Vickers Warwick HG136

Cairn Hill, The Cheviot













Aircraft Type Photo


BELOW: A Vickers Warwick Air/Sea Search and Rescue (ASR) aircraft with a lifeboat slung beneath the fuselage.


A Vickers Warwick Air-Sea Rescue aircraft with rubber lifeboat slung  below fuselage


Photo: Original source unknown.





Aircraft Type and Background


RAF Vickers Warwick VI ASR.I / HG136



Intended for use with RAF Bomber Command, the Vickers Warwick was designed as a twin-engine bomber. In certain respects it resembled the Vickers Wellington bomber. However, although the Warwick had a slimmer fuselage, it was slightly longer and had a greater wingspan than the Wellington. The Warwick therefore was the larger of the two aircraft.


Both types used geodetic (i.e., diamond lattice) framework for the construction of the fuselage and wings. This design helped considerable to strengthen the airframe and to permit badlyalthough not criticallydamaged aircraft to continue flying, sometimes until they  had returned to base.     


Originally, the Warwick was designed to carry a crew of six, and was equipped with eight 0.303 Browning machine guns. The aircraft had gun turrets in the nose and tail (and, in some variants, an additional dorsal turret). However, this arrangement was modified when the aircraft entered service in an ASR role.


Almost from the outset, the Warwick was plagued with technical problems. After overcoming instability of the airframe by the fitting of a dorsal fin, no satisfactory engines could be found in the UK to power this large aircraft, although several types were tried. Eventually, in order to complete the project, early production Warwicks were equipped with Pratt and Whitney R-2800 Double Wasp radial engines sent by ship from the USA. However, these shipments proved sporadic. In 1943, a suitable UK typethe Bristol Centaurusbecame available, and this engine was fitted to subsequent Warwick aircraft.


(It is believed that the Warwick featured here was an ASR.I variant, as this was the type operated  by 280 Squadron at RAF Thornaby. The ASR.I was equipped with Bristol Centaurus engines.) 


Before the Warwick entered RAF service, however, the Air Ministry and RAF Bomber Command considered the Warwick unsuitable for their needs. Furthermore, they had begun to favour four-engine bombers rather than two-engine types like the Armstrong Whitworth Whitley  and Vickers Warwick. Therefore, instead of being assigned to Bomber Command as originally intended, many of these Warwicks were used by the RAF as Air/Sea Search and Rescue (ASR) aircraft. For this purpose, an Uffa Fox-designed lifeboat or Lindholme Gear was slung beneath the aircraft. During a rescue operation, the Lindholme Gear or the lifeboat could be dropped at sea suspended by parachutes.






Aircraft Accident Details


Aircraft Crew Casualties


Thos who died in this accident were:

  • F/L K F Wyeth
  • F/O Cody

  • F/O Chadd





Crash Site Photos (Page 1-A)


BELOW: Waterfall on the way up Harehope valley to Cairn Hill.




Photo: © 2013-2014 Gary Nelson



NOTE: Many sections of wreckage which could be found at the site several years ago are now no longer there. Wreckage which still remains at present can be seen in the photos dated 2013 or later. (See below, and also on Pages 1-B and 1-C.)


BELOW: Remains of one of the Warwick's fuel tanks.


one of the fuel tanks.


Photo: © 2013-2014 Gary Nelson



BELOW: Some of the remaining wreckage. One of the aircraft's engines can be seen in the background.


some wreckage including one of the engines.


Photo: © 2013-2014 Gary Nelson



BELOW: Compressed aluminium sections.


compressed aluminium sections.


Photo: © 2013-2014 Gary Nelson



BELOW: Part of the debris field.


There is significantly less wreckage here than was the case several years ago. Much wreckage has been removed from here and elsewhere.


part of debris field.


Photo: © 2013-2014 Gary Nelson




More photos from Gary Nelson's 2013 collection on


Page 1-B and Page 1-C






Earlier Photos



BELOW: Gary Nelson beside some of the wreckage of Vickers Warwick HG136 close to Cairn Hill and not far from The Cheviot (map) in Northumberland.


Gary Nelson beside wreckage of Vickers Warwick on the side of The Cheviot


Photo: © 2008 Gary Nelson



BELOW: Part of the tail wheel assembly. This assembly has since been removed from this site.


part of the tail wheel assembly. sharni, the german shepherd, nearby.


Photo: © 2008 Gary Nelson



BELOW: A large section of wreckage from the Warwick, concealed from immediate view by the eroded and boggy ground.


a large section of wreckage from the warwick


Photo: © 2008 Gary Nelson



BELOW: Another view of the above wreckage.


another view of the above wreckage


Photo: © 2008 Gary Nelson



BELOW: Much of the remaining wreckage lies in or close to boggy ground.


Much of the remaining wreckage lies in or close to boggy ground


Photo: © 2008 Gary Nelson



BELOW: One of the Warwick's wing fuel tanks


[Item identified from information kindly  provided by Dr Ian Frayling.]


unidentified wreckage part


Photo: © 2008 Gary Nelson






(Additional Photos)








Photo Gallery


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Crash Date / Site


Country: England


england national flag



Accident Date: 23 Jul 1946


Accident Site:

Cairn Hill (777m)

The Cheviot (815m)


Region: Northumberland.


Nearest town or village:

Wooler [map]


Nearest large towns:

Kelso (NW), Jedburgh (W) (Scotland), or  Wooler (E) (England)


OS Grid Ref. N/A


GPS Ref: NT 89861 19579 (and environs)


Present Condition: Significant wreckage remains onsite.



Air crashes on or near The Cheviot:


RAF Vickers Warwick HG136 crash at West Hill, near Cairn Hill, The Cheviot, in 1946. (The aircraft on this page.)


Boeing B-17G Flying Fortress 44-6504 crash at West Hill, The Cheviot, near Braydon Crag, in 1944.


RAF Vickers Wellington Mk.IA IC Z1078 crash at West Hill, The Cheviot, in 1942.


RAF Short Stirling Mk. III EE972 crash near Broaden, The Cheviot in 1944.


RCAF Avro Lancaster Mk. X  KB745 crash above Goldscleugh, The Cheviot, in 1944.


RAF Hawker Hart K6482 crash above Goldscleugh, The Cheviot, in 1939.


RAF Supermarine Spitfire P8587 crash at Bellyside Hill, The Cheviot, in 1943.


RAF Handley Page Hampden L4063 crash at Windy Gyle, The Cheviots, in 1940.




Aircraft Details


Registration or Serial: HG136


Operator: RAF (280 Squadron)


Operating Station: Possibly, RAF Thornaby (X5TB); (RAF 18 Group Coastal Ops.)


Station Location: Thornaby-on-Tees, North Yorkshire, England.


Current Station Status: Closed 1958. Overbuilt with housing.



Principal airport data courtesy of John Woodside, A Catalogue of UK Airfields




Related Links



RAF and Related Links

280 Squadron at A History of RAF Organisation

280 Squadron at RAF Squadron History

280 Squadron RAF at

RAF Thornaby Photos

RAF Thornaby at Wikipedia


Recommended Reading

book - where the hills meet the sky by peter clark

Peter Clark provides a detailed account of this and other accidents in his book.


Other Links

Vickers Warwick at




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