Airspeed Oxford N6438

Meluncart, Aberdeenshire












Aircraft Type Photo


BELOW: An Airspeed AS.10 Oxford. This aircraft belonged to the Belgian Air Force (now, Belgian Air Component or COMOPSAIR)


Airspeed AS10 Oxford on display


Photo: 2006. Released by the author under GNU Free Documentation License






Aircraft Type and Background


RAF Airspeed AS.10 Oxford / N6438



Aircraft Type Nickname: "The Ox-Box"



The Airspeed Oxford was developed from the Airspeed AS.6 Envoy commercial aircraft as an RAF trainer. The Oxford was equipped with two 355hp - 375hp seven cylinder air-cooled Armstrong-Siddeley Cheetah IX or X radial engines.


Essentially, this was a 3-seater aircraft, but provision was made for up to 6 crew. The Oxford was equipped with dual controls for pilot training purposes, but these could be removed for bombardier training.


Several other crew training roles were also covered by the Airspeed Oxford, preparing aircrew for entry into RAF Bomber Command.


At least 8 variants of the Airspeed Oxford were produced. In addition to those manufactured by Airspeed Ltd., some of these aircraft were built by sub-contractors such as de-Havilland, Percival, and Standard Motors. The Mark I Oxford was equipped with an Armstrong-Whitworth dorsal turret, but all subsequent variants lacked this feature.


In addition to their role as advanced trainers, Oxfords were used as communications, anti-aircraft, and anti-submarine aircraft; and also as air ambulances.






Aircraft Accident Details


On 3rd September 1942, Airspeed Oxford N6438 of No. 2 Flying Instructor School (2 FIS) struck a hill in low cloud. At present, no other details of this incident are known.






Aircraft Crew Casualties


One airman died in this incident, while the second escaped with injuries. The pilot who died was:

  • P/O John Keddie

P/O Keddie was buried at Sleepyhillock Cemetery in Montrose, Scotland.



The pilot who escaped with serious injuries was:

    P/O William Frederick White.






Crash Site Photos (Page 1-A)


BELOW: This Land Rover track skirts Meluncart at this hill's North and West bases.


Bearing North on the track leads close to the Hawker Audax and Miles Master crash sites at Hill of Edendocher / Cairn of Finglenny [map]. (The Hawker and Master crash sites are about 1km apart.)


Land Rover track leading past Meluncart and to Hill of Edendocher


Photo © 2013 Gary Nelson



BELOW: Some of the wreckage from Airspeed Oxford N6438 has been collected together and dumped into this ditch.


some of the wreckage from the oxford lying in a ditch


Photo: © 2013 Neil Daniel



BELOW: Auminium skinning from various parts of the airframe.


aluminium skinning from various parts of the airframe


Photo: © 2013 Neil Daniel



BELOW: Another view of the remaining wreckage at Meluncart.


The traces of yellow paint indicate that this was a training aircraft.


another view of the remaining wreckage


Photo: © 2013 Neil Daniel



BELOW: Another section of wreckage from the Airspeed Oxford.


another section of wreckage from the airspeed oxford


Photo: © 2013 Neil Daniel












BELOW: Some of the wreckage from the Airspeed Oxford crash on Meluncart.


(The summit tor of Clachnaben can be seen in the distance.)


Much of the wreckage is difficult to identify. The impact point was further up the hill. The wreckage was broken up and moved downhill into a gulley leaving few recognisable parts.


The section shown here has wood sandwiched between metal plates, which may indicate that it formed part of the aircraft's tail unit.


wreckage from the Airspeed Oxford on Meluncart


Photo © 2013 Gary Nelson



BELOW: Some scattered remains of the Airspeed Oxford which have been collected together.


Although it is below the initial impact point, the collected wreckage is still not far from the summit of Meluncart.


scattered remains collected  together into ditch


Photo © 2013 Gary Nelson



BELOW: A small piece of aluminium skinning from Oxford N6438.


small piece of aluminium skinning


Photo © 2013 Gary Nelson



BELOW: (Lower object): Possibly, the underside of electrical indicator or instrument panel.


possibly, underside of electrical indicator or instrument panel


Photo © 2013 Gary Nelson



More (larger) photos from this collection on

Page 1-B






Earlier Photo


BELOW: Some of the remaining wreckage from the Airspeed Oxford that crashed at Meluncart in 1942.


This photo appears to include part of the landing gear, tail assembly, and some other sections. However, since much of the wreckage has been moved from its original location and piled together further downhill, it is difficult to identify individual objects or sections.


wreckage from airspeed oxford crash at meluncart aberdeenshire


Photo (©) 2008 Michael Dougherty





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Crash Date / Site



Accident Date: 3 Sep 1942


Accident Site:

Meluncart (526m / 1,725ft)


Region: Aberdeenshire


Nearest town or village:

Bridge of Dye

(Glen Dye).


From Banchory, via B974 South to Bridge of Dye, or from A90 then North on B974 to Bridge of Dye


Nearest large town or city:

Stonehaven (E) or Brechin (S)


OS Grid Ref. N/A


GPS Ref: N/A


Present Condition: A few pieces still remain at the impact site. However, most of the wreckage has been removed from the original crash location to a gulley further down the hill. (See photos below and on Page 1-B)



Other air crash sites in this vicinity:


1) RAF Hawker Audax crash at Hill of  Edendocher in 1939.


2) RAF Miles Master crash at Hill of Edendocher by Cairn of Finglenny in 1941.

(Both of the above crash sites can be reached from the Land Rover track shown in the photos below.)


3) RAF Hawker Audax K7473 crash at Cairn o' Mount in 1940.





Aircraft Details



Registration or Serial: N6438


Operator: RAF (2 Flying Instructor School (2 FIS); Later, No. 2 FIS at British Commonwealth Air Training Plan Schools - Canada)


(To prevent the Luftwaffe targeting vulnerable training aircraft and their pilots, FIS units were moved to Canada, South Africa, and Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe))


Operating Base: RAF Dalcross (until transferred to Canada)


Base Location: Dalcross, Inverness, Scotland


Current Airport Status: Operational Civil Airport.


Current Airport Name: Inverness Airport / Port-adhair Inbhir Nis (EGPE)






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