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Author Topic: Miles Gemini (G-AJZI) crash, Wallington, February 1948  (Read 1328 times)
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John
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« on: September 30, 2016, 10:12:56 AM »

Illustrated London News - Saturday 06 March 1948

A CRASH IN WHICH THE WOMAN CO-PILOT OF THE AIRCRAFT, MRS. PATRICIA BEVERLEY, WAS KILLED ON FEB. 27.
On February 27 a Miles Gemini charter aircraft crashed into the gardens between two houses at Ridge Park, Wallington, Surrey, a few minutes after taking off from Croydon Airport. The woman co-pilot, Mrs. Patricia Beverley (portrait on page 268), was killed and Wing Commander W. H. Wetton, the pilot, was injured.

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pomme homme
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« Reply #1 on: September 30, 2016, 22:46:36 PM »

There's a file on this accident at Kew.
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alkhamhills
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« Reply #2 on: October 01, 2016, 21:45:17 PM »

Patricia Gladys Beverley

In 1911, age 1 with parents Norman Charles & Beatrice Maud Seemon, and a brother Norman  Boarding at Bealings, The Grove, Spring Grove, Isleworth.  Norman an Engineer
In 1927, she visited Australia

Probate. Of 13 Chelsea Embankment, London SW, a single woman(??). Died 27.2.1948 at Croydon Aerodrome. Admin to Norman Charles Seemon, Company Representative. Effects £255.

See attached  Aviators Cert. Also her husbands

Patricia Gladys Seemon married Robert Lewis Beverley ¼ Dec 1931, Barnet.

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Craggs
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« Reply #3 on: October 02, 2016, 08:54:22 AM »

I just did a basic internet search for the pilot, Wing Commander W.H. Wetton and it came up with a few interesting bits.

Wing Commander William Herbert Wetton was born on the 3rd April 1907.  The "Aviation Forum" has a long thread on him which gives his pilot's certificate as '8547'.  He had a long career in aviation or business interests that relate to aviation and served in the RAF, the RAAF and the Australian Parachute Training Unit.

The crash of the Miles Gemini G-AJZI is mentioned and it lists Wing Commander Wetton's injuries but there is no reference to the death of Patricia Beverley.  He has links to RAF Biggin Hill, Brooklands, RAF Northolt and RAF Hendon.  He died in Hastings in June 1986.

I'm not going to cut and paste their thread.  The link for the wishing to read more about Wing Commander Wetton is :

http://forum.keypublishing.com/showthread.php?122362-Wing-Commander-William-Herbert-Wetton
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pomme homme
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« Reply #4 on: October 02, 2016, 14:51:55 PM »

A little more about Patricia Beverley.

Born 22 August 1910 in Egham, Surrey.
First Officer, ATA, 29 July 1942 to October 1945
Originally a driver, later a pilot.

As to her husband. Was he, I wonder, F/Lt Robert Lewis Beverely DFC of 264 Squadron RAFVR?
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alkhamhills
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« Reply #5 on: October 04, 2016, 21:35:53 PM »

Pomme Homme
Says born 22.Aug 1910, which agrees with her being 1 year old in 1911 census.
Her Aviators Cert says 22.8.1913

In 1939 Census, There is a Patricia G Beverley at 817 Well Gwynn House , Chelsea, London. Married. She was shown as an Actress. Remark column shows Transport Reserve
DOB was shown as 22.8.1910, but altered to 22.8.1913 !!

There is one other person at same address, but detail is still closed

Was she doing the same as my G/mother and my Gt/Aunt, in losing a couple of years on marriage!!.

There is a Robert Lewis Beverley whose Aviators cert shows born 25.8.1909 at Compton, Berks. Living at 2-4 Brick St, Park Lane. Passed at Reading on Miles Hawk, Gypsy 130 on 22.5.1939
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John
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« Reply #6 on: March 04, 2017, 16:00:38 PM »

Extracted from BT 217/2333 at the National Archives.

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pomme homme
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« Reply #7 on: March 04, 2017, 18:11:30 PM »

I've just been doing a few calculations, which leave me wondering what (who?) was on board the Gemini to render it, seemingly, some 400lb overweight when it took off from Croydon.

Fueled for maximum range (820 miles), the Gemini 1A has a maximum payload of 662lb. The normal payload is 764lb.  However it is reported that it was flying to Lyon (I assume that the reference to Lyons was an error - and that it wasn't planning a stop at a nearby Corner House!), which is a distance of 450 miles - say, roughly half the maximum range (its ultimate destination was Milan) - where, presumably, it would have refueled. So let us assume, for present purposes, that this equated to a safe payload, for this flight, roughly half way between normal and maximum - say, 710lb. The draft letter from the MCA avers that the Gemini was 384lb overweight. So relying upon the premises advanced so far, this puts its actual payload at nearly 1100lb! One of the news cuttings above refers to there being four on board G-AJZI when it crashed. So let us assume that their average weight was 170lb each. If so, the weight of the 'human payload' would be about 680lb, which was some 420lb less than the actual payload. If so, what accounted for the additional 420lb on board? Maybe if the AAIB report is amongst the papers on the file at Kew, it will shed some light on this apparent curiosity.

The draft letter from the MCA shows how different attitudes were in 1948 when compared with seventy years later. A commercial aircraft on a - seemingly - fare paying flight is grossly overloaded, operated by an uncertificated crew and with an unlicensed radio crashes shortly after take-off, kills one of the crew and severely injures the other crew member and both passengers. And what does the MCA do? Does it recommend prosecution of the operator and/or surviving crew member? Does it withdraw the operator's licence? Does it instigate an inquiry into the operator's practices? No. It asks St. Christopher Travel-Ways, the operator, to assure the MCA that it won't be a naughty boy again and moves on. How times change!  
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John
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« Reply #8 on: March 12, 2017, 11:28:14 AM »

Extracted from BT 217/2333

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pomme homme
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« Reply #9 on: March 12, 2017, 14:27:17 PM »

It would also be interesting to know:

- what was its take-off run
- what height it had achieved when it passed over the runway threshold
- whether, rather than crashing into the gardens between two houses in Ridge Park, Wallington, (as reported), it crashed into one of those houses (which the photograph illustrating the first post suggests) as a result of failure to gain height after take-off
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