Accident Cosmo Gas Balloon Unregistered, Monday 27 August 1888
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Date:Monday 27 August 1888
Type:Silhouette image of generic BALL model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different    
Cosmo Gas Balloon
Owner/operator:Joseph W Simmons
Registration: Unregistered
Fatalities:Fatalities: 1 / Occupants: 3
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Destroyed
Location:Wickham Bishops, 2 miles southeast of Witham, Essex -   United Kingdom
Phase: Landing
Departure airport:Grounds of the Natural History Museum, Kensington, London
Destination airport:Wickham Bishop, Essex
Confidence Rating: Information is only available from news, social media or unofficial sources
On 27/8/1888 the Gas Balloon "Cosmo" hit an elm tree in high winds and crashed on landing, at Wickham Bishops, two miles south-east of Witham, Essex. Of the three persons on board, one, the pilot, Joseph W Simmons (aged 54) was killed (dying of his injuries - including a fractured skull -some hours later) and the two passengers, Mr.Field and Mr. Myers, was injured. The all-metal gondola, which was built for strength (but no resiliency), was thrown to the ground.

The plan had been for the balloon to fly from the Grounds of the Natural History Museum, Olympia, West Kensington, London to Brentwood, Ingatestone and Chelmsford, then cross the Channel to Flanders, and then on to Germany. 90 minutes after take off, the "Cosmo" Balloon drifted into trees when the grappling anchor failed to take hold of the ground. The three on board sustained their injuries when they were thrown to the ground from some 50 feet from the gondola of the balloon.


3. A Grim Almanac of Essex By Neil R. Storey
4. The Times (London) August 29, 1888 Page 4 at

Revision history:

15-Feb-2017 20:46 Dr.John Smith Added

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