The Mystery of the aircraft wheel in Glen Feshie? Any ideas anyone ?

Wheel in Glen Feshie.

Wheel in Glen Feshie.

I have been asked on several occasions about an aircraft wheel in Glen Feshie in the Cairngorms. There are no nearby recorded aircraft crashes that I am aware of, can you shed a light on it?

The Cairngorm Guru my old pal Ray Sefton says

“Wheel in Glen Feshie.

“Hi Heavy,
I have also seen that wheel, it has been there for
many years. I am not aware of a crash in that area. There used to be a
wheel from a Halifax bomber near Loch Ericht when I first started on the
hill( early 1950’s) . After the war when many aircraft were broken up I am told wheels like
this were used on trailers in forestry operations and I suspect the wheel
you saw was one of these. ”

Cheers

Sunshine

The aircraft crashes in the Cairngorms are many and I have visited most and many still have considerable wreckage about and are worth a visit. I have written about many of them in this blog in the past.

I always thought that wheel that was down at the road on the entrance to Ben Alder Estate when I joined RAF MRT in 1972 was from the Wellington that crashed near Ben Alder Geal Chars in Dec 1942 ?

Alan Clark – Aug 2016

It’s definitely from a Halifax, the stub of the axle protruding from the wheel is the same as that on Cronk ny Arrey Laa on the Isle of Man at the crash site of G-AJNZ. This one still has the clamping piece which bolted to the oleo stuck to the axle. The wheel itself seems to be common to the larger aircraft of the period (Halifax & Lancaster) and it is a treadless (I believe) summer only tyre. I’d be going with a surplus item used to haul trees until it probably seized up and was left to rot.

More info here and on my blog

Vickers Wellington L7867, Geal Chàrn, Dalwhinnie | Air Crash Sites-Scotlandhttps://pagead2.googlesyndication.com/pub-config/r20160212/ca-pub-7387524683478508.jshttp://www.google-analytics.com/ga.js//

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On 10 December 1942, RAF Vickers Wellington L7867 of 20 OTU took off from RAF Lossiemouth on a navigation exercise (Navex). The plan was to fly to the east coast of Scotland and then turn and fly back to Lossiemouth.

 

During the flight, however, the Wellington strayed from the pre-planned route. In the midst of a blizzard, the aircraft crashed into Leacann na Brathan on the SE flank of Geal-chàrn.

 

Only one member of the crew survived the crash. He was Sgt Philip Underwood (Air Gunner). The seriously injured sergeant struggled down the mountain until he reached Corrour Lodge near Fort William where he managed to summon help.

 

The RAF recovery teams used mules to bring down sections of the wreckage from the mountain. This may explain why wreckage debris can still be seen at several different points down the slope of Leacann na Brathan. The lowest debris field is on the main path leading over the Bealach Dubh, and lies between Ben Alder and Geal-chàrn. (See under Crash Site Photos below.)

 

About heavywhalley.MBE

Lecturer and Mountain Rescue Specialist
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9 Responses to The Mystery of the aircraft wheel in Glen Feshie? Any ideas anyone ?

  1. Jim Grant says:

    I think it is from a Canberra bomber which crashed Nov 22nd 1956.

    Like

  2. Keith Bryers says:

    This is almost certainly a Wellington wheel but it is a long way from the nearest Wellington crash site. The Ben Alder crash (of L7867 – above) is at least 40 km from Glen Feshie. I can see no reason to carry such a heavy object from there to Glen Feshie, unless it was perhaps a failed attempt to recover wreckage by H M Forces using a helicopter? But even then why not just fly it to the roadside at Dalwhinnie.
    There were two (probable) Wellington wheels for many years at the north end of Loch Ericht – they were visible from the railway – but I always suspected, though I could be wrong, these were too intact to be from L7867 and were possibly used as part of a forestry extraction skyline crane in the late 1950s or early 1960s. Perhaps the one in Glen Feshie was for a similar purpose.
    It is certainly not from a Canberra.
    Does anyone have the grid reference for this? There will be tiny manufacturer’s and inspectors’ stamps in the metal which will enable it to be confirmed, or not, as being from a Wellington (or Warwick!) hunderds of which were scrapped at Moray Firth airfields after the war.

    Keith Bryers

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Alan Clark says:

    It’s definitely from a Halifax, the stub of the axle protruding from the wheel is the same as that on Cronk ny Arrey Laa on the Isle of Man at the crash site of G-AJNZ. This one still has the clamping piece which bolted to the oleo stuck to the axle. The wheel itself seems to be common to the larger aircraft of the period (Halifax & Lancaster) and it is a treadless (I believe) summer only tyre. I’d be going with a surplus item used to haul trees until it probably seized up and was left to rot.

    Like

  4. Neil Johnston says:

    Regarding grid ref/ location – My phone GPS says wheel is at 30V 444375E 6326159N.
    Hope that means more to you than it does to me.
    Regards, Neil

    Liked by 1 person

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