One Flying,one not!
Spartan Cruiser G-ACYK on West Girt Hill.
(Distance covered =8.6mile/Ascent = +368m)
A Championship in Paisley; ideal for me to head off to one of my favourute places; Clyde Muirsheil Country Park.
Paisley is even nearer to Clyde Muirsheil park than Glasgow and as it was a Championship I would have that little bit extra time, so my target for the day was a crashsite on a Hill adjacent to Hill of Stake called West Girt Hill.
View of the area of the old Calder Dam from the track leading to the old Barytes Mine. One of the few remaining crashsites I havn't yet visited in this park; a Fairy Swordfish, is over there somewhere, but I don't have a grid ref.
As well as the nice visiter centre with a cafe and showers, another reason I like Clyde Muirsheil Park so much is because the weather is always so nice when I go there, and today was going to be no exception.
Above the old mine workings at the end of the track
I took a different route this time from when I visited the Seafire on Hill of Stake, waking right to the end of the old mine track then across and between Burnt Hill and Hill of Stake before walking along the west side of West Girt Hill ending up just south of the summit where the remains of The Spartan Cruiser lie.
The west side of West Girt Hill
Walking around the west side of the Hill had the added bonus of some spectacular views across to the Isles of Arran and Bute with the Mull of Kintyre beyond.
Views west from West Girt Hill
This walk would have been worth it just for the views on offer across the Firth of Clyde and this is a good example of one of the reasons I enjoy visiting aircraft wrecks. It would never have crossed my mind to take a walk to this Hill if there hadn't been a crashsite on it.
One Flying, one not; an Airbus A330 flying over the remains of the Spartan Cruiser.
There is not much left at the crashsite, just a few wing spars and some joints which still had remains of some of the wooden structure attached. The complete forward Fuselage survived here until the 1970's when ,having made its own way down to the Middlemoss Burn below West Girt Hill it was airlifted out by a Helicopter and now resides in the Museum of Flight at East Fortune near Edinburgh.
A Spartan Cruiser under construction, the red circle shows the wing spars that are to be found at the crashsite, although they could equally be from the starboard wing.***
above and next 18 photos:- Remains of the Spartan Cruiser on West Girt Hill
When this photo is cropped it is almost a match for one taken at the time of the crash.
There was some doubt as to wether these pieces were from the Spartan Cruiser crash or the nearby Seafire crash as the published location of the Cruiser wreckage is where the fuselage ended up, quite a way downhill, so these pieces lie much nearer to the Seafire site. However the fact that the hills on the skyline in the background of my photo and the photo taken of the Spartan Cruiser at the time of the crash are the same and there are wooden componants present should be adequate evidence that these are pieces from the Cruiser.
The photo I took on the left was from almost the same position as the original one taken at the time of the crash**, however the original one has a slightly lower camera angle.The red circles highlight the Hills for comparison the highest Hill on the skyline I believe is Irish Law.
If anyone still has doubts as to which aircraft the parts are from then a quick check of these part numbers should prove conclusive.
Above and below:-Remains of wooden componants, the rear fuselage of the Spartan Cruiser was made of wood, Seafires were not made of wood.
Above and below:-Not a bad place to sit and eat my bait, I sat here
quite a while
enjoying the sunshine and the views!
My return route was mostly a reverse of my route out, other than having another quick shufty around where the Seafire* crashed in case I missed something when I visited that earlier in the year. I hadn't, or I missed it again!
Some nice views to the north on the walk back as well.
Not the most impressive waterfall I've ever photographed.
**--This photo appears in several locations on the internet but as far as I know needs accredited to Dougie Martindale and James Towill.
***--Photo sourced from https://www.histaviation.com/spartan_cruiser_2.html.