Fairey Firefly on Lochnagar.
(Distance covered = 10.0
This is another one of the crashsites I visited during my week long Hillwalking Holiday in August 2013 while Heather and her Mam were away at the Canadian Highland Dancing Championships.
The previous couple of days I'd spent in the Mountains beside Aviemore where I'd visited crashsites on Braeriach, Ben Mcdui and An Lurg. I drove down to Spittal of Glen Muick the evening before my planned expedition to Lochnagar and found a brilliant spot to park the Pug, which during my weeks holiday had proven to be a more than adequate Campervan, or as I had named it for the week " My Camperpug". I was hoping the glorious weather would last a couple more days, I wasn't going to be dissapointed!.
Several Motorhomes drove past enviously eying my little parking spot.
I was awake at 6.00am the following morning and the weather was just as nice as the previous days, I had one of those 'can't get any better than this' moments as I sat in the deckchair beside the Camperpug enjoying my breakfast in the sunshine, and admiring the spectacular views across the Glen to Lochnagar. Through my Binoculors I could just about make out the yellow wing of the Firefly on the hillside in the distance.
Allt-na-giubhsaich, don't know if it was a Hotel, Hunting Lodge or just a rather large Home, I was just glad I didn't have to try and pronounce it!
It was very busy at Spittal of Glen Muick with a lot of people heading off to the summit of Lochnagar, most of them not very well prepared in case the weather turned. I've set off up into the Hills in weather like this before but ended up in a blizzard*, one man passed me wearing jeans and a t-shirt and trainers and didn't have any form of bag, a coat or jumper and no drinks or refreshments of any kind, and he was heading off up a Scottish Munro!.
Little Pap on the left and Cuidhe Crom on the right, the Firefly lies on the south eastern flank of Cuidhe Crom.
I followed a rough landrover track west for a couple of miles until it turns north, here a well trodden path branches of from the track and continues west to make it's way up to the summit of Lochnagar, a couple of hundred yards up this path I parted company with the crowd heading for the summit and went cross country in a south west direction towards the Firefly crashsite.
Looking to the south west from where I left the tourist path to Lochnagar summit.
There is an intact wing at this crashsite which I could see from the track across the valley, it is painted bright yellow which helped, but as I got nearer to the crashsite it was obscured from view. The first pieces I found were two large lumps of fuselage which had made their way quite a distance from the rest of the wreckage thanks to an aborted recovery attempt by Muppets!.
Above and next 6 photos:-Two large pieces of fuselage, these used to be at the crashsite but have been moved by unknown Muppets!
The next pieces I came across were the remains of the tail and a wing flap, these had also made their way quite a distance downhill from the rest, so could also be the victims of an aborted recovery attempt.
Remains of the tail with Little Pap behind to the left, the rest of the Firefly wreckage is near the top of the slope on the right.
The intact wing can just be made out 3/4's of the way up the slope in line with the left side of the tail wreckage.
This is the starboard tailplane not the tailfin but I stood it up anyway to try and obtain a dramatic photo, the stump of the tailfin is bottom right
A wing flap lying beside the tail.
A view of the tail remains orientated correctly,the grey bit at the top left of the wreckage is the remains of the rudder, still attached to the tail by a hinge it moved left and right freely.
From the tail I made my way up the slope towards the impact point, I made large zigzags as there was loads of pieces scattered amongst the heather and boulders including an aerleron, carburetter and one of the wheels and u/c legs.
At the impact point is a large burn crater surrounded by some boulders, lying in and around this is a considerable amount of the Firefly including some very large sections including a large lump of port wing and an almost complete and intact starboard wing, as well as the Griffon engine.
At the crashsite on Cuidhe Crom, the track I followed up from Spittal of Glen Muick can be seen on the other side of the Glen.
Part of the sliding canopy hood with pieces of perspex still attached.
Propeller reduction gear.
Above and below:-Starboard wing, this is visible from quite a distance away.
There were a few of these roller assemblies lying around, there are also some at the Firefly wreck on Blaeloch Hill,(see here) I assume they are part of the wing folding set up!.
An engine bearer
Above and below:-The lump of port wing, In the photo above Spittal of Glen Muick can be seen off in the distance, it is the reverse photo of the one at the top of the page.
The other u/c leg, missing its wheel.
The prop hub and reduction gear
Once I'd photographed everything I went a little further uphill to have my butties, I had contemplated continuing up onto the top of Cuidhe Crom, then along to the summit of Lochnagar to do a bit of bonus 'Munro bagging' but while I was eating my bait and having a mooch around through the binoculors I spotted a couple of pieces right down the bottom of the slope that I'd overlooked on the way up.
Above and below:-Pieces back down the bottom of the slope that I missed on the way up.
As I was now quite a way back downhill I decided to head north to where there was a memorial marked on my map, I thought perhaps it may be for the Pilot of the Firefly but it turned out to be for a climber who fell off the cliffs up here in 1953.
The memorial was right next to the tourist path so I had a sit down and spent quite a while deciding whether to go up to Lochnagar summit or head off back down to the Camperpug, as it was now about 6pm I decided it might be a bit of a push to reach the summit so called it a day, in hindsight I wish I'd gone for it.
Back down on the landrover track,the memorial was where the path veers right towards the baelach.
One advantage I gained from not continuing up to Lochnagar summit was I
was back in time to have some tea before the Midges made an appearance, so
I was able to sit in the deckchair beside the Camperpug again and admire
the views from Camp MinnieMickey as I'd named my spot, for reasons known
only unto myself!
A great end to another brilliant day was made even better when I received news that of the 800 competitors taking part in the Canadian Highland Dancing Championships, Heather had finished 7th in her age group, only missing out on getting in the line up by a couple of points.
I think I could have sold this spot to one of the many Motorhomes that drove past!
I had one day left before I had to drive back down to Gatwick Airport to pick the Girls up on their return from Canada. I decided to spend the night here and drive down early in the morning to the start of my next expedition up Glen Callater, I was thinking there was no way it could better the day I had just spent in Glen Muick**.