Avro Anson EG686

Swirl How, Coniston, Cumbria













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






 Search Website

Air Crash Sites-Scotland

Custom Search


Search here for: aircraft types | crash sites | crew names | hills or mountains

Please enter desired aircraft type, crew name, or location in search box.


























Crash Date / Site


Country: England


national flag of England



Accident Date: 20 Mar 1944


Accident Site:

Swirl How (802m)



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




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.



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).


Warbird Alley.




Hill Walking Links


(Hillwalking and Mountaineering)

WalkingScotland (The official Walking site of Scotland's national tourism organisation)

Walking Scotland's Mountains



Other Outdoor Activities


Backpacking and Backpackers

Backpacking in Britain

Backpacking Lite

Cicerone (Backpacking Guides for Walking in the UK)

The Backpackers Club

UK Backpacking Websites



Kayaking and Canoeing

Kayak Scotland (Sea Kayaking in Scotland)

Kayaking at Active Scotland (Various venues)

Sea Kayak Scotland


Mountain Biking

H and I Adventures (Mountain bike holidays in Scotland).

Mountain Bike Trails (Forestry Commission Scotland)

Mountain Biking (Sport Scotland, Glenmore Lodge).

Mountain Biking in East Scotland.

Scotland Cycle Routes.

Trail Scotland (Scotland's mountain bike community).


Rock Climbing and Abseiling

Abseiling in Perthshire

Abseiling Scotland (Various venues)

Climbing, Scrambling and Abseiling Scotland

Mountain Sports Courses and Paddle Sports Courses at Glenmore Lodge

Rock Climbing at Scottish National Outdoor Training Centre (Skills Courses and Qualifications Courses)

Rock Climbing in Scotland (Rock Climbing Areas)

UKClimbing.com (UKC) (Includes Abseiling / Rappelling)


Trekking and Hiking

Gairloch Trekking Centre (Pony Trekking in the Scottish Highlands)

Pony and Quad Treks (North Wales)

Ramblers (UK)

Ramblers (Worldwide Holidays)

Trekking Britain

Walking and Hiking



Emergency Services Link

Register for Text 999 Emergency Service

If you cannot make voice calls, you can now contact the 999 emergency services by SMS text from your mobile phone.




Essential Gear



Beacon GPS Guide Maps


Essential Equipment - Three Seasons.


Trespass - Outdoor Clothing and Equipment


Walking Boots Advice