Avro Anson EG686

Swirl How, Coniston, Cumbria

 
     
 
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Aircraft Type Photos

 

BELOW: An Avro 652A T21 Anson (WD413 / G-VROE) of Air Atlantique Classic Flight at Hullavington Airfield, Wiltshire, England.

 

RAF Hullavington

 

Presevered Avro Anson at Air Atlantique Classic Flight

 

Photo: 2005. Adrian Pingstone (Arpingstone). Released by the author to the public domain.

 


 

BELOW: An Avro Anson Mk I. This was the Anson variant featured on this page.

 

A mark 1 Avro Anson similar to the type featured on this page.

 

Photo from Flight

Source: 1000 Aircraft Photos Johan Visschedijk

 

 

 

 

 

Aircraft Type and Background

 

RAF Avro Anson Mk.I  / EG686

 


 

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 replacedas 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 Cheetahs. These were 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

 

Avro Anson EG686 took off from RAF Cark near Grange-over-Sands on a navigation exercise (Navex). The route was to take the aircraft over Dumfries in southern Scotland, then over the Irish Sea, returning over Blackpool to RAF Cark.

 

However, on its return flight, the Anson bypassed RAF Cark. When the pilot realised that he was off his planned flight path, he turned the aircraft and attempted to return to Cark.

 

By this time, however, the Anson was flying over the high ground in the vicinity of Coniston Fells. Shortly afterward, the Anson flew into Swirl How, killing the three crew.

 

 

 

 

Aircraft Crew Casualties

 

Those who lost their lives in this accident were:

 

(Please click on the hyperlinked names above for further details at the Commonwealth War Graves Commission's website.)

 

 

 

 

 

Crash Site Photos

 

BELOW: One of the two Armstrong Siddeley Cheetah engines from Avro Anson EG686.

 

Anson Cheetah engine

 

Photo: © 2013 Gary Nelson

 


 

BELOW: Another view of the Cheetah radial engine.

 

Additional wreckage can also be seen in the foreground, just in front of the German Shepherd dog.

 

Other views of the Cheetah radial engine

 

Photo: © 2013 Gary Nelson

 


 

BELOW: As can be seen, the Cheetah engine lies at the edge of the stream, while other wreckage lies just beyond the stream.

 

Cheetah engine at the edge of the stream

 

Photo: © 2013 Gary Nelson

 

 

 

More Photos Below

 

 


 

 

 

 

 


 

BELOW:  The Anson engine lies beneath the crags at Swirl How.

 

engine lies beneath the crags at Swirl How

 

Photo: © 2013 Gary Nelson

 


 

BELOW: Another piece of wreckage: a section of landing gear from the Avro Anson.

 

a section of landing gear from the Avro Anson 

 

Photo: © 2013 Gary Nelson

 


 

BELOW: Another view of the remaining Anson wreckage on Swirl How, lying close to the stream.

 

another view of the remaining Anson wreckage on Swirl How

 

Photo: © 2013 Gary Nelson

 


 

BELOW: This photo provides a good view of the Cheetah engine in relation to the small stream.

 

Cheetah engine at the edge of the stream

 

Photo: © 2013 Gary Nelson

 

 

 


 

 

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Crash Date / Site

 

Country: England

 

national flag of England

 


 

Accident Date: 20 Mar 1944

 

Accident Site:

Swirl How (802m)

[photo]

 

Region: Cumbria (Lake District)

 

Nearest town or village: Coniston.

 

OS Grid Ref: N/A

 

GPS Ref. N/A

 

Present Condition: Cheetah engine and smaller wreckage parts may still be found at the crash site.

 

 

 

Aircraft Details

 

 

Registration or Serial: EG686

 

Operator: RAF (25 SPTU (Staff Pilot Training Unit))

 

Operating Station: RAF Cark

 

Station Location: Flookburgh, SW of Grange-over-Sands.

 

Current Station Status: RAF airfield closed in 1945. Buildings derelict, but runway used later as private airstrip.

 

 


 

Principal airport data courtesy of John Woodside, A Catalogue of UK Airfields

 

 

 

Related Links

 

 

Museums

Anson at Lancaster Museum.

Anson at North East Aircraft Museum (NEAM).

 

 

RAF and Related Links

RAF Cark / RAF Grange-over-Sands

 

Related Hill Walking Route Maps

Coniston Fells Walk (including Swirl How).

Great Carrs and Swirl How at The Wainwright Society.

Swirl How at Walk Highlands.

 

Videos

Avro Anson EG686

The Old Man of Coniston via Swirl Fell.

 

Other Links

Articles and photos of the Avro Anson type are available at the following sites:

Scramble (Dutch Aviation Society).

uboat.net.

Warbird Alley.

 

 

 

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