Vought Chesapeake AL941 in Gleann Diomhan
(Distance covered =
6.7 mile/Ascent =+485 m)
General Dynamics F-111 68-0008 at Glenreasdale
Day 7 of my 2017 Walking Holiday and my last day on Arran. The last Ferry from Lochranza over to Kintyre was 18:30 but I wasn't too worried if I missed it as I would just get the first one the following morning.
The crashsite I was visiting on this day wasn't too great a distance and there wasn't much altitude involved either so I was confident that I would be back in time to catch the evening ferry over to Kintyre.
From the carpark it was a short walk back over the roadbridge to pick up a well signposted and well constructed footpath to follow along Glen Catacol. After walking for just over a mile there was a fork in the path, the right fork being the well constructed path which continued up Glen Catacol but I needed to take the left fork that headed off up Gleann Diomhan which was a not so well constructed path .
Above and below:-Glen Catacol.
Farther along Glen Catacol, the entrance to Gleann Diomhan can be seen ahead on the left.
The nice path continuing up Glen Catacol.
The rough, boulder strewn and boggy path up Gleann Diomhan.
The grid reference I had was not for where the Chesapeake actually crashed but for where a large section of wing lies in the burn in the bottom of Gleann Diomhan. I had been told that other pieces of wreckage could be found on the other side of the burn so after photographing the wing section I went over for a look.
Big lump of Chesapeake wing, Chesapeake was the Royal Navy name for the Vought Vindicater.
At first I was puzzled as I could find no sign of any other parts over the other side of the burn but after a couple of sweeps of the hillside I happened upon a piece of wreckage lying in a gully that contained a smaller burn flowing down the side of Beinn Tarsuinn. I followed that burn uphill finding lots of pieces of wreckage as I went, until finally coming across the main area of wreckage where the Chesapeake had crashed, over the other side of burn from the wing section alright but quite a distance up the hill.
Large piece of wreckage lying in the gully that put me on the right track to finding the rest.
Collection of undercarriage parts.
Above and below:-Two photos showing the location of the wing section in the burn and the main area of wreckage further up the hill.
As I set off back down Gleann Diomhan I met a man out for a walk with his two dogs. I didn't recognise the man but I recognised the dogs, I had bumped into them the day before while on my way to the B24 crashsite on Mullach Buidhe.
The man and his dogs in Gleann Diomhan.
I arrived back at the car with loads of time to catch the last ferry, in fact I was able to go and catch an earlier one as the ferry from Lochranza to Claonaig on Kintyre did not need to be booked, you simply turned up and parked in a numbered parking bay then paid on the ferry, if all the bays were full you just waited for the next ferry. I was first there so parked in bay 1.
At Lochranza waiting for the next ferry.
above and below:-On the ferry to Kintyre, quite sad to be leaving Arran.
As I was a day behind on my schedule I was planning on dropping the first two crashsites that I was going to visit on Kintyre. As one of them was right beside the road from Claonaig and because I was over onto Kintyre with a few hours of daylight left I went and had a quick look for it. The farmer at Glenreasdale was out on his quad checking on his livestock and came over to see what I was doing. He told me the area was now known as 'Aircraft Woods' by the locals and there was a 2 metre long piece of wreckage still in there, unfortunatly the last time he saw it was just after the conifers had been felled and since then native trees had been planted and the whole area was overgrown with bracken and brambles.
above and below:-'Aircraft Woods', pieces of F-111 were scattered all over this area when it crashed but I managed to find absolutely nothing thanks to the thick and prickly vegetation.(Crash Details)