Accident de Havilland DH.60 Moth G-EBPS,
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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 24967
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Date:Sunday 20 January 1929
Type:Silhouette image of generic DH60 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different    
de Havilland DH.60 Moth
Owner/operator:Philip Aubrey Wills
Registration: G-EBPS
MSN: 360
Fatalities:Fatalities: 1 / Occupants: 2
Aircraft damage: Destroyed
Location:RAF Duxford, Cambridgeshire, England. -   United Kingdom
Phase: Initial climb
Departure airport:London Air Park, Hanworth Aerodrome, Hanworth, Middlesex
Destination airport:RAF Duxford, Cambridgeshire
c/no 360 DH.60 [Cirrus II]: registered G-EBPS [C of R 1325] 1.12.26 to The De Havilland Aircraft Co Ltd, Stag Lane, Edgware, Middlesex.

Displayed (during April 1927) in the showrooms of Yoss Motor Car Co Ltd, at the Adelphi Hotel, Liverpool. C of A 1188 issued 20.8.27. Loaned 30.8.27 to De Havilland's New Zealand distributor, F Douglas Mill, at Stag Lane, pending delivery of G-EBTI. Later operated by De Havilland School of Flying at Stag Lane. Registered [C of R 1818] 23.11.28 to Philip A. Wills, South Kensington, London SW7 (aircraft based at Stag Lane, Edgware, Middlesex)

Spun in near Duxford Aerodrome 20.1.29, whilst piloted by Flying Officer Edward Cayley of 19(F) Squadron, Duxford (who was killed); Philip Aubrey Wills (passenger) was badly injured. (He later recovered, and lived until the age of 71. He died on 16.1.78).

Further Details of crash on 20.1.1920 are taken from 19 Squadron ORB (Air Ministry Form 540 - see link #2). Since the pilot fatality was a member of 19 Squadron, they would have taken an interest, and made a record of the accident:

"As a result of a flying accident Flying Officer Edward Gordon Cayley was killed and Mr Philip Aubrey Wills seriously injured when their aircraft, a de Havilland DH.60 Moth. G-EBPS, owned by Mr Wills crashed on the Aerodrome. The aeroplane was on a flight between London and Cambridge. Cayley was flying when it became involved in a spin when near the aerodrome; as a result, it nose-dived and crashed head on into the ground, Cayley being killed by the impact. Wills' who received severe scalp wounds, was removed to hospital in Cambridge, in a serious condition."

There was a debate at the time about who was the Pilot and who was the Passenger at the time of the accident. Philip Aubrey Wells was the pilot under instruction but F/O Cayley (who was a qualified pilot with 19 Squadron RAF) was not authorised to provide instruction. The above report implies that F/O Cayley was the PIC (Pilot In Command) at the moment of impact.

Registration G-EBPS cancelled by the Air Ministry 2.7.29 as destroyed


1. National Archives (PRO Kew) File AVIA 5/11/C134:
2. 19 Squadron RAF ORB for the period 1.1.1915 to 31.10.1939: National Archives (PRO Kew) File AIR 27/252/1:


Revision history:

27-Sep-2008 01:00 ASN archive Added
10-Dec-2011 08:57 Dr. John Smith Updated [Cn, Operator, Total fatalities, Total occupants, Other fatalities, Location, Phase, Nature, Departure airport, Source, Damage, Narrative]
01-Sep-2017 20:34 Dr. John Smith Updated [Time, Operator, Source, Narrative]
01-Sep-2017 20:36 Dr. John Smith Updated [Source]
20-Jun-2018 18:26 Dr. John Smith Updated [Source, Narrative]
20-Jun-2018 18:37 Dr. John Smith Updated [Location, Departure airport, Destination airport, Narrative]
16-Jul-2023 22:06 Nepa Updated [[Location, Departure airport, Destination airport, Narrative]]
19-Nov-2023 17:05 Dr. John Smith Updated [Destination airport, Source, Narrative, Category]

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