The 1958 crash site of a former Royal Navy Westland Dragonfly has been identified on the coast of Northern Ireland…
The location of a former Royal Navy Westland Dragonfly has been identified on the coast of Northern Ireland, close to Lough Foyle, as a result of a 3D Coastal Survey of the nation’s coastline, commissioned by The Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA) Marine & Fisheries Division undertaken earlier this year.
With remnants of an aircraft’s structure initially spotted in aerial photos, a physical investigation of the site revealed the wreck of a helicopter with three rotor blades and the traces of the word ‘Royal Navy’ still discernible down the tail boom lying on its starboard side. Although heavily corroded, the wreck was soon identified as a Westland Dragonfly.
Working with officials from the National Museum of the Royal Navy at Plymouth, the Fleet Air Arm Museum, at Yeovilton and the Ulster Aviation Society, further research identified the airframe as HR.5 WN498 – a 1955-built example of the Westland type lost while recovery the outer wings of a Fairey Gannet on November 25, 1958. At the time, the aircraft was on strength with the Station Flight at nearby Royal Naval Air Station Eglinton.