The three amigos.
Embraer EMB=110P1 Banderainte G-HGGS
(Distance covered(cc19c)= 8.5mile/Ascent
Day 4 of my 2019 walking holiday aka CC19b; we were heading off to have another look for the Banderainte Mail Plane that crashed near Inverness Airport.
Before hitting the hills we had arranged to meet with another 'website buddy' called Chris; as we had wild camped on the beach beside Culbin Forest the night before we arranged to meet him there. There is also a Vickers Warwick crashsite in Culbin Forest, I'd visited it already but Stuart hadn't so once we'd met Chris we nipped in for a quick look before setting off to search for the Banderainte.
above and next 4 photos: Warwick wreckage in Culbin Forest.
Although not joining us on the Banderainte search on this day Chris had been up to look for it on a previous occasion, but like us he didn't have a grid reference just a rough idea of the area; consequently he hadn't met with any success. Our plan for this trip was to search an adjacent hill which seemed the next most likely suspect after the hill Chris had already searched.
We cycled in using the Moy Windfarm access roads up to Carn Dearg then dumped the bikes and walked across to our search area on the northern side of Carn Dubh Mor. As well as looking for Banderainte wreckage we were also going to revisit the nearby crashsite of AW Whitley BD295 on Cawdor Moor. Both myself and Stuart had been to the Whitley site before but both of us had managed to miss the main area of wreckage, so a return trip was needed.
Off to look for bits of Banderainte.
We had a good search around on the hillside for any sign of the mail plane, and by the time we left to head over to the crashsite of the Whitley, we were confident that Banderainte G-HGGS did not crash on Carn Dubh Mor.
This new landrover track on Cawdor Moor passes within feet of the Whitley wreckage; this was not there on my previous visit*.
Above and below:-Where the Whitley crashed; there are more bits about 200 metres down the hill; those bits are what I found on my first visit*. (More wreckage photos)
After leaving Cawdor Moor we nipped along to check out another crashsite we had previously visited; Avro Anson R9583**. I had been asked to try and keep the location of this one a secret as it was pretty unknown about and relatively untouched by souvenir hunters, but it would appear that some bits have now gone missing particularly some bits of the instrument panel including the blind flying panel.
Above and below:- Anson wreckage.
After completing CC19b in the summer holidays of 2019 both myself and Stuart managed to get passes from our wives for another weekend away walking in the October half term, which we of course christened CC19c. Our plan was to visit 3 crashsites plus go and have another look for the Banderainte.
This would be my third attempt at finding this crashsite so I was hoping it would be 3rd time lucky and as well as Stuart I would also have Chris as company, so three sets of eyes to look for wreckage in the heather. This time instead of walking in from Moy to the south we were taking a slightly shorter route in from Finglack to the north.
Parked up and ready to go at Finglack.
This was the last day of CC19c, we had planned on wild camping the whole weekend but on the Saturday night we had endured a rather over exuberant storm after we had set up camp at the very remote Loch Pattack on the way to visiting a Whitley crashsite on Meallan Odhar.
Off up the track past the buildings at Finglack.
Because the storm on Saturday night had 'dampened' our enthusiasm for wild camping we had taken the easy option on Sunday night and stayed at the Youth Hostel in Aviemore. So after a much quieter, dryer and warmer nights sleep we were raring to go on Monday morning, even more so after grabbing a sausage and egg mcmuffin meal for breakfast on the way over to Finglack.
Above and below:- Two of the three amigos on the track up to Beinn Bhuidhe Mhor, we really must think of a better name for our group, then our mammies could sew patches on our jumpsuits.
View back down to the Moray Firth and Inverness Airport.
A Sleazyjet 737 lifting off from Inverness airport. The Banderainte would have done the same before flying towards the camera.
Carn a' Choire Odhair, our search area for today.
Once we reached our search area we split up to cover more ground, I searched the southern slopes whilst Stuart and Chris went farther north. After walking back and forward along the hillside quite a few times I received a phone call which I thought was the call to give up and head home but it was much better news than that; Chris had found something on the other side of the hill!
A bit of Banderainte; a slightly melted light fitting.
After finding the light we sat down on a mound of earth to have some bait before having a hunt around for other parts. Stuart had a photo on his phone of Banderainte wreckage taken at the time of the crash and it was almost a perfect match to where we were sitting.
Above and below: Photo taken from the mound of earth above and a photo taken at the time of the crash below.
Scar containing more fragments. We believed this is where the Banderainte first struck the hillside, unfortunately the Landrover track had been built through the bottom half of the scar.
Carn a' Choire Odhair; the Banderainte crashed to the left side of the summit just above the landrover track .
A good way to end our bonus CC19c weekend; or so we thought, as after saying our farewells to Chris myself and Stuart set off for the long drive home but only made it as far as Aviemore where we decided to sneak in one more crashsite visit.
Above and below:- A couple of chunks of Whitley LA792 found in the woods above Kinveachy.
I'd previously visited the woods above Kinveachy lodge where Whitley LA792*** had crashed; on that occasion I only managed to find one panel which was lying in a gully. I thought that isolated piece must have blown there or been carried down in the burn but on this visit which was a lot later in the year, meaning a lot less undergrowth; Stuart went down into the gully to look for the panel and found quite a few more pieces. Some of the bits were quite heavy disproving my previous theory and making it far more likely the Whitley crashed in or very near the gully where I originally found that one panel.
Quite a large and heavy lump of melted alluminium found in the gully. (more wreckage photos)