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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 199315
Last updated: 12 September 2019
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Type:Silhouette image of generic DH60 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
De Havilland DH.60M Moth
Owner/operator:29 Squadron Royal Air Force (29 Sqn RAF)
Registration: K1209
C/n / msn: 1521
Fatalities:Fatalities: 1 / Occupants: 2
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:RAF North Weald, Essex -   United Kingdom
Phase: Take off
Departure airport:RAF North Weald, Essex
Destination airport:
DH.60M [Gipsy I] taken on charge as K1209 by 29 Squadron, RAF North Weald (Fighting Area) 19.5.30. Written off (damaged beyond repair) 17.6.30 when crashed on take off from RAF North Weald, Essex. The Moth crashed into a steam roller on take-off North Weald 17.6.30 and was destroyed by fire. The pilot was killed, the passenger only slightly injured. According to the following published source (see link #3)

"Wing Commander B.E. Smythes, DFC, the Station Commander of RAF North Weald died in Epping Cottage Hospital of multiple burns sustained when de Havilland DH60M Moth K1209 crashed on this date. The aircraft was one of thirty Moth light aircraft delivered to the RAF in April and May 1930, this particular machine being on issue to 29 Squadron as an addition to its Siskin IIIA fighter aircraft".

The passenger, Service Number 561152 Aircraftman Frederick Reginald Stanley Holben was only slightly injured. The RAF Board of Inquiry attributed the accident to "Inattention on the part of the pilot".

NOTE: Some sources state that the aircraft was an Armstrong Whitworth Siskin - probably due to the fact that it was 29 Squadron aircraft, and they were equipped with the AW Siskin at the time. From page 724 of 'Flight' for 27 June 1930:

"On Tuesday, June 17, Wing-Comdr. B. E. Smythies, D.F.C., p.s.a., O.C. Station H.Q., North Weald, was taking off in a two-seater Siskin with A./C. F. R.S. Holben as passenger, when his machine hit a lawn roller, crashed, and caught fire. Holben was slightly injured, but the wing-commander died in hospital. The late officer entered the Royal Engineers in 1905 and joined the R.F.C. in 1915. He served in France as squadron commander, and was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross for his services. He subsequently served at the Air Ministry, went through the Staff College at Andover, and later commanded the No.99 Bomber Squadron. In 1926 he won the R.M. Groves Memorial Essay prize. Last August he was given command of Upper Heyford, where Nos.29 and 56 Fighter Squadrons are stationed. Both these squadrons, together with No.111 (Fighter) Squadron, are to form a Fighter wing at the Hendon Display."


1. Royal Air Force Aircraft K1000-K9999 (James J. Halley, Air Britain, 1976)

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Revision history:

01-Sep-2017 15:11 Dr. John Smith Added
16-Apr-2018 15:24 Dr. John Smith Updated [Operator, Source, Narrative]
08-Oct-2018 18:15 Nepa Updated [Operator, Operator]

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