Accident Saladin (Hydrogen Balloon) Unregistered, Saturday 10 December 1881
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Date:Saturday 10 December 1881
Type:Silhouette image of generic BALL model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different    
Saladin (Hydrogen Balloon)
Owner/operator:Walter Powell
Registration: Unregistered
MSN: 1
Fatalities:Fatalities: 1 / Occupants: 3
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Aircraft missing
Location:English Channel, off Eype Mouth, west of Bridport, Dorset -   United Kingdom
Phase: Approach
Departure airport:Bath, Somerset
Destination airport:Bridport, Dorset
Confidence Rating: Information is only available from news, social media or unofficial sources
At the 1868 general election Walter Powell was elected Member of Parliament for Malmesbury, Wiltshire. He held the seat until his disappearance and presumed death from a balloon accident at the age of 39 in 1881.

The Meteorological Society had borrowed a balloon called Saladin from the War Office. On 10 December 1881, Powell accompanied Captain Templer and Mr. A. Agg-Gardner, brother of James Agg-Gardner MP, in an ascent at Bath, Somerset. The balloon was carried over Somerset to Exeter and then into Dorset. The crew tried to descend near Eype Mouth, Bridport, Dorset (at approximate co ordinates 39.72°N 2.78°W) but the balloon hit the ground so hard that Templer was thrown out. As a result, the balloon rose again; Agg-Gardner fell out from a height of about eight feet and broke his leg, and Powell, remaining in the basket of the balloon, was swept out to sea to the south east. Templer, who had still hold of the line, shouted to Powell to climb down the line. Powell made a move for the rope but the balloon rose, tearing the line out of Templer's hands. Powell was last seen waving his hand to Captain Templer and nothing more was heard of him.

Powell was declared "missing", with a presumed date of death of December 13, 1881, although no trace of him or the wreckage of the Hydrogen Balloon "Saladin" was ever found.


3. The Times 13 December 1881

Revision history:

06-Feb-2017 15:26 Dr.John Smith Added
15-Feb-2017 19:37 Dr.John Smith Updated [Source, Narrative]
31-Jan-2020 10:39 Anon. Updated [Narrative]

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