Helvellyn Landing

Helvellyn -The Sky’s Not The Limit

Helvellyn -The Sky’s Not The Limit:

Helvellyn (The Hill of Wilan) is the third-highest mountain both in England and in the Lake District.

Access to it is easier than to the two higher peaks of Scafell Pike and Sca Fell.

The scenery includes three deep glacial coves, including Red Tarn, and two sharp-topped ridges on the eastern side (Striding Edge and Swirral Edge).

Red Tarn is a relic of the ice age nestling at 2,200 feet high in the shadow of Helvellyn. It is often subjected to four seasons in one day.

The tarn is home to brown trout and during winter can be frozen over for weeks at a time illustrating how hardy brown trout really are.

Helvellyn was one of the earliest fells to prove popular with walkers and explorers, especially in the late 18th century.

Among the early visitors to Helvellyn were the poets Samuel Taylor Coleridge and William Wordsworth, both of whom lived nearby at one period.

Most visitors enjoying a Lakeland holiday at Lothlorien will be aware of Helvellyn.

However, few will know about one of the most daring and spectacular events in its history when a biplane landed on its summit in 1926.

Despite attempts on the 15th and 21st of December being abandoned, a small aeroplane landed on the summit plateau of Helvellyn and took off again on the 22nd.

The two-seater biplane was an Avro 585 Gosport, was flown by Bert Hinkler.

He was accompanied on the flight by John F. Leeming, president of the Lancashire Aero Club.

The landing on the steep slope was successful due to a strong headwind helping stop the plane extremely quickly.

Helvellyn Landing

However, the uphill take-off was incredibly difficult and the plane nosedived off the edge of the summit with inadequate airspeed, narrowly missing the treacherous Striding Edge before returning to Manchester.

Additionally, after landing the biplane, the pilot asked a witness on the ground, Professor E. R. Dodds, to sign a paper stating he witnessed the landing.

Consequently, he then took off and returned to the aerodrome in Woodford.

Commemorative Plaque:

There is an engraved stone tablet on Helvellyn’s summit, 40 yards south of the shelter.

Helvellyn -The Sky's Not The Limit Lothlorien Holiday Cottage in Grange-over-Sands

The pioneering spirit of Hinkler and Leeming continues to inspire aviators and adventurers alike. Their legacy lives on in the plaque commemorating their achievement, which stands proudly on the summit of Helvellyn, a testament to their audacity and the enduring fascination with the pursuit of flight.

The tablet commemorates this unprecedented and to date unrepeated publicity stunt.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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