Traveller's tales

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Moorland wrecks: aircraft returning from the Berlin air-lift, 1948

The moors around Saddleworth and farther south, above the town of Glossop, are covered in sites of former air crashes. Between The Grouse on Chunal, and the Pennine Way at Mill Hill, the 'gable-end' of Kinder Scout, the path skirts the remnants of just such a site.

Bits of engine are strewn about, parts of broken wings lay some way off; an indication of the force of the 'landing'.

I doubt if anybody survived this crash, but if anyone did, they would have been dismayed by their surroundings, not being close to any forms of settlement, with little drinkable water around to quench a thirst born of fear.

Walking by the bits of aircraft across the path, it is difficult to imagine the plane coming down - what happened? - did an engine fail? - did the navigating equipment fail? - did the pilot miscalculate the height of the hills rushing up in front of him? - we will never know.

All we can hope is that nobody suffered for long; that it was all over in a second or two, and that it never happens again.
Robert L. Fielding

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