Incident Vickers Wellesley Mk I K7737, 05 Jul 1937
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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 207182
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Time:19:00 LT
Type:Vickers Wellesley Mk I
Owner/operator:Vickers-Armstrongs Ltd
Registration: K7737
Fatalities:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 1
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:New Malden, Surrey -   United Kingdom
Phase: En route
Departure airport:Brooklands, West Byfleet, Weybridge, Surrey
Destination airport:
Confidence Rating: Information is only available from news, social media or unofficial sources
Vickers Wellesley Mk.I K7737: Written off (destroyed) 5/7/37 when abandoned in flight during a test flight by Vickers Chief Test Pilot Jeffrey Quill. He lost control of the aircraft at 10,000 feet and it went into spin, pilot baled out, near Brooklands Aerodrome, West Byfleet, Weybridge, Surrey; aircraft came down in front garden of house in New Malden, Surrey.

According to an article in the Sunday Times, September 17, 2005:

'At 3,000 feet I decided I would have to go'

In 1937, Jeffrey Quill was test-flying a Wellesley bomber when it lurched into an uncontrollable spin. The Wellesley treated everything I did with a scornful disdain and continued solemnly spinning down and down. Somewhere around 3,000 feet I decided I would have to go. I opened the canopy and crouched on the seat, grasping the windscreen...I went over the port side, hit my head on some object unknown — possibly the tail wheel assembly — counted to three and pulled the ripcord.

I was, as it were, falling on my back and the parachute deployed between my legs, spinning me sharply over when it opened. I immediately heard a strange swooshing noise as the Wellesley spun down past me, much too close for comfort!

I was able to watch the Wellesley from above as it descended. We were over New Malden and there were built-up areas interspersed with country. It was 7 pm on a fine summer’s evening. I became very anxious about the Wellesley crashing in an urban area and causing loss of life, but I could not tell when it was going to hit.

Then it stopped abruptly and disintegrated. It had hit a house, but thankfully there was no explosion or fire...I descended into the base of a small fir tree, which broke my fall and allowed a comfortable landing. My head and hands were bleeding but I was unhurt.

A small knot of people came running up, having invaded the large and pleasant garden in which I had landed. It was the property of a Major Petrie. His wife, some friends and himself were drinking an evening cocktail when, through the window, they saw a strange band of people running up the drive, heads directed skywards.

They came out in time to see me being helped out of the bottom of the fir tree and disentangled from my parachute. Within a surprisingly short time I had a large glass of whisky in my hand and received the blessed news from the police that no one had been injured in the crash. So I drank the whisky in the Petries’ drawing room, and rang Vickers to put them out of their misery, being now, of course, well overdue.

The lady who lived in the house on which the Wellesley crashed was pregnant. The shock accelerated the birth of a daughter, but no ill effects were suffered by either". Years later, in the mid-1970s, Quill's daughter met the girl who knew that her father had "dropped a big aeroplane on our house"...


1. Royal Air Force Aircraft K1000-K9999 (James J. Halley Air Britain, 1976 page 64)
5. "Spitfire – A Test Pilot's Story" by Jeffrey Quill.

Revision history:

07-Mar-2018 21:49 Dr. John Smith Added
07-Mar-2018 21:52 Dr. John Smith Updated [Narrative]

Corrections or additions? ... Edit this accident description

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