A B Mobley

Born on 17th August 1913 in Castle Bromwich, Wing Commander Arthur Benjamin Mobley made his first and last flight from Castle Bromwich air field. His tragic death on 29th July 1950 whilst flying in an air show at Castle Vale was witnessed by his young son who saw his plane plummet to the ground in a field adjoining Caste Bromwich Aerodrome. Wing Commander Mobley died from shock due to multiple injuries.

The accident was reported in thew local media at the time:



Pupil’s Injuries in Castle Bromwich Accident

Practising formation flying over Castle Bromwich aerodrome, the leader of four Tiger Moth training planes plunged into a spin during a roll, it was stated at an inquest to-day on the pilot, who was killed when the machine crashed near the aerodrome.

He was Flight-Lieut. Arthur Benjamin Mobley (aged 36), deputy chief flying instructor at Castle Bromwich Reserve Flying School. His pupil, Flying Officer J. A. Deighton was in hospital for six weeks.

Squadron-Leader Ronald Chalmers told the City Coroner that Mobley, a former Bomber Command pilot, had nearly 4,000 flying hours to his credit. On July 29, he took off with a pupil to practise formation flying and aerobatics.

“Black-Out” Theory

It was at the end of a “break-away” that his plane went into a spin. Witness thought it was probable Mobley had a “black-out” at the end of a dive, causing him to temporarily lose control.

The machine, the Coroner (Dr. W. H. Davison) told the jury, crashed into a nearby field. Mrs. Rita Mobley, of 116 Wantage Road, Wallingford (Berks) had been watching the aircraft from the ground. Her attention was drawn by her nine-year-old son to the last machine which, he said, was “spinning down.” Later she was told her husband had been flying the fallen plane.

Pupil Injured

Flying Officer John Arthur Deighton of 100 Church Lane, Handsworth, said as a member of the R.A.F.V.R. he went to the flying school at week-ends “to keep my hand in.”

During his last flight, Mobley took over the controls before the “breakaway.” At the end of the dive, witness “blacked-out” for some time, and the next thing he knew, the plane was spinning. He suffered fractured ribs and a fractured leg in the crash.

The jury recorded a verdict of “Accidental death.”


Pilot blacked out – Plane crashed

A black out which caused the pilot to lose control of his machine was the explanation given to the Birmingham Coroner of an aircrash at Castle Bromwich on July 29.

On that day a Tiger Moth crashed near the airfield killing the pilot, Flight-Lieut. Arthur Benjamin Mobley, aged 36, of 116 Wantage Road, Wallingford, Berks.

Mobley was stated to have had wide experience of all types of aircraft and had nearly 4,000 flying hours to his credit.

Wife saw spin

A statement taken from his wife, Rita Mobley, showed that her husband was pronounced clinically A1 a short time before the accident. On the day of the crash she was waiting at Castle Bromwich when she saw a machine spinning into a crash. Later she was told her husband was dead and realised that he must have been in the spinning machine she saw.

On crutches

Squadron Leader Ronald Chalmers chief flying instructor at No. 5 Reserve Flying School, stated that Mobley, his deputy, took up a pupil to practise aerobatics.

After going into a dive, Mobley’s machine started to climb, stalled and spun down to earth.

S/L. Chalmers thought that in pulling out of the dive Mobley “blacked out,” being unable to regain proper control of the machine.

Appearing with crutches, Flying Officer John Arthur Douglas Deighton, of 100 Church Lane, Handsworth, of the R.A.F.V.R. said he was the pupil in the aircraft. Usually, he said, he was immune from blackouts, but in the sharp pull up out of a dive he developed a black-out which continued until he recovered during the spin.

Summing up, the Coroner said the inquiry had established that Mobley was a highly skilled and experienced pilot.

It was reasonable to assume that he had a blck out.

Verdict: “Accidental death.”

(Castle Bromwich Community Project wishes to thank Terry Mobley for the material and information he has supplied to help put this information together.)