Aircraft crash sites some information.

March 21 – Aircraft Crashes some information and Guides.

Recently there has been some folk seeking information on aircraft crashes in Scotland and other area in the UK.  I was a member of The RAF Mountain Rescue that was founded to recover crashed aircrew from Mountainous and wild country and had done so since the Second World War.  These sites are well worth a visit but please remember that young men dies here and the wreckage is protected by the Military remains Act. I have visited many sites from North Wales, the Peaks the Borders and all over Scotland including the Islands and contributed to a few books on the subjects. Most of the sites are in remote places care must be taken and please leave nothing but foot prints take nothing but photos. This is still so relevant in these hallowed places.

In my early years we had a list of crash sites that we visited regularly in Arran, the Borders, Wales and Northern Scotland, we used them often for a navigation day for the team and I delved into the history of these crashes in these wild places. I have written on many in my blog so please have a look. I found St Kilda a wonderful place to visit as there are aircraft crash sites there including on Soay but that is another tale.  These are just a few there are plenty more

Vampire Memorial at Ben Kilbreck
14-16/03/51Beinn Eighe 19/948602Lancaster crash.  Team on standby for two days before search commenced.  Various searches until 28th August.  8 bodies recovered over four months.  This incident had a huge impact on the equipment and training of RAF MR service. Huge amount of Wreckage left in gully. I still take relatives to these crash sites most years. Lots of Wreckage and memorial on the propeller. A sombre place.

19\3\55Ben Kilbreck 16/618316RNAS Trainer Vampire aircraft both crew killed. Memorial on far top not the Munro marked on map. In the past I have extended a day on Ben Kilbreck it by going to an aircraft crash site on the South East Spur of Meall Ailein and to a monument to the crew of a Vampire Trainer aircraft from Royal Naval Station Lossiemouth that crashed in 17 March 1955 sadly killing both crew. The RAF Kinloss Mountain Rescue team were involved in the recovery and located the crash in a wild March day all those years ago.  The weather was wild and after a 6 hours search the aircraft was located.  It is a remote site and a very impressive memorial set on the ridge with great views this wild part of Scotland. It is worth extending the day and going out to visit this site that few see.  The monument is marked on the map and pieces of the aircraft can be found a grid reference Sheet 16/6182316 and NC 619305   Lest We Forget.  
22/11/56Carn an t-Sagairt Mor, 44/208844  

Search for a missing Canberra aircraft and the recovery of 2 bodies. One of Ray Sunshine’s Sefton’s first call outLocals & RAF Leuchars RAF Kinloss on call- out . Crew recovered with assistance of a RAF Sycamore Helicopter! Early Rescue/ Recovery in the mountain by Helicopter. Lots of wreckage about including a wing.  The Lochnagar 5 ‘This group of five Munros forms a high-level circuit around Loch Muick. The highest peak is Cac Carn Beag, which looks down into the dark coire of Lochnagar below, which is a favourite winter climbing area. The other summits are less characterful, but many discoveries are made when roaming over them, including wildlife, waterfalls and plane-wreckage. The second site I visited is perhaps the most spectacular air wreck site in the Scottish mountains. An RAF Canberra jet crashed on the summit of Carn an t-Sagairt Mor in 1956, Killing both crew and a very large amount of the wreckage still lies scattered around the summit area. The debris field covers an area of about 600m by 600m, centred on the flat 1047m summit of Carn an t-Sagairt Mor, with large pieces to the north, west and east of the summit, some lying in boulder fields away from the main walking paths, down to an altitude of about 960m. It used to make an interesting navigation exercise during the hill day for the RAF mrt team members This is From the Site Air Crash Sites Scotland “On the way, you should encounter some scattered plane wreckage, including a large section of wing. These pieces are the remains of a Canberra jet that crashed into the hill in 1956 (more info A good amount of the remains of all three of the Canberra’s main wheels are still at the site, including one that is standing upright and in excellent condition – this is perhaps one of the most unusual pieces of air wreckage of all the crash sites in the Scottish mountains. Remains of parts of the Canberra’s Rolls-Royce Avon jet engines and wings are still visible as well.” RAF Kinloss Archives  
Canberra Crash

Info –…

Air Crash Sites Scotland

Books – Lost to the Isles – David Earl and Peter Dobson

Lost to the Isles.

Hell on high Ground David w. Earl – This study of aircraft crashes on hills and mountains of the UK and Ireland covers the period 1928 to 1992, the majority relating to World War II. Drawing upon Air Force records, civil accident reports and news reports, the author has included the accounts of survivors, eye-witnesses and rescuers

No Landing Place: Guide to Aircraft Crashes in Snowdonia Paperback

Aircraft Wrecks The Walkers Guide –

This book aims to give readers access to the tangible remains of hundreds of historic aircraft that still lie at crash sites on the moors and mountains of the British Isles, all of which can be visited. It covers almost 500 selected sites, with emphasis given to those on open access land and including; accurate verified grid references, up-to-date site descriptions and recent photographs. Arranged geographically, the areas covered include:

South-west Moors – 15 entries. ~ Wales – 93 entries. ~ Peak District – 82 entries.
Pennines – 76 Entries. ~ Lake District – 32 entries. ~ North Yorkshire Moors – 23 entries.
Isle of Man – 18 entries. ~ Scotland: Lowlands – 47 entries. ~ Highlands and Islands – 85 entries. ~ Ireland – 19 entries.

Representing the main upland areas of the British Isles, each of these sections is introduced with a brief narrative describing its geographical characteristics and aviation background, discussing the factors and trends lying behind the concentration of losses within each area and noting any especially significant incidents. Individual site entries include precise location details including, where required, additional references for scattered major items of wreckage and any relevant notes to aid finding or interpreting the crash site, together with details of the aircraft, names and fates of those on board and the circumstances of the loss.

Please I repeat do not take any wreckage and leave the sites tidy, remember these are where young men died. I always take time to think of the crews and those who recovered them. I took a son who was born 6 weeks after a crash in the Cairngorms he is over 70 now. It was a hugely moving experience for us all.

About heavywhalley.MBE

Mountain Rescue Specialist. Environmentalist. Spent 37 years with RAF Mountain Rescue and 3 years with a civilian Team . Still an active Mountaineer when body slows, loves the wild places.
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