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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 66086
Last updated: 2 December 2021
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Type:Miles M.65 Gemini 1A
Owner/operator:Eric Francis Thurston
Registration: G-AKDD
MSN: 6284
Fatalities:Fatalities: 1 / Occupants: 2
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:Thames Estuary, off Warden Point, Isle of Sheppey, Kent -   United Kingdom
Phase: En route
Departure airport:Stapleford Tawney, Abridge, Essex (EGSG)
Destination airport:Biggin Hill Airport, Biggin Hill, Bromley, Kent (BQH/EGKB)
Miles M.65 Gemini Mk.1A G-AKDD: first civil registered (C of R 11817/1) on 16/9/47 to the Ministry of Civil Aviation, London WC.2. C of A 9739 issued September 1947. (Address amended from 19/1/54 to London W1 with same registered owner, with news C of R R2644/1). Used by the Civil Aviation Flying Unit (CAFU) for communications and radar calibration duties

Registration cancelled/lapsed 16/9/55 upon sale
Sold on and re-registered (C of R R2644/2) 20/9/55 to Air Charter Ltd., London W.1. Reportedly based at Southend Airport, Southend-on-Sea, Essex
Registration cancelled/lapsed 29/10/ 57 upon sale
Sold on and re-registered (C of R R2644/3) 12/11/57 to Balfour (Marine) Engineering Co Ltd., Ilford, Essex
Registration cancelled/lapsed 21/3/59 upon sale
Sold on and re-registered (C of R R2644/4) 26/3/59 to Eric Francis Thurston, Theydon Bois, Essex

Crashed into the Thames Estuary off Warden Point, Isle of Sheppey, Kent on 5/3/1961. According to a contemporary newspaper report ("Birmingham Daily Post" - Monday 06 March 1961)

The pilot of a private monoplane which crashed in the Thames estuary off the Isle of Sheppey yesterday tried to save his passenger, a non-swimmer, but had to give up. The pilot, although nearly exhausted, managed to swim ashore. The passenger was drowned.

The pilot was Mr. Raymond Stephens, aged 23, company director, of Church Lane, Loughton, Essex. The body of the passenger, Mr. Bertram Amor, aged 35, of Beechcroft Road, Leytonstone, was recovered later by Southend lifeboats, after a search in which a police launch and five other boats, together with a Coastal Command helicopter had taken part.

The plane, from Stapleford aerodrome, made a perfect landing in the water".

Registration G-AKDD cancelled by the CAA on 10/6/1961 as "permanently withdrawn from use"


1. Birmingham Daily Post - Monday 6 March 1961
2. Safety Was No Accident: History of the UK Civil Aviation Flying Unit (CAFU) 1944-1996 p.23 By James Fuller
4. G-AKDD at Oxford (Kidlington) (OXF/EGTK) 25/4/59:


Photo of G-AKDD courtesy

Biggin Hill (EGKB / BQH)
1960; (c) Jerry Hughes

Revision history:

01-Jul-2009 23:29 VHKDK Added
28-Nov-2012 16:51 Dr. John Smith Updated [Operator, Total fatalities, Total occupants, Other fatalities, Phase, Nature, Departure airport, Source, Embed code, Narrative]
17-Apr-2014 16:20 TB Updated [Location, Embed code]
14-Mar-2020 00:37 Dr. John Smith Updated [Time, Total fatalities, Total occupants, Location, Departure airport, Destination airport, Source, Narrative]

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