BELOW: The RAF Avro Anson search aircraft that crashed on Wool Law, near the village of Leadhills, in 1937.
The caption beneath the photo reads:
The R.A.F. 'plane which crashed on a hillside near Leadhills, Lanarkshire, while out searching for the missing air liner.
(The missing air liner was a de Havilland DH-90 Dragonfly)
Original newspaper source unknown. Photo retrieved from Leadhills Library Newsletter and kindly provided by Ken Ledger.
Aircraft Type and Background
RAF Avro 652 Anson / K6252
Aircraft Type Nickname: Faithful Annie
The Avro Anson was an adaption of the civilian Avro 652 in use by Imperial Airways.
The Anson was the first aircraft in RAF service to be equipped with a retractable undercarriage. The aircraft type was flown initially by No. 48 Squadron of RAF Coastal Command.
The Anson was used for coastal reconnaissance and maritime patrols. Latterly, it was used for crew training, light transport, and communications purposes. Among crew members, however, the Anson was considered to be a cold, draughty, and very noise aircraft.
Although the Anson was a solidly-built and reliable aircraft, it was nevertheless slow and vulnerable to attack. For this and other reasons, it was inevitable that the Anson would be replaced—as indeed it was, with the Lockheed Hudson bomber.
Later generations of Ansons (the Anson C.19 series) remained in use with the RAF until 1968.
Usually, Mark I Ansons were powered by two Armstrong Siddeley Cheetah radial engines. Occasionally, however, other types would be substituted. The Anson had a top speed of about 188 mph (164 knots or 303 km/h) at 7,000ft (2,100m).
Aircraft Accident Details
This RAF Avro Anson had been sent on a search mission to try to find a missing DH-90 Dragonfly aircraft. Some time after leaving Renfrew Aerodrome, contact with the Dragonfly had been lost, and nothing further had been heard from it. When it became overdue at Liverpool Speke airport, the RAF began searching for it.
Unknown to the RAF crew at this stage, the Dragonfly had crashed some hours earlier at Darnaw near Clatteringshaws Loch in what is now Galloway Forest Park. (Click here for details of the Dragonfly accident on this website)
Newspaper Report of the Anson Accident
NOTE 1: The above article refers to a photo of the aircraft 'shown below.' This photo can be seen at the top of this website page.
NOTE 2: the reference in the last paragraph above to 'the Oolaw' should be to 'Wool Law'.
Original newspaper source unknown. Article retrieved from Leadhills Library Newsletter and kindly provided by Ken Ledger.
Aircraft Crew / Casualties
The three crew members of this aircraft survived--although two suffered minor injuries.
The crew were:
Sgt H L McPhee, Pilot, RAF
A C Cleary
(Many thanks to Alan Leishman for providing these details)
Crash Site Photos
Apart from the Anson photo at the top of this page, there are no crash site photos for this aircraft.
Air Crash Sites-Scotland
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Crash Date / Site
Accident Date: 3 Feb 1937
Wool Law (552m)
Region: South Lanarkshire
Nearest town or village:
Nearest large towns:
OS Grid Ref. N/A
GPS Ref. N/A
Present Condition: Wreckage status unknown; but likelihood of any remains is very remote due to proximity of the crash site to the main road (allowing recovery in sections) and to the date of the accident (1937)
Registration or Serial: K6252
Operator: RAF (269 Squadron)
Station Location: Abbotsinch [map] near Paisley or Glasgow
Current Airport Status: Operational Civil Airport.
Current Airport Name: Glasgow International Airport.
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Avro Anson K6252
Wool Law, Leadhills, S Lanarkshire