Accident de Havilland DH.80 Puss Moth VH-UPC, Monday 13 October 1930
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Date:Monday 13 October 1930
Type:Silhouette image of generic DH80 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different    
de Havilland DH.80 Puss Moth
Owner/operator:Wings Ltd, Perth
Registration: VH-UPC
MSN: 2021
Fatalities:Fatalities: 3 / Occupants: 3
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Destroyed
Location:near Chidlow Wells in the Darling Ranges, 30 miles from Perth, WA -   Australia
Phase: En route
Nature:Passenger - Non-Scheduled/charter/Air Taxi
Departure airport:Maylands, Perth, Western Australia
Destination airport:Maylands, Perth, Western Australia
Confidence Rating: Information is only available from news, social media or unofficial sources
Mid-1930: Built by De Havilland Aircraft Co Ltd at Stag Lane Edgware, Middlesex. 120hp DH Gipsy III
29.7.30: First flight Stag Lane, Edgware
30.7.30: First British CofA issued De Havilland Aircraft Pty Ltd, Sydney NSW with C of A 2670 issued 30.7.30
10.08.30: Sold by De Havilland Aircraft Pty Ltd, Sydney to Wings Ltd, Perth for £1300
31.08.30: Western Air Services, Perth WA changed its name to Wings Limited, retaining the same directors and the same two pilots Charles H. F. Nesbit (Managing Director) and Charles W. Snook. Nesbitt had previously flown for West Australian Airways. The announcement of the name change stated that Wings Ltd were now agents for a range of aviation products including De Havilland aeroplanes and that a DH.80 Puss Moth had been ordered

August-September 1930: Shipped to Australia
17.9.30 Unloaded from boat at Fremantle and taken by road to Maylands Aerodrome same day. Assembled at Maylands by Wings Ltd
25.9.30: Test flown at Maylands after assembly
28.9.30: Named "Fleetwing" in a ceremony at Maylands aerodrome [by the Lady Mayoress of Freemantle]
07.10.30: Registered VH-UPC [C of R 402] to Wings Ltd, Perth
13.10.30: Suffered in-flight wing failure and crashed near Chidlow Wells in the Darling Ranges, 30 miles from Perth killing Capt Charles Nesbit (MD of Wings, aged 32), William Bell (aged 23) & Miss Haidee Rae (aged 34). This accident was the first of a series of Puss Moth structural failures, a total of 18 around the world .

Inspection found that the starboard wing had separated from the air frame, caused by failure of the main spar at the root of the wing. A writ was issued in the Supreme Court of Western Australia by Wings, Ltd against de Havilland Aircraft Pty Ltd of Sydney claiming damages of £1,040 due to breach of warranty, the first time such legal action had been taken in regard to an aeroplane.

Despite its effort to recoup the loss, Wings Ltd went into liquidation later that year after both its remaining aircraft were involved in crashes. No record of the outcome to this legal action but the registration VH-APC was cancelled 23.10.30.



Revision history:

23-Feb-2013 17:11 Dr. John Smith Added
23-Feb-2013 17:28 Dr. John Smith Updated [Cn, Operator, Total fatalities, Total occupants, Other fatalities, Location, Country, Phase, Nature, Departure airport, Destination airport, Source, Narrative]
07-Apr-2014 21:27 Dr. John Smith Updated [Departure airport, Destination airport, Source]
08-Apr-2014 07:08 Anon. Updated [Departure airport, Destination airport, Source]
14-Feb-2019 01:13 Dr. John Smith Updated [Time, Nature, Source, Narrative]
14-Feb-2019 01:15 Dr. John Smith Updated [Source, Narrative]

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