Accident de Havilland DH.80 Puss Moth G-ABUJ, Saturday 15 July 1933
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Date:Saturday 15 July 1933
Type:Silhouette image of generic DH80 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different    
de Havilland DH.80 Puss Moth
Owner/operator:The Anglo-American Oil Co Ltd
Registration: G-ABUJ
MSN: 2219
Fatalities:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 2
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Destroyed
Location:Solent Estuary, off Seaview, Isle of Wight -   United Kingdom
Phase: En route
Departure airport:Heston Aerodrome, Heston, Middlesex
Destination airport:
Confidence Rating: Information is only available from news, social media or unofficial sources
Registered G-ABUJ [C of R 3634] 4.3.32 to The Anglo-American Oil Co Ltd, Heston. C of A 3381 issued 21.3.32 (and delivered via Henlys 23.3.32).

Crashed into the Solent Estuary off Seaview, Isle of Wight 15.7.33; pilot B.J. O'C Hanstock and passenger injured. Aircraft salvaged and removed by lorry; pilot later prosecuted for "flying an aeroplane to the danger of persons and property". Two local contemporary newspaper reports give further details. First a report on the accident ("Portsmouth Evening News" - Monday 17 July 1933)

Nose Dive Off Seaview
Holidaymakers on the Seaview I.o.W. front yesterday saw two airmen rescued after a crash offshore. The accident took place about a quarter of mile from the shore.

The 'plane, a Puss-Moth, was piloted by Mr. B. J. O. Hanstock, manager of the aviation department of the Anglo-American Oil Company, who lives in Wigmore Street, W., and he carried Mr. H. C. Coysh, of the British Air Navigation Co., Ltd., as a passenger.

People ashore had been watching the plane and were horrified to see it suddenly get out of control and nose-dive into the sea. It struck the water with a tremendous impact, sending a column of water into the air. One wing was broken off and the fuselage was badly damaged.

But the machine did not sink, and boatmen immediately set off from the shore and rescued the two occupants. The passenger received a cut to the forehead. Otherwise both men were unhurt, though they were suffering badly from shock.

Mr. Newell, a garage proprietor at Seaview, told a Press representative that the 'plane appeared to hit an air pocket. "It was flying low," he said, "and then it seemed to plunge suddenly downwards. The engine appeared to be running quite normally. People on the beach were badly alarmed, for at one moment it seemed that the 'plane might fall among them. The plane was completely wrecked. It was towed to Crown Slip.’"

Mr. Hanstock and his passenger returned to London immediately."

The second (later) report concerned a court case held in early December 1933 involving the pilot ("West Sussex Gazette - Thursday 7 December 1933):

At Ryde, this week, Brendon John O'Connor Hanstock, an air pilot, of Chorley, Herts, was fined £5, and ordered to pay costs, for flying an aeroplane to the danger of persons and property. The Prosecution alleged that Hanstock flew low over rooftops and masts of sailing yachts at Seaview in July last, and crashed into the sea.

Hanstock,who received severe injuries at the time, denied the allegations, and said that in trying to find a landing place in shallow water owing to an air lock he struck an air pocket. Notice of appeal was given."

PIlot was Brendan John O'Connor Hanstock, Flying Officer, Reserve of Air Force Officers (RAFO), Aviation Manager of the Anglo-American Oil Co. Killed in the crash of DH.89A Dragon Rapide G-ADCL at Redhill 26.6.35. Passenger Humphrey Cecil Coysh was an ex-naval officer.

Registration cancelled 2.12.33 due to "destruction or permanent withdrawl from use of aircraft"


1. Portsmouth Evening News - Monday 17 July 1933
2. West Sussex Gazette - Thursday 7 December 1933

Revision history:

26-Feb-2013 06:48 Dr. John Smith Added
07-Dec-2017 22:20 Dr. John Smith Updated [Time, Location, Departure airport, Source, Narrative]
07-Dec-2017 22:21 Dr. John Smith Updated [Source]
01-Mar-2020 22:43 Dr. John Smith Updated [Source, Narrative]
01-Mar-2020 22:45 Dr. John Smith Updated [Narrative]

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