Sunday, 28 September 2008


Here's a little story.

I was walking up on Dundry Hill with B, and we found an aeroplane in a nettle patch by some farm buildings. So I scrambled onto the wing and took some pics, and noted down the registration because I like to get the story of something if I can.

At home, I Googled the plane and found that it was reported as having gone into the sea of Clacton in 1976, killing the four people on board.

So I e-mailed the Civil Aviation Authority:

Sorry, I don’t quite know where to send this enquiry, so I’m sending it to you.
This morning I was walking on Dundry Hill in Somerset and saw an old aeroplane in a nettle patch near some farm buildings. I had a closer look and took some photos, because it looked interesting.
I later checked the plane’s registration on Google, and found that the plane with that
registration- G-BBIE – had apparently crashed into the sea off Clacton in 1976.
While there may well be an entirely innocent explanation for what I saw, I thought I ought to tell someone.

Yours sincerely,
Dru Marland

...and they replied

Good afternoon,
Thank you for your email and what proved to be an interesting and diverting enquiry. However, we don't really have any information as to why the aircraft might be there and can only surmise it was salvaged at some point.
Kind regards

Information Management someone commented on my Flickr page, it's like reading a book with a page missing.


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....on the same walk, we got talking about feyness, as I had slightingly said of someone on the phone, "Fey people don't have a sense of humour".

Well, it was soundbitey...

B had overheard this and commented that seriously fey people usually have a really good sense of humour, actually. Which is also true.

I then observed that 'fey' originally had a different meaning to the present one; in anglo-saxon, {asg}e meant 'marked for death'; they thought that there was something different and otherworldly about someone having that interesting condition.

...talking with another old friend last night about Duncan, I mentioned this, because Duncan had always seemed the opposite of it; however ill he was, he seemed marked for life. Which is why it's still such a shock, his dying like that.


  1. What a find. Though it would have been strange if no one had noticed it was there for over 30 years. At least you got a reply.

    The good die young.

  2. Hiya Hon

    As you know I am a pilot ((cough)). If you want, I'll make some enquiries on the pilots forums ....some of them are usually a good source of information.

    If it crashed into the sea I don't think there would be a lot left to be taken to a hillside in Somerset!

    Anyway let me know. Send me a PM or a text.

    Take Care


  3. Did the remains on Dundry Hill look like they had crashed there, or just been left to rust. If it had crashed...that was one unlucky plane!

    Dundry in law used to live at the top...

  4. I did feel a bit silly writing to the CAA, but I have found in the past that

    -People overlook the bleeding obvious

    -People are surprisingly incurious

    -People tend not to want to get involved

    -checking on Yahoo mapping, the plane doesn't feature on their aerial photo. But it does on Google Earth. So it was relatively recently moved. Here are the co-ordinates, if you fancy taking a look

    51°23'54"N, 2°38'35"W
    (51.3982, -2.6431)

  5. I can get you statistics on people not wanting to get involved. The best is that once people are aware of the 'not wanting to get involved' they start getting involved.

  6. Cool. Had a look at the plane on Google Earth. I LOVE Google Earth (as a Map Junkie, it's the ultimate!).