Mid-air collision Accident de Havilland DH.82 Tiger Moth G-ADHW,
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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 68814
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Date:Friday 21 January 1938
Type:Silhouette image of generic DH82 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different    
de Havilland DH.82 Tiger Moth
Owner/operator:1 E&RFTS RAF
Registration: G-ADHW
MSN: 3376
Fatalities:Fatalities: 2 / Occupants: 2
Other fatalities:1
Aircraft damage: Destroyed
Location:Smallford, near Hatfield, Hertfordshire -   United Kingdom
Phase: En route
Departure airport:Hatfield, Hertfordshire
Destination airport:White Waltham, Maidenhead, Berkshire (EGLM)
Confidence Rating: Information is only available from news, social media or unofficial sources
First registered (C of R 5901) on 8.8.35 as G-ADHW to the De Havilland Aircraft Co Ltd., Hatfield, Hertfordshire (aircraft based at White Waltham, Maidenhead, Berkshire). C of A 5012 issued August 1935. Operated by 1 E&RFTS (Elementary & Reserve Flying Training School) RAF.

Collided 21.1.38 with Gloster Gauntlet K5303 of 66 Squadron, RAF, emerging from cloud and crashed at Smallford, near Hatfield, Hertfordshire. Both crew of G-ADHW - Pilot/Instructor Sgt Theodore Quentin Smith RAFVR (aged 30) and Pupil Pilot under training Mr Brian William Grieves (aged 22) - were killed. Both were New Zealand nationals.

The pilot of the Gauntlet K5303 - Pilot Officer Leonard René Helps (aged 23) - was also killed. Registration G-ADHW cancelled by the CAA on 31.1.38. According to the official Air Ministry announcement in "Flight" magazine (January 27, 1938 page 94 - see link #6)

P/O Leonard Rene Helps, Brian William Grieves, and Theodore Quentin Smith, lost their lives as the result of a collision in the air, which occurred near Hatfield on January 21, between an aircraft of No. 66 (Fighter) Squadron, Duxford, and an aircraft of No. 1 Elementary and Reserve Flying Training School, Hatfield.

P/O Helps was the pilot of the former aircraft. Mr. Smith (Instructor) was the pilot of the other aircraft, and Mr. Grieves, a pupil under training for the Royal Air Force, was a passenger in the machine".

Smallford is a village in the City and District of St Albans, Hertfordshire, United Kingdom. It is sandwiched between Hatfield and St Albans.


1. "Collision at 2,000 ft": Daily Mirror Saturday 22 January 1938
2. CAA: https://cwsprduksumbraco.blob.core.windows.net/g-info/HistoricalLedger/G-ADHW.pdf
3. http://www.airhistory.org.uk/gy/reg_G-A6.html
4. http://www.airhistory.org.uk/dh/p033.html
5. https://www.afleetingpeace.org/index.php/15-aeroplanes/78-register-gb-g-ad
6. http://www.rcawsey.co.uk/Acc1939.htm
7. https://www.flightglobal.com/FlightPDFArchive/1938/1938%20-%200260.PDF
8. https://air-britain.com/pdfs/production-lists/DH82.pdf
9. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Smallford

Revision history:

11-Oct-2009 03:36 JINX Added
20-Oct-2009 12:16 JINX Updated
17-Jan-2012 05:59 Nepa Updated [Operator, Narrative]
17-Jan-2012 05:59 Nepa Updated [Nature]
02-Feb-2012 18:31 Dr. John Smith Updated [Cn, Departure airport, Destination airport, Source, Narrative]
05-Jan-2017 23:14 Dr. John Smith Updated [Location, Destination airport, Source, Narrative]
30-Oct-2017 18:25 Dr. John Smith Updated [Time, Source, Narrative]
30-Oct-2017 18:28 Dr. John Smith Updated [Source, Narrative]
07-Jan-2018 16:54 Dr. John Smith Updated [Narrative]
19-Mar-2018 00:01 Dr. John Smith Updated [Source, Narrative]
31-Jul-2021 21:24 Dr. John Smith Updated [Operator, Source, Narrative, Category]

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