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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 172983
Last updated: 20 March 2020
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Type:Simmonds Spartan
Owner/operator:Hampshire Aeroplane Club
Registration: G-AAFR
C/n / msn: 12
Fatalities:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 1
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:River Hamble, near Bursledon, Eastleigh, Hampshire -   United Kingdom
Phase: Manoeuvring (airshow, firefighting, ag.ops.)
Departure airport:Hamble, Hampshire
Destination airport:
Simmonds Spartan G-AAFR: registered [C of R 1927] 3.29 to Simmonds Aircraft Ltd, Hamble, Hampshire. C of A 2005 issued 27.4.29. Delivered 30.4.29 and registered [C of R 1984] 15.5.29 to Hampshire Aeroplane Club Ltd, Hamble.

Written off (damaged beyond repair) 27.3.30 when spun into River Hamble, near Bursledon, Eastleigh, Hampshire whilst recovering from a loop; pilot Miss Gladys Grace injured. She was quite "high profile", as she was the granddaughter of the famous Cricketer Sir W.G.Grace. An account of the incident appeared in the newspapers ("The Scotsman" - Saturday 29 March 1930)

2000 Feet Spiral to Earth.
Miss Gladys Grace, daughter of Admiral H. E. Grace, of Alverstoke, Hampshire, and a granddaughter of the late W. G. Grace, the famous cricketer, had a remarkable escape from death when the 'plane she was piloting spiralled 2000 feet to earth at Bursledon, Hants, on Thursday evening.

The machine was the property of the Hampshire Aeroplane Club at Hamble, and had been taken out for an afternoon "flip" by Miss Grace, who took her pilot's licence last summer, and is regarded, although only 26 years of ago, as one of the club's cleverest members .

The story of her crash, details of which only came to light yesterday was told to a Press representative by an official of the club : "Miss Grace motored across from her home in the afternoon" he said "and took the machine out for a short trip. When over Bursledon she had apparently been doing a few stunts. As far as I can make out she stalled on the top of a loop, got into a spin, and, despite every effort to right the machine, spiralled to the earth, about 2000 feet below. An ambulance was rushed to the spot for we feared the worst, but although the machine was wrecked, with its engine buried six feet in the ground, Miss Grace was sitting conscious in the cockpit. Her only bad injury was a gash in the forehead. She was also badly shaken, and was taken to the South Hants Hospital. Today she was quite bright and cheerful, though still in hospital. It was an amazing escape, due largely to the fact that the spot where the 'plane crashed is very marshy land. Miss Grace has 50 hours' flying experience to her credit, and we have tho greatest confidence in her."

The condition of Miss Grace was stated last night to have slightly improved. She is, however, on the danger list.

About a year ago Miss Grace's sister, Miss Bessie Grace, met with a flying accident at Hamble, crashing into the flagstaff of a local resident.

Mrs Grace, widow of Dr W. G. Grace, and Miss Grace's grandmother, died on Sunday last"

A follow-up was briefly reported in the newspapers ("Portsmouth Evening News" - Tuesday 1 April 1930)

Miss Gladys Grace, daughter of Admiral Grace, who was injured in aeroplane accident at Bursledon on Thursday evening and has been lying in the Royal South Hants and Southampton Hospital since, was removed to her home at Alverstoke to-day. Miss Grace is making a satisfactory recovery."

Registration cancelled 2.6.30 due to "destruction or permanent withdrawl from use of aircraft"

Sadly, less than four months later, Gladys Grace was killed when she was the passenger in D.H.60 Moth G-EBUR flown by Lt. Samuel Spencer, which crashed at Detling on 20 July 1930.


1. The Scotsman - Saturday 29 March 1930
2. Portsmouth Evening News - Tuesday 1 April 1930
4. National Archives (PRO Kew) AVIA 5/12/C158:

Revision history:

14-Jan-2015 15:30 Dr. John Smith Added
03-Nov-2017 22:30 Dr. John Smith Updated [Time, Source]
06-Feb-2019 08:31 Sergey L. Updated [Source]
08-Mar-2020 21:18 Dr. John Smith Updated [Source, Narrative]
08-Mar-2020 21:20 Dr. John Smith Updated [Narrative]

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