Incident de Havilland DH.60G Gipsy Moth NZPAF 873,
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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 347963
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Date:Monday 23 February 1931
Time:10:00 LT
Type:Silhouette image of generic DH60 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different    
de Havilland DH.60G Gipsy Moth
Owner/operator:NZPAF (New Zealand Permanent Air Force)
Registration: NZPAF 873
MSN: 873
Fatalities:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 2
Aircraft damage: Substantial
Location:near Silverton Homestead, 14 miles from Geraldine, Canterbury -   New Zealand
Phase: En route
Departure airport:Dunedin
Destination airport:Christchurch Airport, New Zealand (CHC/NZCH)
c/no 873 DH.60G Moth [Gipsy I #100, amended to #131] to New Zealand Air Ministry without C of A. To New Zealand Permanent Air Force, Wigram as '873' 1.29: assembled and test flown at Wigram early that year.

Substantially damaged in a Forced landing on rough terrain 14 miles from Geraldine, due to low cloud and turbulence. No injuries to pilot and passenger. Under carriage broken, propellor smashed and other damage.

As reported in a contemporary local newspaper (Ashburton Guardian, 24 February 1931 page 2 see link #2):

(Per Press Association).
TIAIARU, February 23.
Two Government aeroplanes, one piloted by Wing-Commander Grant Dalton, who had a passenger, and the other piloted by Flight-Sergeant S. Simpson, with a passenger, Flight-Sergeant L A. Dini, made forced landings near "Silverton," the homestead of Air J. H. A. M. Tripp, 14 miles from Geraldine, shortly after 10 o'clock this morning, when returning from Dunedin to Christchurch. Fortunately, the four occupants of the house escaped with a severe shaking.

At the time of the mishap the atmospheric conditions were particularly bad, the clouds being low, and electrical disturbances taking place in the vicinity, while air pockets gave trouble. Without a moment's warning the 'planes crashed almost simultaneously. The metal 'plane, piloted by Wing Commander Grant Dalton, was the first to reach land. It suffered a broken undercarriage and other damage. The wooden Moth landed a few moments later, the undercarriage being totally wrecked, the propeller smashed, and considerable other damage caused.

The field where the 'planes crashed is a tussocky, wind-swept waste. The marvel is that the occupants of the wooden Moth were not killed, as the undercarriage was pushed up through the flooring. The pilot's seat and the most exposed parts were badly smashed. A Government lorry was sent from Sockburn, and the wooden machine is to be sent to Christchurch for repairs. It is hoped that the metal 'plane will be sufficiently reconstructed to fly to Christchurch to-morrow."

As stated above, dismantled and trucked back to Wigram AFB for repairs. Repaired and returned to service. The NZPAF (New Zealand Permanent Air Force) became RNZAF (Royal New Zealand Air Force) from 27.2.34. Moth 873 was withdrawn from use at the end of 1936

Geraldine is a town in the Canterbury region in the South Island of New Zealand. It is about 140 km south of Christchurch, and inland from Timaru, which is 38 km to the south. Geraldine is located on State Highway 79 between the Orari and Hae Hae Te Moana Rivers and 45 kilometres to the east of Fairlie


1. AHSNZ, 1987, Journal, Vol 30 No 3.
2. Ashburton Guardian, 24 February 1931 page 2:
3. Stratford Evening Post, 24 February 1931, Page 3:
4. Star (Christchurch), 24 February 1931, Page 5:
5. Otago Daily Times, 24 February 1931, Page 8:
6. Hawera Star, 24 February 1931, Page 5:


Revision history:

16-Nov-2023 05:44 Ron Averes Added
16-Nov-2023 19:02 Ron Averes Updated [Total occupants, Phase, Departure airport, Destination airport, Source, Narrative]
28-Nov-2023 14:31 Dr. John Smith Updated [Time, Operator, Location, Destination airport, Source, Narrative, Category]
03-Dec-2023 07:53 Ron Averes Updated [Operator, Location]
10-Dec-2023 10:04 Dr. John Smith Updated [Time, Registration, Operator, Location, Destination airport, Source, Narrative, Category]

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