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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 18700
Last updated: 13 December 2018
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Date:24-DEC-1924
Time:
Type:De Havilland DH.34B
Owner/operator:Imperial Airways
Registration: G-EBBX
C/n / msn: 36
Fatalities:Fatalities: 8 / Occupants: 8
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:Castle Hill, Purley, Surrey -   United Kingdom
Phase: En route
Nature:International Scheduled Passenger
Departure airport:Croydon Airport, Croydon, Surrey (EGCR)
Destination airport:Le Bourget, Paris (LBG/LFPB)
Narrative:
On 24.12.24, the aircraft took off from Croydon Airport on a scheduled international passenger flight to Le Bourget Airport, Paris. Witnesses described the aircraft as flying low over Purley before nosediving to the ground, and overturning. The crash was followed by an explosion and fire.

The crash site was 1 1⁄2 miles (2.4 km) from Croydon Airport, at Castle Hill, Purley, where the Kingsdown housing estate was then under construction.

Attempts to rescue those on board were made, but the intensity of the fire made this task impossible. A witness stated that he thought the accident was unsurvivable. It was only after the local fire brigade had extinguished the fire that the bodies of the victims could be extricated from the wreckage. The accident was the first fatal accident suffered by Imperial Airways. The aircraft was insured with the British Aviation Insurance Group. A successful claim was made by Imperial Airways following the loss of the aircraft.

This accident was the first fatal accident suffered by Imperial Airways and led to the first public inquiry into a civil aviation accident in the United Kingdom. As a result of issues brought up during the Public Inquiry, Croydon Airport was expanded, absorbing most of Beddington Aerodrome. The eight persons who were killed in this accident were named as:

David Arthur Stewart (34) killed (pilot)
Mrs Annie Chaffey Bailey (64) killed
Dr Plinio Barbosa Lima (32) killed (Brazilian national)
Maurice Edward Luxemburg (18) killed
Archibald John Sproston (39) killed
George Sproston (76) killed
Marie Sproston (21) killed
Cedric Trudgett (21) killed (Chilean national)

Sources:

1. http://web.archive.org/web/20121017040045/http://baaa-acro.com/Fiches%20d%27accidents/1924/G-EBBX.htm
2. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1924_Imperial_Airways_de_Havilland_DH.34_crash
3. http://www.caa.co.uk/docs/HistoricalMaterial/G-EBBX.pdf
4. https://www.flightglobal.com/pdfarchive/view/1925/1925
5. http://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/details/r/C6576551
6. http://www.rcawsey.co.uk/Acc1925.htm
7. https://londonist.com/london/history/a-fatal-air-crash-near-croydon


Revision history:

Date/timeContributorUpdates
17-May-2008 11:10 ASN archive Added
13-Dec-2009 05:41 Anon. Updated
19-Apr-2012 00:25 ryan Updated [Location, Nature, Source, Narrative]
13-Dec-2013 23:47 Dr. John Smith Updated [Location, Departure airport, Destination airport, Source, Narrative]
06-Jul-2017 17:44 Dr. John Smith Updated [Source, Narrative]
18-Dec-2017 12:03 Iceman 29 Updated [Source]

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