Monday, 23 November 2009

Avro Lancaster Mk. III NE132

Avro Lancaster Mk. III NE132 memorial

This appropriately sombre picture shows the memorial to the crew of Lancaster NE132 at the site of their fatal 6th February 1945 crash.

It lies in the middle of an extensive (but nevertheless hard to find) wreckage trail down the flank of Rhinog Fawr in South Snowdonia, Wales.

It's pretty accessible by high ground wreck site standards, though the 50mph winds and driving rain reduced accessibility a bit for us last Saturday. Without assistance from Matt ZX, we'd undoubtedly have blanked here as we did on our last attempt. The site is a very long way from the High Ground Wrecks coordinates.

This is the only crash site listed as a War Grave in Wales, but this didn't stop someone taking away the only two engines on the site which were not completely shattered around ten years ago.

As we know, wreckologists aren't squeamish about graverobbing, but for whatever reason, the shattered remains of much of the 'plane and two of of the crew are still there on the hillside, rather than gracing some sad anorak's shed.

With the new rules from CADW, they will hopefully now remain undisturbed for years to come.

Location: SH 63736 28879

Avro Lancaster Mk. III NE132

This mixture of wreckage and rocks contuinues for several hundred metres. Some details are shown below

Avro Lancaster Mk. III NE132 bullets

0.303 bullets

Avro Lancaster Mk. III NE132 prop boss

Propeller Boss

Avro Lancaster Mk. III NE132

The bottom of the wreckage trail, where a substantial wall stops the bits falling further down the hill. if you click through to the higher resolution version, you can see the crank from a shattered Merlin engine, as well as armour plate and undercarriage components.

The two stolen engines used to lie here also. Does anyone know who took them?

Location: SH 63720 28916

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Saturday, 14 November 2009

Aircraft Wrecks: The Walker's Guide: Historic Crash Sites on the Moors and Mountains of the British Isles

We are getting reports of inaccuracies and errors in Clark and Wotherspoon's so-called "Walkers Guide". We don't want to judge prematurely, so are investigating.

Our initial comment is this -walkers (or "bobble-hatted numpties" as Alan Clark likes to call us) don't want a guide which is a big hardback book, contains no walking routes, has only approximate (and perhaps inaccurate) coordinates, and has pages of stuff about what the flight crew had for breakfast.

Surely they want something more like the old "High Ground Wrecks", only more precise and accurate, with GPS verified 6 dp coordinates, and a few words about the circumstances of the crash.

But of course we give you that for nowt. Comments and reports on errors in the "guide" are invited.

Sunday, 8 November 2009

Vickers Armstrong Wellington Mk.IC DV718

Vickers Armstrong Wellington Mk.IC DV718

A tough 19k in fog and rain brought us precious little of this aircraft which crashed at night in low cloud and rain on Riggs Moor.

The poor visibility around here which did for all but one of the crew of the Wellington has caused us a few problems too. The weather was relatively fine until we came to the search area, and visibility then dropped dramatically, just as it did last time we were here.

We were out of light before we had a chance to complete our search, and had to do a couple of K over cloughs and groughs in the dark, which was a good navigation exercise. We found this lightweight bit, around 400mm square, but I'm pretty sure we were almost 100m from the main site.

The crash site is big, and having been assured it could be seen from 100m (if only you could see that far), we are certain we will get the main site at our next attempt, (especially as I spotted it on Google Earth this morning!)

Location: SE 02205 73365

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