Stuc a' Chroin and Ben Vorich

Stuc a' Chroin and Ben Vorich

Friday, 21 September 2012

The loss of Canberra B.2 WJ615

As many will know, this wreckage is strewn widely across the slopes of Carn an t-Sagairt Mor but I was unaware of the story behind the crash and loss of the two crewmen. Here's an account from aircrashsites-scotland

"This particular Canberra was attached to No.35 Squadron RAF. (No.50 Squadron had also been equipped with Canberras, but theirs had been replaced 10 months prior to this accident with Avro Vulcan bombers)

Flying Officer Redman (Pilot), with Flying Officer Mansell (Navigator), of No.35 Squadron was detailed to fly Canberra B.2 WJ615 on an authorised 3 hours night sortie.

At 18:02 (Zulu) hours the aircraft took off from RAF Upwood (Cambridgeshire, England), received clearance and departed for Kinloss (Scotland) Weather conditions for the entire trip were good.

At 19.00 hours the aircraft made R/T contact with Kinloss, after which a normal QGH1 from 25,000ft followed by a visual circuit and overshoot of runway 26 was carried out.

At 19.21 hours the aircraft was seen to climb away from an overshoot height of approximately 300ft by Kinloss Air Traffic Control who passed two regional pressure settings. Flying Officer Redman replied "Thank You. Good Night." This was the last transmission heard from the aircraft.

The aircraft was seen to climb away for its return to Upwood. At about 19.30 hours (appoximately) witnesses from near Braemar heard a jet aircraft pass at an unusually low altitude for that area. One witness saw what must have been the tail navigation light, and the outline of the aircraft as it passed flying south, with the engines sounding normal and on a straight course. A few minutes later the witness saw a flash as it struck the hills [Carn an t-Sagairt Mòr]. It was a clear night with a small amount of scattered cloud.

About 30 civilian volunteers, guided by Police and Queen's gamekeepers, and two RAF Service Mountain Rescue Teams (Leuchars 10 men and Kinloss 22 men) and a helicopter were engaged in the search for the wreckage. At 03.30 hours (23 November 1956) three search parties from [the] Danzig Shiel2 (OS 50/201905) were sent out in a SE direction. Party 'B' was just approaching the wreckage when the helicopter sighted it at 08.40 hours.

The subsequent Court of Inquiry was unable to determine the cause of the accident.3"

Note: QGH is Air Traffic Control code for 'Controlled Descent Through Cloud'

I'm now busy sorting out the photographs from our latest trip will upload to SmugMug in the next few days for anyone who is interested.


AlanR said...

Should be done by the time we get home. Look forward to a slideshow.

afootinthehills said...

Hopefully! Hope you're having a great holiday both of you.

Phreerunner said...

Very interesting Gibson, always nice to get a bit of 'lateral history'!