Aircraft crash sites

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shaggybfc
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I have a new permission that I've only spent 4 hours searching so far. I've found one area in a field that contains lots of molten aluminium and other burnt riveted aluminium bits and pieces.This is spread over a fairly large area. I initially thought bonfire, with the farmer burning old farm rubbish but I'm not really convinced it is, as it'd have to been a pretty large pile of scrap metal. As the field is within 1 mile of a WW2 airfield, I'd also jconsidered a crash site. I asked the landowner if he knew of any history of this field, and he was none the wiser to either suggestions.
I've tried to google research known crash sites with nothing coming up for this location, but several around the airfield itself. I obviously stopped searching until I know what this is.
I'm looking to see if anyone has any good resources they use for crash sites. If you do, I'd be grateful if you'd post them up.
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jcmaloney
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First up read this: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/aviation-archaeology

That aside crash "sites" are very ephemeral from the actual crash site that was often cleared very quickly and efficiently at the time, through to "what was left over" that has been ploughed in for 60+ years.

We had permission to search a crash site locally to find anything that might have been left behind over several hundred, or thousand square yards. A few folk found broken bits of oil pressure gauges and the like.

We then realised the last person who looked at the dials was the 21 year old pilot that was amongst many who perished.

Very sobering, very emotional and not something we would rush to do again!

Helped fund a lovely memorial though... :thumbsup:
bleasby-aircrews-memorial-june-2018-w800.jpg
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Pete E
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shaggybfc wrote: Mon Sep 21, 2020 1:59 pm I have a new permission that I've only spent 4 hours searching so far. I've found one area in a field that contains lots of molten aluminium and other burnt riveted aluminium bits and pieces.This is spread over a fairly large area. I initially thought bonfire, with the farmer burning old farm rubbish but I'm not really convinced it is, as it'd have to been a pretty large pile of scrap metal. As the field is within 1 mile of a WW2 airfield, I'd also jconsidered a crash site. I asked the landowner if he knew of any history of this field, and he was none the wiser to either suggestions.
I've tried to google research known crash sites with nothing coming up for this location, but several around the airfield itself. I obviously stopped searching until I know what this is.
I'm looking to see if anyone has any good resources they use for crash sites. If you do, I'd be grateful if you'd post them up.
One suggestion would be to contact any local historical societies you have in the area..

Another which is a long shot but worth trying is to search things like "Home Guard (or Air raid Warden) Log Book or Diary" ...

I mention these as I was doing similar similar research for one of my permissions, and I eventually stumbled on the info from an entry in a Home Guard duty log book.

In my case, the "crash" turned out to be a crash landing and the plane was only lightly damaged such that it was repaired in-situ and flown off the field a few days later. The Home Guard secured the site while it was being repaired hence the record of events..
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shaggybfc
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jcmaloney wrote: Mon Sep 21, 2020 2:26 pm First up read this: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/aviation-archaeology

That aside crash "sites" are very ephemeral from the actual crash site that was often cleared very quickly and efficiently at the time, through to "what was left over" that has been ploughed in for 60+ years.

We had permission to search a crash site locally to find anything that might have been left behind over several hundred, or thousand square yards. A few folk found broken bits of oil pressure gauges and the like.

We then realised the last person who looked at the dials was the 21 year old pilot that was amongst many who perished.

Very sobering, very emotional and not something we would rush to do again!

Helped fund a lovely memorial though... :thumbsup:
bleasby-aircrews-memorial-june-2018-w800.jpg
Thanks John, aware of the guidance, hence stopping and investigating. I have absolutely no interest in digging up a few kilos of aluminium. The landowner, whose family has owned the land for the past 300+ year, said none of his family can remember anything. It's probably just some burned out greenhouse junk.
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Another question to ask is whether they've ever had soil brought in from else where or whether they have ever had green waste spread on the land....
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Kenleyboy
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There were quite a number of aircraft crash site investigators on the internet , we found one very helpful chap who spent all his spare time locating and logging down details of wartime crash sites up and down the country . I have to say I cannot find his details but this was about ten years ago and he helped us locate My old Dads cousins crash site . It was a very sobering journey and theses guys and girls do a remarkable job as enthusiasts and a lot of the research goes into military archives and museums .
We were told that if a crash site is found you are not allowed to remove anything other than place it within the hedge line , not sure if this is entirely true but we were offered some momentos from the aircraft which we declined preferring them to stay where they fell .

The other possibility is that its green waste , we had similar on a club dig and at first it was thought we were digging aircraft aluminium but turned out to be untrue when the IKEa bits and pieces started coming up as well :thumbdown:
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IF a WWII aircraft crash site its an emotive subject; and I admit if it was on one of my permissions would be an area I would avoid out of respect for the brave men that flew the planes.

Two years ago I attended an astronomy meeting in the Brecon Beacons and during a break looked at a model of the area that marked all the know aircraft crash sites - the shear number made it a very sobering thought.

Although a lot were from WWII several were more recent, including a Vulcan bomber.
This site lists a few http://www.ystradgynlais-history.co.uk/ ... sites.html

As said in earlier post this is a subject this is normally well researched so most sites are known, even if in tthe case of remote areas only a general area rather than exact spot.

Evan
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shaggybfc
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Thanks Evan, :thumbsup: I haven’t been near this field since first spotting debris. The land owner, whose family have owned this land for the past 900 years knew nothing and after speaking to the local WWII airfield museum, it would appear It isn’t or was never recorded. (Which is unlikely)
It will remain a mystery.

Talking of air crashes, did anyone see the documentary about restoring a Spitfire on TV last night? Amazing work, something I’d love to do.
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Saffron
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shaggybfc wrote: Tue Oct 13, 2020 11:43 am Thanks Evan, :thumbsup: I haven’t been near this field since first spotting debris. The land owner, whose family have owned this land for the past 900 years knew nothing and after speaking to the local WWII airfield museum, it would appear It isn’t or was never recorded. (Which is unlikely)
It will remain a mystery.

Talking of air crashes, did anyone see the documentary about restoring a Spitfire on TV last night? Amazing work, something I’d love to do.
If the local WWII airfield museum, nor landowner, have any indication of it being an aircraft crash site then I think its VERY unlikely to be one.
If it was a plane taking off from or trying to land at the airfield less than a mile away it certainly would have been recorded, (and they would have propably tried to salvage parts).

To me it sounds like some random type of rubbish!!.

But do you have any war time maps of the airfield - they were very big I wonder if it might have been a far corner of the airfield where they dumped bits of unusable aircraft?. IF this (admittedly somewhat wild) idea is correct might it be worth trying to find a bit that could be firmly identified as a part of an aircraft and giving the museum?

Evan
Pete E
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I suppose the other possibility is that it's the remains of a German aircraft...I can well imagine how that might not be recorded, or recorded incorrectly...
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Saffron
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Pete E wrote: Tue Oct 13, 2020 4:24 pm I suppose the other possibility is that it's the remains of a German aircraft...I can well imagine how that might not be recorded, or recorded incorrectly...
I did quickly think about that possibility but then discounted it. When German planes were shot down it was good for boosting morale so it would have been well known in the locality, and very frequently made the local newspapers with photos of the planes wreckage often with crowds looking on.

Additionally being that close to an airfield it would almost certainly have been recorded in official records.

Evan
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Saffron wrote: Tue Oct 13, 2020 10:06 pm I did quickly think about that possibility but then discounted it. When German planes were shot down it was good for boosting morale so it would have been well known in the locality, and very frequently made the local newspapers with photos of the planes wreckage often with crowds looking on.

Additionally being that close to an airfield it would almost certainly have been recorded in official records.

Evan
I was wondering if the aluminium could be debris from say an AAA hit that caused a mid air "explosion", but the bulk of the airframe either crashed elsewhere, or it managed to limp off and fly out of the area completely...????

Without some recognisable bit of debris to confirm its from an aircraft, it's all speculation really....
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