7.4.25 at 11am local time, Vickers Virginia VIII twin-engine biplane heavy bomber J7439 of 9 Squadron, RAF, encountered thick fog over the Thames Estuary, whilst on a sortie from RAF Manston, and the Captain decided to ditch the aircraft in the sea, into the Beresford Gap, off Birchington, Kent. He and one crewman survived with injuries, but the second-pilot and the other crewman were reported as missing, believed drowned.

Pilot Officer Neil Coull Walker RAF (co-pilot) and AC.1 Ernest Edward Mills RAF (Service Number 335778) were killed. Of the other two crew members, Pilot Officer Eric Alfred Claude Bushell, the pilot of the aircraft, was slightly injured and No. 362113 AC.2 Horace Eustace Grellis (Service Number 262113) was seriously injured.

Wreckage recovered from the crash site, and returned to Vickers Aircraft at Brooklands, Byfleet, Surrey. Rebuilt as the prototype Vickers Virginia Mk.X; first flown as such in May 1927



Revision history:

11-Nov-2013 20:03 angels one five Added
11-Nov-2013 20:08 angels one five Updated [Narrative]
13-Dec-2013 23:29 Dr. John Smith Updated [Aircraft type, Location, Departure airport, Source, Narrative]
13-Dec-2013 23:35 Dr. John Smith Updated [Time, Location, Source, Narrative]
06-Jun-2015 09:12 Xindel Updated [Time, Operator]
26-May-2018 21:04 Dr. John Smith Updated [Operator, Location, Source, Narrative]
09-Nov-2018 08:54 stehlik49 Updated [Operator]

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