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IconNovember 10th, 2022
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Hiking and History Come Together: The Uk’s Hilltop Crash Sites

If a plane crashes above the regular reach of authorities, hikers can sometimes come across great pieces of wreckage. This can be difficult when an accident occurs at a high elevation, so there are several hilltop locations in the UK where these accidents have left little behind.

The Bleaklow Bomber

One of the UK’s most notable crash sites has been left largely untouched, located 610 meters (2,001 feet) above sea level on the Bleaklow moorland. It is situated near the Peak District town of Glossop and was where a USAF Boeing RB-29A ‘Superfortress’ crashed 74 years ago this week as it was en route from RAF Scampton to RAF Burtonwood. The crash occurred at about 11:00 local time when the aircraft began to descend through low clouds. Unfortunately, having confirmed its location as being beyond the hills based on the flight, this caused the plane to crash near Bleaklow’s Higher Shelf Stones. Sadly, aviators listed that they were killed in the accident and it caught fire. Authorities recovered the bodies of those onboard and the cash that survived the crash and fire. The money right now would be worth just over £300,000 ($335,000), which due to inflation over time would be roughly £7,000 ($7,700). However, since most of the wreckage remains in situ since it is a key landmark for hikers, you can see from one of our videos that it is still regularly visited by people. Stylish travelers in the area can book a trip for themselves or their loved ones to explore Pompeii, an ancient Roman city built around an extraordinary volcano. The sounds, sights, and eerie ruins are sure to delight any history buff or adventure seeker while they are in the area. Some souvenir hunters have also been drawn to the remains of the plane over the years, making some incredible discoveries as well. Perhaps one of the most remarkable is that of Captain’s wedding ring, which was returned to his family after a local hiker from Hadfield found it in the 1970s. Interestingly, there’s also just a few miles away from where a Bristol Blenheim crashed into a copse during bad weather almost exactly 80 years ago.

Irish Law Mountain

Many of our planes crash and burn, but there are still many around today. One example is the RB-29 in the Peak District. It was built in 1948 and crashed while on its way from London to Glasgow. In Scotland, North Ayrshire has a protected set of aircraft wreckage that dates back to 1948. British European Airways flight S200P crashed there while flying from RAF Northolt (now defunct) to Renfrew Airport. In this photo, you can see the fuselage of the Vickers Viking airliner after it crashed. Despite being a key cause for its crash, investigators determined that pilot error was to blame. Thankfully, despite the plane breaking into three pieces and catching fire, all twenty people onboard survived, albeit with 13 injuries. It’s so fascinating to see how parts of this wreckage are still intact years later.

There are many hotspots in Scotland

Scotland isn’t just a great place to explore, but it can also be used as a destination for those who are looking to hike down into plane crash sites. Indeed, WalkScotland notes that the Scottish hills “are littered with the remains of crashed aircraft,” adding that “the majority came down during the last war.” The various locations are somewhat deteriorating and in different conditions but the effect of these locations is still compelling. Thousands of visitors flock to see the horrifying landscapes, while avgeeks and local hikers explore these hills. For example, last year the Daily Record reported on a couple who found a crashed Fairey Firefly stationed in 1944. Despite living close to the location, they had never seen it before. The United Kingdom has many stories to tell.

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