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Aircraft Crash Sites at Sea - a Scoping Study project report

Aircraft Crash Sites at Sea - a Scoping Study project report

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Published by Wessex Archaeology
Wessex Archaeology have been funded by English Heritage through the Aggregates Levy Sustainability Fund to undertake a scoping study to identify current gaps in data and understanding relating to aircraft crash sites at sea.

The study arises partly out of the discovery of aircraft parts and associated human remains as a result of marine aggregate dredging.
Wessex Archaeology have been funded by English Heritage through the Aggregates Levy Sustainability Fund to undertake a scoping study to identify current gaps in data and understanding relating to aircraft crash sites at sea.

The study arises partly out of the discovery of aircraft parts and associated human remains as a result of marine aggregate dredging.

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Categories:Types, Research
Published by: Wessex Archaeology on Mar 10, 2008
Copyright:Traditional Copyright: All rights reserved

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05/17/2013

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4.3.2. Inland lakes fall outside the present study. However, it is clear that they can offer
site formation processes and environments that can result in outstanding levels of
preservation that can offer a useful comparison with marine sites. This can be seen
clearly in Plate 1 This aircraft is one of 11 Luftwaffe Ju 52s that landed on a frozen
freshwater lake near Narvik to resupply German troops during the invasion of
Norway in 1940. It was lost when the lake ice melted and it fell through.

4.3.3. The aircraft is structurally intact with undercarriage lowered. The original paint is
present on all major surfaces. Some major components are missing, including the
port engine, centre engine, starboard propeller and engine cowling and flight
instruments. These may have been lost as a result of salvage by either the
Norwegian armed forces after the war or by recreational divers more recently. There
is also some ice damage to the port wingtip, presumably incurred when the aircraft
fell through the ice.

4.3.4. The lake itself is steep sided and up to 60m deep. It is fresh water filled. The aircraft
is close to a feeder stream and is slowly being covered by alluvial deposits. As a
result the tail of the aircraft is buried.

4.3.5. It would appear that the dramatic preservation of this aircraft is a combination of the
fact that it is effectively a landing site rather than a crash site, it is in cold fresh water
and access as a recreational dive site is apparently difficult (Simon Brown e-mail).

4.3.6. Another of the Ju 52s lost in this lake appears to have been recovered by or on
behalf of the German Luftfahrt Museum in Hannover-Laatzen. Although WA have
not been able to examine this aircraft, pictures received of the recovery suggests
that it may be in even better condition than the aircraft that remains in situ (Göpfert
et al undated).

4.3.7. Other noteworthy examples of the excellent preservation potential of fresh water
environments include the Vickers Wellington recovered from Loch Ness in 1985

Aircraft Crash Sites at Sea: A Scoping Study

Wessex Archaeology 66641.02

38

(Holmes 1991) and the Junkers 88 recovered from the Kilsfjord of Norway (Holyoak
2002: 659).

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