Break a Leg
Hawker Audax
K7376 on Hill of Edendocher, Miles Master T8684 on Cairn of Finglenny and Airspeed Oxford N6438 on Meluncart.
(Distance covered = 13.8 mile/Ascent =+1102m)

A big Championship in the lovely venue of a seaside Ballroom in Aberdeen.
An early start and hopefully a late finish, so my plan was to try and visit 3 wrecksites in one trip.

On previous visits to this competition I had spent the day sleeping to recover from the 5 hour drive up there, so I could stay awake for the 5 hour drive back, or watching DVD's, this time I dropped the girls at the venue and headed straight down the road to Glen Dye.
I had figured I could save quite a bit of time on this walk if I took my bike; I regretted this decision at first as the route I took to the top of Clacknaben was very steep and rocky and the narrow path was rife with drainage slits, so I ended up carrying the bike more than I was riding it. However, as is usually the case when I utilise the bike what I lost on the swings I would more than make up on the roundabouts later on in the day.

Clachnaben is easily identified by the large Tor on its Summit

When I was almost to the Tor on the summit of Clacknaben I was passed by a Mountain Rescue Team out training for the day, so if I was ever going to break an ankle or a leg while out hiking today would be a good day. Once I'd lugged the bike to the top of Clachnaben it became much easier, i.e downhill, so I soon arrived at the first wreck, a Hawker Audax,which was easy to find as it was only about 100yrds from the Landrover Track I was following.

The Skeletal fuselage frame of the Hawker Audax

Photo of the Audax taken just after it crashed.

Remains of a fuel tank and the fuselage frame from the front

A piece of the wing structure attached to the front of the fuselage frame

Above right and below:-A piece from either the Audax or the Master has been stuck in the top of this cairn, the Audax wreck is on the hillside in the background, just to the left of the landrover track, about where the top of the tube is on the photo above right.

My Mountain Bike before it was killed by Craigronald(see here)

From the first wreck to the second wreck was only about half a mile and it too wasn't too far from the Landy Track. On the way I passed a Gamekeeper sitting in a 4x4, back in the day I would have been worried about being chased but nowadays thanks to Scotlands right to roam act all I received was a friendly wave as I passed. I left the bike beside a cairn and set off to find the Master which I managed without too much difficulty as the heather had recently been burnt off.

The Master crashsite, the Audax is on the hillside in the background

Rolls Royce Kestrel Engine and prop hub, the Tor on Clachnaben summit in the background.

As the Master was a trainer it was painted yellow

Scattered parts lying in the impact crater

After visiting the Master wreck it was off down the Landy track again, this became a bit of a challenge for the brakes on my bike as it dropped down quite steeply into the glen below, and to make things more interesting there were a few hairpin bends along the way, plus the track was deeply rutted and uneven. I was relieved to reach the bottom after crashing off the bike three times, including one spectacular effort caused by applying the brakes a bit too vigorously which sent me flying 'arse over tit' over the handlebars. On the other side of the Glen I could see that Meluncart also had a Landrover track skirting around its base, this would make access easier and quicker with the bike.

Meluncart from Cairn of Finglenny

Once I was down into the Glen there was a crossroads besides a Bothy. I needed to decide whether I had enough time to look for the third wreck on Meluncart and go straight over, or head back to the car and go left. I initially opted to head back to the car but after a couple of hundred yards I changed my mind and decided to go for it, so turned around and took the track towards Meluncart.

Bothy and crossroads, straight over or left?

After hiding the bike under a bridge I made straight up the hill, the deep heather lower down didn't exactly help my progress but farther up the Heather had been burnt off leaving a rather barren summit. Any ideas of finding the wrecksite quickly were soon forgotten, despite the top of Meluncart resembling the surface of the moon with its lack of vegetation I could find no sign of the Oxford so as I was getting pushed for time I decided to call it a day and head back to the bike. Soon after setting off back to the bike I spotted a large lump of something  lying in a ditch.

The lump of Oxford that I spotted first

The wreckage lay in a shallow gully which concealed it from below, so I had passed within feet of it on the way out and not spotted it, luckily I had started walking back higher up.

A bit of the wooden structure has survived despite lying there for 70 years and probably being subjected to numerous fires while the heather is burnt off.

The same parts can be seen on Braeriach, Shank o Donald Young and Cairn Trench.

Once I'd grabbed some photos I really was pushed for time so had to employ a bit of fell running down the hill to the Bike, then give it 10 nowt along the Landrover track back to the carpark. I managed to get back to the Ballroom in Aberdeen in time to have a quick nap before the competition finished, in preperation for the long drive home.