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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 218443
Last updated: 19 July 2020
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Type:Sopwith Admiralty 860 Type seaplane
Owner/operator:Sopwith Aviation Company Ltd
Registration: 851
C/n / msn:
Fatalities:Fatalities: 1 / Occupants: 2
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Substantial
Location:Southampton Water, off Netley, Hampshire -   United Kingdom
Phase: Take off
Departure airport:Southampton Water, off Netley, Hampshire
Destination airport:Southampton Water, off Netley, Hampshire
1.11.14: Sopwith Admiralty 860 Type seaplane 851 was substantially damaged when Dived into Southampton Water shortly after take-off on first flight, off Netley, Hampshire; it was later rebuilt. Of the crew of two, one - Reginald Jordan Alston (aged 21, and the senior Sopwith designer) - was killed. The other crew member - Victor Mahl (Sopwith test pilot) survived and was rescued

Mahl test flew Sopwith aircraft and on 1 November 1914 he crashed into Southampton Water flying a Sopwith seaplane. According to a contemporary accident report in Flight magazine (November 13, 1914 page 1117):

"The Seaplane Fatality.
AN inquest was held at Netley on Monday in connection with the death of Reginald Jordan Alston, a designer of the Sopwith Aviation Co., Ltd., who was drowned in the seaplane accident last week.

Mr. Victor Mahl, the pilot, said that while making a trial flight at a speed of 100 m.p.h. the machine suddenly
dived at an angle of 45 degrees into the water.

A verdict of "Accident Death" was returned."

The passenger and designer of the aircraft R. Austen was killed but Mahl was rescued from water clinging to one of the upturned floats. On 2 April 1915 while he was at Southampton testing seaplanes he died after an operation for appendicitis.


1. "Wreck of Seaplane - Designer Killed in Trial". News. The Times (40685). London. 3 November 1914. col G, p. 8.
4. Flight magazine (November 13, 1914 page 1117 - crash report):
4. Flight Magazine April 9. 1915 page 254 - on the death of Victor Mahl):

Sopwith Admiralty Type 860 No.851 Sopwith Type 860 No.851 with unequal span wings at Netley, Southampton Water on 1 November 1914

Revision history:

23-Nov-2018 22:44 Dr.John Smith Added

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