Aircraft Type Photo
BELOW: An RCAF Short Sunderland seaplane or flying boat similar to the type featured on this page.
Photo: Pre 1949.
Aircraft Type and Background
RAF Short Sunderland W6010
Capable of carrying a crew of ten, the first Sunderlands Mk.I's were assigned to 230 Squadron at Singapore. When war broke out in 1939, three squadrons of Coastal Command had been equipped with the heavily-armed Sunderlands. These Sunderlands were used extensively over the Atlantic in the war against the U-boats, and also as search and rescue aircraft for seamen and downed aircrew.
The Mk.II version of the Sunderland was equipped with four Bristol Pegasus XVIII supercharged engines and improved turret arrangments. The Mk.III introduced in 1941 had a more streamlined hull to improve take-off. The Mark III is the type featured on this page.
Other version of the Sunderland up to Mk.V were introduced. This version had four Pratt and Whitney R1830-90 Twin Wasp engines.
1 Imperial Airways (IA). Imperial Airways was formed in April 1924 from the merger of The Instone Air Line, Daimler Airway, Handley Page Transport, and British Marine Air Navigation. Imperial Airways was the 'State' or 'National' airline until, in November 1939, it was absorbed by British Overseas Airways Corporation (BOAC).
Aircraft Accident Details
RAF Short Sunderland W6010 of 4 OTU was on a practice flight in very poor visibility. While flying low, however, the aircraft struck some high tension power lines which sliced off part of a main wing. The Sunderland then crashed to the ground and skidded for some distance before hitting Allerton farmhouse.
Fuel from the aircraft caused a fire in which two of the occupants of the farmhouse suffered severe burns. One of these, 15-year-old Hugh Watson, died of his injuries.
Aircraft Crew Survivors
All on board survived this incident (with injuries). However, their names are not known.
Crash Site Photos
BELOW: John Flemming looking toward the hill where the Sunderland hit the top of the hill and slid down to Allerton farmhouse.
Photo: © 2014 Douglas Gordon
BELOW: Allerton farmhouse ruin. This is all that remains of the farm today. (Compare with Archive Photo at link below.)
Photo: © 2014 Douglas Gordon
ARCHIVE PHOTO: Click here for a photo of the Sunderland aircraft and Allerton Farm taken at the time of the accident.
Air Crash Sites-Scotland
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Crash Date / Site
Accident Date / Time:
Nearest roads: A832 or B9163, then by unclassified road.
Region: Highland (Ross and Cromarty)
Nearest towns or villages:Cromarty (E).
OS Grid Ref. N/A
GPS Ref: N/A
Present Condition: No remaining wreckage.
Hill Walking Links
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OutdoorScotland.co.uk (Directory of Clubs, Associations, and Mountain Rescue Teams)
WalkingScotland (The official Walking site of Scotland's national tourism organisation)
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Allerton Farm, Cromarty