DH Devon VP969

Slaty Law/Box Law, Largs, Ayrshire

 
     
 
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Aircraft Photo / Aircraft Type Photo

 

BELOW: de Havilland DH-104 Devon VP969 while at RAF Andover. It was the personal aircraft of Air Vice Marshal H. G. White, AOC 41 Group.

 

This is the aircraft which crashed at Slaty Law, North Ayrshire, and which is featured on this page.

 

de Havilland DH-104 Devon VP969 while at RAF Andover.

 

Photo: © Gerald Rickwood

 

 


 

BELOW: de Havilland Devon VP969 on the 'Parade Ground'/Aircraft servicing area at RAF Andover.

 

de Havilland Devon VP969 on the 'Parade Ground/Aircraft servicing area at RAF Andover.

 

Photo: © Gerald Rickwood

 

 


 

 

BELOW: Another de Havilland DH-104 Devon (XA880 of RAF Kemble) in the livery of the Royal Aircraft Establishment (RAE).

 

DH-104 Devon XA880 of RAF Kemble

 

Photo: 2007 Brian Burnell.
Released by the author to the public domain under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License.

 

 

 

 

 

Aircraft Type and Background

 

RAF (MCCF) de Havilland DH-104 Devon / VP969

 


 

(RAF Personal Transport)

 

A military (non-combat) aircraft operated by the Royal Air Force.

 

The DH104 Devon was powered by two de Havilland Gipsy Queen engines (later uprated).

 

 

BELOW: de Havilland Gipsy Queen Mk 70-4 aircraft piston engine at the Royal Air Force Museum, Cosford.

 

dh gipsy queen engine

 

Photo: 2009

 

I, the copyright holder of this work, release this work into the public domain. This applies worldwide.

 

 

The aircraft also used reversible-pitch propellers to assist with braking.

 


Attached to 45 Group RAF Maintenance Command Communications Squadron, this aircraft was assigned for the personal use of Air Marshall Sir Richard Jordan, who was AOC-in-C (Air Officer Commanding in Chief) of Maintenance Command.

 

 

 

 

 

Aircraft Accident Details

 

At the time of the accident, the aircraft had been flying from the Isle of Man to Renfrew (possibly, the former military airfield at Abbotsinch). At Renfrew, it was to collect passengers bound for the former RAF Andover airfield, which was a Royal Flying Corps and Royal Air Force base station. However, while flying over the Largs hills, the aircraft encountered turbulence and crashed just below Box Law.*

 

* Many thanks to Michael of B.A.A. Glasgow Airport Fire Service for updating / verifying this information.

 

 

 

 

 

Aircraft Crew

 

The crew of  this aircraft survived. They were:

 

Flt/Lt Barney Barclay, Pilot, RAF.

 

F/O J. Anderson (from Andover), RAF.

 

 

 

[Second crew member details kindly provided by Alan Thomson]



 

 

 

Crash Site Photos

 

 

Researcher's Notes (1970s) [From John Martindale's log].

 

    Aircraft History and Wreckage Description

     

  • Devon C1.
  •  

  • VP969 RAF.
  •  

  • Written off 03/06/58.
  •  

  • 41 Group Maintenance Command.
  •  

  • Serial visible beneath wings.
  •  

  • Aircraft was complete on forced landing but was subsequently broken up.
  •  

  • Wings and two engines attached, tail and part of fuselage at the above location. The main fuselage has blown away to the north east.

 

 


 

 

 

Earlier Photos

 

 

BELOW: John Martindale beside a wing section and part of an engine from de Havilland Devon VP969.

 

A wing section and part of an engine from de Havilland Devon VP969.

 

Photo: © 1970s-2015 John Martindale

 


 

BELOW: The tail assembly (left) and main wing assembly (right).

 

The tail assembly (left) and the main wing assembly (right).

 

Photo: © 1970s-2015 John Martindale

 


 

BELOW: Another view of the tailplane and main wing. When this photo was taken, the vertical stabiliser / rudder was still attached to the airframe. In later years, the vertical stabiliser was detached and now lies on the ground.

 

Another view of the tailplane and main wing.

 

Photo: © 1970s-2015 John Martindale

 


 

BELOW: A close-up view of one of the main wings. When these photos were taken in the 1970s, both engines were still attached to the wings. They were detached in subsequent years (see later photos below).

 

A close-up view of the starboard wing.

 

Photo: © 1970s-2015 John Martindale

 


 

 

Later Photos

 

 

BELOW: The main wing (underside) of de Havilland Devon VP969.

 

Also visible are the two Gipsy Queen engines and parts of the airframe.

 

main wing of dh- devon aircraft

 

Photo: ©  2013 Neil Daniel

 


 

BELOW: The main wing assembly, viewed from the rear.

 

the main wing assembly viewed from the rear

 

Photo: ©  2013 Neil Daniel

 


 

BELOW: Part of a shock absorbing landing gear strut from the de Havilland Devon personal transport.

 

This section lies a short distance away from the main wreckage.

 

part of landing gear assembly

 

Photo: © 2013 Gary Nelson

 


 

BELOW: The main wreckagewings and tailplane (part of tailplane nearest camera).

 

the main wreckage - wings and tailplane

 

Photo: © 2013 Gary Nelson

 


 

BELOW: A section of the main wing.

 

Part of the registration code letters, VP969, are just visible.

 

a section of the main wings

 

Photo: © 2013 Gary Nelson

 


 

BELOW: Port wing (underside) with tailplane in background.

 

port wing with tailplane in background

 

Photo: © 2013 Gary Nelson

 


 

BELOW: An end view of the main wing.

 

Note that visitors to the crash site have turned the wing over so that the underside is now uppermost, and that port / starboard perspectives are now reversed.

 

end view of main wing - underside uppermost

 

Photo: © 2013 Gary Nelson

 


 

BELOW: The tailplane assemblyempennage.

 

Note that the vertical stabiliser or tail fin is lying sideways on top of the horizontal stabiliser.

 

tailplane assembly

 

Photo: © 2013 Gary Nelson

 


 

BELOW: Gary Nelson supporting the vertical stabiliser in the correct position.

 

gary nelson supporting the vertical stabiliser in the correct position

 

Photo: © 2013 Gary Nelson

 


 

BELOW: One of the two de Havilland Gipsy Queen engines from VP969.

 

(Compare with photo of intact engine near the top of this page.)

 

one of the two engines from the de havilland devon transport

 

Photo: © 2013 Gary Nelson

 


 

BELOW: Another view of one of the Gipsy Queen engines.

 

another view of a gipsy queen engine

 

Photo: © 2013 Gary Nelson

 


 

BELOW: End view of engine.

 

end view of engine

 

Photo: © 2013 Gary Nelson

 


 

BELOW: One of the main undercarriage oleo struts, wheel well and wheel hub.

 

oleo strut, wheel well and wheel hub

 

Photo: © 2013 Gary Nelson

 


 

BELOW: The other shock-absorbing oleo strut from the main undercarriage.

 

oleo strut from main undercarriage

 

Photo: © 2013 Gary Nelson

 


 

BELOW: Wing roots, spar (lower background) and gap for fuselage.

 

wing root and gap for fuselage

 

Photo: © 2013 Gary Nelson

 


 

BELOW: Actuator mechanism.

 

actuator mechanism

 

Photo: © 2013 Gary Nelson

 

 

More Photos Below

and in Photo Gallery

 

 


 

 

 

 

 


 

 

BELOW: An overall view of the remaining wreckage as it appeared in July 2009.

 

This excellent photo shows clearly the two engines (now detached from the fuselage) and the main landing gear on the upturned wing assembly. The wing fuel tanks are also visible and part of the tail plane lies in the background.

 

overall view of de havilland devon wreckage at slaty law

 

Photo: © 2009 Brandan Binns (Aged 11)

 


 

BELOW: Overall view of the de Havilland Devon wreckage, including wings, engines and tail section.

 

Feuside Hill and Irish Law can be seen in the distance.

 

overall view of de havilland devon wreckage. Feuside Hill and Irish Law can be seen in the background

 

Photo: © 2007 Steve White

 


 

BELOW: The remaining wreckage of the Devon as it appeared in 1974.

 

The de Havilland Devon's wings and remains of engine housings or nacelles can be seen here. Of the tail plane, the horizontal stabiliser lies on the ground toward the rear of the aircraft. The detached vertical stabiliser / rudder assembly lies just to the right of the aircraft's wings.

 

overview of wreckage - wings engines and tail. This photo was taken in 1974

 

Photo: 1974 Gordon Lyons

 


 

BELOW: Remains of the main wing from the de Havilland Devon crash near Slaty Law and Box Law. The now-faded registration number (VP969) can be seen on the wing.

 

The Firth of Clyde can be seen in the distance, with Bute, Mull of Kintyre, and Arran just visible.

 

remains of wing from de havilland devon. Firth of Clyde can be seen in distant background

 

Photo: © 2007 Giovanni Metra

 


 

BELOW: One of the landing gear shock  absorbing struts projecting from the upturned wing. The wheel well and some of the electrical equipment can also be seen.

 

landing gear strut projecting from upturned wing

 

Photo: © 2007 Giovanni Metra

 


 

BELOW: One of the two Gipsy Queen engines from the RAF DH-104 de Havilland Devon.

 

one of the two engines from the de havilland devon

 

Photo: © 2007 Giovanni Metra

 


 

BELOW: This photograph was taken in 1975. At this time, the two power plant or engine assemblies were still attached to the wing structure. In more recent years, they and other parts have been separated from the wing.

 

wings and engines as the wreckage appeared in 1975

 

Photo: 1975 Gordon Lyons

 

 


 

 

Photo Gallery

 

For additional crash site and wreckage photos please select

 DH-DEVON-SLATY-LAW

from the drop down Album Menu in the Photo Gallery.

 

 


 

 

 

 

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Crash Date / Site

 

 

Page last updated: 20 Nov 2015

 

(Pre-crash photo of VP969 added.)

 


 

Accident Date: 3 Jun 1958

 

Accident Site:

Slaty Law (483m) / Box Law (474m)

 

(Lying on the hill shoulder, c.300 metres SW of Slaty Law, and c.3.5 miles (c.5.5 km) NE of Largs.)

 

Region: North Ayrshire (Clyde-Muirshiel Regional Park)

 

Nearest town or village:

Largs

 

Nearest large towns:

Largs (W) or Kilbirnie (E)

 

OS Grid Ref. 63 / NS 258 607

 

GPS Ref: NS 25828 60782

 

Present Condition: Parts of fuselage, wings, tail plane, engines and landing gear to be found onsite.

 


 

Air crash sites in this vicinity:

 

South side of A760:

 

1) RN Fairey Firefly DT977, Blaeloch Hill.

(Now within the grounds of a publicly-accessible wind farm at Kelburn Estate.)
Some parts, including engine, remain at the crash site, and are described on information boards by the wind farm operators (RES). RES have created a visitor's car park off the A760, and walking routes for the area. [Map and route details here.]

 

 

North side of A760:

 

2) RAF de Havilland Devon VP969, Slaty Law / Box Law.

(The aircraft on this page.)

Wings, engines and under-carriage, etc., remain at the site.

 

3) RAF Vickers Wellington R1164, Box Law.

Fragmented wreckage only remains at the crash site.

 

4) BEA Vickers Viking G-AIVE, Irish Law.

Wings, engines and under-carriage, etc., remain at the site.

 

5) RN Supermarine Sea Spitfire ('Seafire'). Hill of Stake.

All remaining wreckage now removed from the site.

 

6) Northern Scottish Airways Spartan Cruiser, Hill of Stake.

Remaining fuselage shell was recovered from the site in 1973. Now at the National Museum of Flight, East Fortune.

 

7) RAF Bristol Beaufort L9817, Knockside Hills, S of Irish Law.
Wreckage removed by RAF recovery team. Fragments only remain at the crash site.

 

8) Starways Douglas C-47B Dakota G-AMRB, Greenside Hill, SE of Irish Law.

Fragments only remain at the crash site.

 

 

 

Aircraft Details

 

 

Registration or Serial: VP969

 

Operator: RAF (RAF Transport Command / 41 Group Maintenance Command)

 

Operating Station: Unknown

 

Station Location: Unknown

 

 

 

Related Links

 

Accident Specific Links

Video Clip

Steve White's 2007 Video at YouTube

 

RAF and Related Links

Restoration of Devon VP967. (External and internal photos of an identical aircraft)

 

Other Links

DH Dove and Devon at Wikipedia

The de Havilland Aircraft Heritage Centre (Hertfordshire)

 

 

 

Hill Walking Links

 

 

(Hillwalking and Mountaineering)

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

Walking Scotland's Mountains

 

 


 

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