As many know I have been interested in Aircraft Crashes and was involved in the Search & recovery of many. I also did a few on the Scottish Islands which were always difficult and mainly tragic affairs. The Islands of Scotland are incredible and they have there own weather which make flying difficult especially in the early days.
Some of the incidents I was involved in:
1975 – Isle of Mull missing aircraft located 7 years later. This happened over New Year period and we had as always amazing hospitality on the Island by the locals.
1978 – Isle of Colonsay French/ Dutch Military aircraft Atlantic crashed in the sea – wreckage washed ashore. – All the crew survived – we lived in a Cave one night and much of the wreckage washed ashore vanished in true Island Fashion. It was very difficult trying to get some of the sensitive items back! A bit of barter was called for
1982 – Skye – Stron Na Stri – USA F111 – both crew were killed. – This was an epic which I wrote about in my Blog this December. I was leading the party that found the crash site on a wild night in winter. I spent a week with the USA Board of Enquiry at the Broadford Hotel going into the crash site daily a big callout at the time.
1987- Barra – light aircraft crash. – We were flown in by Navy Seaking and poor weather meant we could only arrive in the mist at Castlebay. We stayed on the Island for three days with the recovery, great help from the locals.
1990 – Isle Of Harris RAF Shackleton all 9 crew killed. – Flown into this tragedy by RAF Seaking and were on scene within an hour. A very difficult callout and again superb assistance from the locals as happens on every disaster.
The Islands are a unique place and SAR in the early days would have been so hard. There is a new book about to be published covering the early years and looks an interesting read this book d and will tell tales of the early days of military flying. I have ordered it
A book `Lost to the Isles` Volume 1 1914-1941 should arrive from the printers at the end of the week 24th May, price inc postage to UK is £20
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Many thanks for your interest and support.