Author: Steve Gillies

Three times in the past I’ve hiked up the marshy featureless landscape toward Distinkhorn south of Darvel looking for the remains of a 1956 air crash. Twice I found it and once I wandered around for hours and hours and eventually gave up tired and hungry. I wish I had had this simple map with me.

It’s quite a story.  On the 13th August 1956 an American A26 Douglas Invader crashed killing the two pilots. Edgar Flannagan from New Jersey and Wayne Taylor from California. The plane was in contact with Prestwick Airport at 10:30 on a Monday evening when it went quiet. It is thought that it ran out of fuel and tried to make a forced landing in a boggy gully near Blackhill. The flight was one of two from Keflavik, Iceland to Prestwick.

Wreckage can still be seen, as many modern hiking trips to the site have shown. Whilst nature has taken its course engine parts, fuselage and struts can be clearly identified. The site is now a favourite for geo-caching.

Engine Wreckage

I don’t know if is still there but at some time there was a tin box with a visitors’ book to sign.  Kenny Baird visited the site in 2009 and reported that one of the pilot’s daughters Rita Taylor Wadlington visited the site from California. Photographs were left.

As Spring approaches my thoughts turn to another visit to the site. Hope I can find it this time.

Pilot Wayne Taylor

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