RAF Vickers Wellington, Geal-chàrn, crash date 10/12/42

[Picture from wikipedia.org]

OS 10-figure grid refs (GPS):

NN 48049 73196
NN 48072 73585
NN 48223 73680

Google Maps display showing wreckage locations

This site lies on the southern slopes of Geal-chàrn, in an area labelled Leacann na Brathan on the OS map. The wreckage is in three debris fields, with the lowest lying (containing a few twisted pieces of fuselage) right on the main path going over the Bealach Dubh between Ben Alder and Geal-chàrn at an altitude of about 730m.

Above the Bealach Dubh towards Geal-chàrn at an altitude of about 850m lie two circular pieces of metal (photos 4, 5 and 6; apparently these are exhaust collector rings from the Wellington's engines). The highest wreckage site is a section of the Wellington's distinctive geodetic airframe (photos 7 and 8) at an altitude of about 900m with a fantastic view of Ben Alder and Loch Ossian.

The impact point of the crash was probably nearer this higher point, but the wreckage lower down on the Bealach Dubh (photos 1, 2 and 3) was apparently placed there as part of the cleanup operation in the summer of 1943, and is the most well known as it lies right next to the well-used bealach path.

Irvine Butterfield's 'The High Mountains of Britain and Ireland', states that 'Lying at the western end of the hill [Sgor Lutharn] (482739) the skeletal remains of a light aircraft mark the turn to face a scarp supporting the flat moss of Geal Charn' (pg 83-84), but I found nothing at this grid reference and this is perhaps either a misidentification of the nearby Wellington wreckage or is referring to wreckage that has since been cleared.

There is some information about this site and some photos on the PDAAR website here (showing some engine parts that I missed).

I first came upon this site on a walk in May 2000. I had no idea what it was and it was the first time I'd ever seen aircraft wreckage in the Scottish mountains. It was the process of trying to find out a bit more about this site that first made me aware of the hidden aviation history that lies throughout the Scottish mountains.

The site is about 8km to the south-west of the wreck site of an Armstrong Whitworth Whitley near Loch Pattack - see my my page about this site here.

These pictures were taken in July 2009.