Accident de Havilland DH.60 Moth G-EBQY, Saturday 26 January 1929
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Date:Saturday 26 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:De Havilland School of Flying
Registration: G-EBQY
MSN: 376
Fatalities:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 1
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Destroyed
Location:Moat Pond, Moat Road, East Grinstead, East Sussex, England -   United Kingdom
Phase: En route
Departure airport:Stag Lane Aerodrome, Edgware, Middlesex
Destination airport:
Confidence Rating: Information is only available from news, social media or unofficial sources
c/no 376: DH.60 Moth [Cirrus II] registered as G-EBQY [C of R 1366] 13.5.27 to Captain William R. Bailey, Newport, Monmouthshire [but based at Stag Lane, Edgware, Middlesex]. C of A 1131 issued 13.5.27. Registered [C of R 1492] 26.9.27 to The De Havilland Aircraft Co Ltd, Stag Lane; probably operated by the De Havilland School of Flying. Registration cancelled 31.1.29 as "withdrawn from use"; C of A current to 3.6.29 at the time.

[Note - there was a report of a DH Flying School DH.9J (possibly G-EBTN) striking a house whilst low flying near East Grinstead in late January 1929, and then crashing into a frozen pond; the pilot was Flying Officer Arthur Leonard Monger. No DH.9J can be identified, and it is thus possible that the aircraft involved was, in fact, DH.60 Moth G-EBQY]. According to a contemporary newspaper report (Daily Herald - Monday 28 January 1929)

Amazing Escape in Crash on Frozen Pond
Found Smoking Cigarette on One of the Wings

An airman of the Reserve of Officers of the R.A.F. had remarkable escape on Saturday, when his aeroplane, after losing its engine, turned over and over and crashed into a frozen pond in the centre of East Grinstead, Sussex. The airman was found on one of the planes calmly smoking a cigarette, and he was rescued almost unhurt.

The pilot was Mr. L. A. Monger, of Maidstone, and was flying a De Havilland machine from the Stag-lane Aerodrome.

Passing over East Grinstead engine trouble developed. The machine struck the house of Mr. Bashford, in Railway-approach, and some damage was done to the propeller, a portion of which was later picked in the London Road, some distance away. After a second minor collision with the trees in the grounds of Placelands School the undercarriage fell from the machine, which still kept in the air, and "staggered," as one eye-witness said, over the Houses.

The pilot turned in order to keep above the fields, and in doing so the engine fell from the machine onto the house of Mr. Phillips, in Cranston-road. From there it struck the neighbouring house of Mrs. Warren, doing some damage, and injuring by broken glass a maid, Gladys Venn, who was at the time in the bathroom of Mr. Phillips' house.

The engine crashed to the ground, and once again the machine headed for the fields. After travelling a few more yards the plane fell on to the ice of the Moat Pond. The fact that the ice gave way after the first impact, and that the machine came to test against a small island in the middle of the pond probably saved the pilot's life. He was, as a matter of fact, able to leave the cockpit the machine and to stand upon one of the wings while he was rescued by boat with the aid of ladders.

Monger received only a few cuts about the head, and was taken to the house of Mr. W. F. Colbourne, where his injuries were dressed."

There was a later sequel to the above incident, in which the pilot was court-martialed and dismissed from the RAF for "dangerous flying" ("Yorkshire Evening Post" - Tuesday 11 June 1929)

Court Martial Sentence on Flying Officer.
Flying Officer A. L. Monger, of the Royal Air Force Reserve Officers, who was found guilty at a court martial at East Grinstead last month, of flying outside the three-mile limit, and flying at a low altitude, thereby causing damage to the aircraft, has been dismissed the Force, and stopped pay to the extent of £100. The sentence of the court was that he should be cashiered and stopped £100.

On submission dated May 27, the King was pleased to commute the sentence of cashiering to one of dismissal and £100 stoppages.

The court martial, which was held at the police court at East Grinstead, followed a 'plane crash there earlier in the year. While flying over the town Flying Officer Monger crashed into a pond between two houses, after hitting a tree. He had a narrow escape from injury."


1. Birmingham Daily Gazette - Monday 28 January 1929
2. Daily Herald - Monday 28 January 1929
3. Belfast Telegraph - Monday 28 January 1929
4. Sheffield Daily Telegraph - Monday 28 January 1929 (photo of wreckage - showing partial registration "G-E...")
5. Yorkshire Evening Post - Tuesday 11 June 1929


Revision history:

11-Jan-2014 21:31 Dr. John Smith Added
20-Jun-2018 19:01 Dr. John Smith Updated [Time, Source, Narrative]
28-Feb-2020 19:07 Dr. John Smith Updated [Date, Operator, Source, Narrative]
28-Feb-2020 19:15 Dr. John Smith Updated [Location, Source, Narrative]
27-Jan-2022 11:09 Anon. Updated [Total fatalities]
18-Dec-2023 20:53 Dr. John Smith Updated [Source, Narrative, Category]
02-Jun-2024 20:50 Nepa Updated [Location, Operator]

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