DH Mosquito DZ486

Cranstackie, Durness, Sutherland













Aircraft Photo


BELOW: A de Havilland Mosquito in flight.


de Havilland Mosquito in flight


Photo: [pre-1957] UK Government. Now, public domain.



BELOW: A de Havilland Mosquito B35 Bomber photographed at the Alberta Aviation Museum, Edmonton, Canada.



Photo: 1980 'Bzuk'. Released by the author to the public domain under Wikimedia Commons licensing arrangement.






Aircraft Type and Background


RAF de Havilland DH.98 Mosquito Mk.IV  / DZ486



(Click here for RAF history of this type.)



Aircraft Type Nickname: "The Wooden Wonder"; "Mossie".


The de Havilland Mosquito was a multi-role combat aircraft which ranged from fighter to bomber to photographic reconnaissance types.

Mosquitoes were equipped with two Rolls-Royce Merlin in-line piston engines. The B IV type could fly at 380mph.

The fuselage and wings of the Mosquito were made largely of wood. This permitted construction of these parts to be sub-contracted to furniture manufacturers and piano builders, thereby relieving the strain on the overstretched conventional aircraft industry.

The first Mosquitoes to enter service with the RAF were the photo reconnaissance types (PR.IX's).







Aircraft Accident Details


This Mosquito aircraft took off from RAF Skitten near Wick for a bombing exercise. The aircraft flew in a Westerly direction; but—for unknown reasons—it, collided with the summit of Cranstackie, scattering wreckage down the side of this mountain.






Aircraft Crew Casualties


Both the pilot and the navigator of this aircraft died in this accident. They were:


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






Crash Site Photos


BELOW: Parts of undercarriage (oleo legs), engine sections, tubing, and other wreckage from the airframe of de Havilland Mosquito DZ486.


Some of the wood from which the airframe was constructed can be seen in the photo. The amount of wood used in building the aircraft resulted in the Mosquito being nicknamed The Wooden Wonder.


Parts of undercarriage, engine sections, tubing, and other wreckage from de Havilland Mosquito DZ486.


Photo: © 2016 Digby Harris



BELOW: Closer view of wreckage shown above.


Closer view of above photo.


Photo: © 2016 Digby Harris



BELOW: Some small pieces of wreckage from de Havilland Mosquito DZ486 that crashed at Cranstackie in 1943.


small pieces of wreckage from the cranstackie mosquito aircraft


Photo: © 2013 Neil Daniel



BELOW: Tubing and other small parts partly hidden among the rocks.


tubing and other small parts


Photo: © 2013 Neil Daniel



BELOW: Tubing and / or braided cabling.


tubing and / or braided cabling


Photo: © 2013 Neil Daniel



BELOW: Part of a mechanised section from the Mosquito.


part of a mechanised section from the mosquito


Photo: © 2013 Neil Daniel







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Crash Date / Site


Page last updated: 8 June 2016


(More recent wreckage photo added.)



Accident Date: 5 Apr 1943


Accident Site:

Cranstackie (801m)


Nearest main road: A838.

(Road loops around Cranstackie on E and W sides.)


Region: Highland (Sutherland)


Nearest towns or villages:

Durness [map] (10 miles N of Cranstackie).


Nearest large towns:

None in this general area. Nearest available at a distance are: Thurso (NE), Wick (E), Dornoch (SE), Tain (SE), or Ullapool (SW).


OS Grid Ref. N/A


GPS Ref: N/A


Present Condition: Some small fragments of wreckage still remain at the crash site.





Aircraft Details



Registration or Serial: DZ486.


Operator: RAF / RAFVR (618 Squadron)


Operating Station: RAF Skitten / RAF Castletown.


Station Location: c. 5 miles North of Wick, Caithness, Scotland.


Current Station Status:

Returned from Bomber Command to Coastal Command operations in 1944. Sold off after 1945. Some stations huts still remain.





Related Links


General information on de Havilland Mosquito aircraft can be found at:

DH Mosquito.com (History of type)

History in Illustration

uboats.net (Fighting the U-boats)


RAF and Related Links

139 Squadron

618 Squadron

RAF Skitten
(Satellite of RAF Castletown, which in turn was satellite of RAF Wick.)


Forums, Organisations, and Societies

The Mosquito Page (The "Mossie" Organisation)

WW2 People's War (BBC Archives)



De Havilland Museum (Incorporating the Mosquito Aircraft Museum)

Mosquito TT35 at RAF Museum




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