Douglas C47B D896

Carlin's Cairn, Dumfries and Galloway

 
     
 
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Aircraft Photo

 

BELOW: C-47B Skytrain 896/D K-14 at Evere airfield on 7 September 1946 only a few days after its delivery to the Belgian Air Force. (Belgian Wings)

 

This was the same aircraft that crashed at Carlin's Cairn near St. John's Town of Dalry in Dumfries and Galloway.

 

C-47B Skytrain 896/D K-14 at Evere airfield on 7 September 1946 only a few days after its delivery
 to the Belgian Air Force.

 

Photo: Belgian Wings.

 

 

 

 

 

Aircraft Type and Background

 

Belgian Air Force Douglas C-47B 'K-14' Dakota (Skytrain) / D896

 


 

Military Transport (ex USAAF 43-48896. (The last 3 digits of the US serial code (..896) became part of the Belgian Air Force serial code: D896))

 

Aircraft Type Nickname: "Dakota"; "Skytrain"; Skytrooper"; Gooney Bird", and others.

 

 

The Douglas C-47 transport aircraft was a military version of the Douglas DC-3 civil aircraft. the C-47B variant was powered by two (more powerful) R1830-90 engines, equipped with two-stage superchargers, a strengthened rear fuselage, reinforcement of the cabin floor, and extra fuel capacity for extended high altitude flying by the military. This variant was required for operations in the China-Burma-India theatre where high altitude flying was required to clear the Himalayan mountains.

 

The C-47 was used very widely, especially during WWII, as a troop transport, casualty evacuation, military cargo aircraft, and glider tug. It proved to be a very reliable aircraft.

 

The Belgian operated C-47B variant featured on this page had been in service previously with the USAAF.

 

After the War, C-47 / DC-3 (and other) types were used in the Berlin airlift, and in the Korean and Vietnam conflicts.

 

 


 

BELOW: Photo of K-16 at Musée royal de l'Armée et d'Histoire militaire (Royal Museum of the Army and Military History), Brussels, Belgium.

 

Photo of K-16 at Royal Musee De l'Armee, Brussels, Belgium.

 

Photo: Belgian Wings.

 


 

BELOW: This section of wing from K-14— but from the port side— is lying below Carlin's Cairn.

 

This section of wing from K-14 but from the port side is lying below Carlin's Cairn.

 

Photo: Belgian Wings.

 

 

 

 

 

Aircraft Accident Details

 

Three Douglas C-47 Skytrains (Dakotas), including K-14 / D896 — the aircraft featured on this page, took off from Evere airfield in Belgium to fly to the Scottish Aviation maintenance facility at Prestwick Airport in Scotland. Two of the C-47 Skytrains were to remain at Prestwick for maintenance, whilst the third aircraft (K-14) was to return to Belgium with the crew of the other two Skytrains.

 

Due to low cloud and mist over southern Scotland, the three aircraft had been advised to fly up the coast and to approach Prestwick from the sea. Two of the C-47s followed the coastal route (although, in the prevailing weather conditions, one C-47 turned back and landed at RAF Silloth in Cumbria, rather than proceeding further north to Prestwick.)

 

However, for some reason, the pilot of C-47 K-14 decided to fly over the high ground of southern Scotland. Although he was familiar with this route, he was apparently unprepared for the low cloud base over these hills on this occasion.

 

Sadly, his aircraft was flying too low to clear Carlin's Cairn. The aircraft impacted the hillside, killing all on board. This included both the crew of K-14 itself and also another crew who were on their way to Prestwick to pick up an Airspeed Oxford that had just been serviced at the maintenance facility.

 

When Prestwick Air Traffic Control had become aware of K-14's flight path and height, they had instructed the pilot to climb immediately from his present height of 750m (2,500ft) to a safe altitude of 1,350m (4,500ft). However, K-14 had not been able to respond to Prestwick ATC.

 

 

 

 

 

Aircraft Crew Casualties

 

K-14 / D896 Crew:

 

  • Capt Vl Roger Loyen (pilot),
  •  

  • Adj VI André Dierickx (navigator)
  •  

  • Adj Félix Curtis (radio).

 

 

Airspeed Oxford Crew (Travelling as Passengers):

 

  • Capt Vl Olivier Lejeune,
  •  

  • Adj Vl Michel Cardon
  •  

  • Adj Vl André Rodrique.

 

 

A plaque commemorating this tragic accident can be seen at Dumfries and Galloway Aviation Museum.

 

 

 

 

 

Crash Site Photos

 

 

Researcher's Notes (1973) [From John Martindale's Log]

 

    History of Aircraft

     

     

  • 498881 impact point spreading to 502882
  •  

  • East slope of Carlin’s Cairn
  •  

  • K-14 of Belgian Air Force
  •  

  • One complete wing is at 502882, camouflaged brown / green. At and spreading from the impact point are fuselage and engine, wing parts, very badly impacted.
  • 10/04/47
  •  

  • 6 killed
  •  

  • Advised by Prestwick to increase altitude immediately before impact

 

 


 

 

Early Photo (1973)

 

 

BELOW: Douglas C-47B wing section lying at Carlin's Cairn.

 

Douglas C-47B wing section lying at Carlin's Cairn.

 

Photo: © 1973-2015 John Martindale

 


 

 

More Recent Photos (2014)

 

 

Note: The Dakota crashed near to the summit of Carlin's Cairn and pieces are scattered down the gairy between the crashsite and the wing section in the plantation.

 

 

 

BELOW (Next 2 photos): The location of the Dakota (Skytrain) wing section which is lying in the plantation below Castlemaddy Gairy.

 

The location of the Dakota wing section.

 

Photo: © 2014 Gary Nelson

 


 

BELOW: Wreckage within plantation indicated by yellow circle and black arrow.

 

Wreckage site indicated by yellow circle and black arrow.

 

Photo: © 2014 Gary Nelson

 


 

BELOW: The back of the landing light still in the wing section. The lense on the front is smashed.

 

The back of the landing light still in the wing section.

 

Photo: © 2014 Gary Nelson

 


 

BELOW (Next 3 photos): The wing section is from the port wing from just outboard of the engine.

 

The wing section is from the port wing 1.

 

Photo: © 2014 Gary Nelson

 


 

BELOW: Second of three photos.

 

The wing section is from the port wing 2.

 

Photo: © 2014 Gary Nelson

 


 

BELOW: Third of three photos.

 

The wing section is from the port wing 3.

 

Photo: © 2014 Gary Nelson

 

 

 

MORE PHOTOS BELOW

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

BELOW (Next 2 photos): Internal structure of the Dakota's airframe.

 

Internal structure of the Dakota's airframe 1.

 

Photo: © 2014 Gary Nelson

 


 

 

Internal structure of the Dakota's airframe 2.

 

Photo: © 2014 Gary Nelson

 


 

BELOW: View East to Craigrine and Polmaddy Gairy.

 

View East to Craigrine and Polmaddy Gairy.

 

Photo: © 2014 Gary Nelson

 


 

BELOW: View south to Corserine, Castlemaddy Gairy on the eastern slopes of Carlin's Cairn on the right.

 

View south to Corserine, Castlemaddy Gairy on the eastern slopes of Carlin's Cairn on the right.

 

Photo: © 2014 Gary Nelson

 


 

BELOW: Castlemaddy Gairy. The wing section is just to the left of the taller trees in the centre.

 

Castlemaddy Gairy. The wing section is just to the left of the taller trees in the centre.

 

Photo: © 2014 Gary Nelson

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

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Crash Date / Site

 

 

Accident Date: 10 Apr 1947

 

Accident Site:

Carlin's Cairn (808m / 2,650ft)

(Rhinns of Kells)

 

Region: Dumfries and Galloway

 

Nearest town or village:

New Galloway [map] (SE) or St John's Town of Dalry (SE)

 

Nearest large town:

Newton Stewart (SW)

 

OS Grid Ref. 498881 impact point spreading to 502882

 

GPS Ref: N/A

 

Present Condition: Wing sections remain near or below the crash site.

 

 

 

Aircraft Details

 

 

Registration or Serial: D896

 

Operator: Belgian Air Force (Now, Belgian Armed Forces Air Component) (169 Wing; 366 Sqn.)

 

Departure Airport: Evere (Haren) Airfield, Brussels, Belgium.

 

Destination Airport (Intended): Prestwick Airport, Ayrshire, Scotland.

 

Current Airport Status: (Evere (Haren)): Replaced by Melsbroek airfield, which was developed into Brussels Airport.

 

Current Airport Status: (Prestwick): Operational Civil Airport.
Known as Glasgow Prestwick Airport.
Also incorporates NATS, SAR and engineering facilities.

 

 

 

Related Links

 

Belgian Air Force
(Now, Belgian Armed Forces Air Component (COMOPSAIR)).

BAC at Wikipedia

BAC Solo Display Team (Facebook).

Belgische Luchtmacht/Force Aérienne Belge.

 

 

Memorial Links

(Dutch / English Language Websites)

Plaque Dakota C-47B K-14 at Dumfries and Galloway Aviation Museum. (two links)

In Memory of the Crew of K-14 (2009).

Dumfries — Dakota (D896 K-14) Memorial.

 

Other Links

Douglas C-47 Skytrain / Dakota at Warbird Alley

Douglas C-47 Skytrain / Dakota at Wikipedia

 

 

 

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

Walking Scotland's Mountains

 


 

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