A visit from Orphir School

Last wednesday we had a visit from children and parents from Orphir pre school.  It was one of our busiest days in ages and the children were excitedly watching for the planes coming and going.

Luckily enough Colin, one of the Islander Captains had finished his morning rotations and kindly allowed the children to sit inside his plane.

The visit was finished off by the ever popular visit to the Airport Fire Section before returning to school.

Many thanks  to Jackie, Colin and Ryan from Loganair, Graeme King, Airport Fire Manager and Blue Watch who were hosts for the visits.

Here are the pics

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And my post would not be complete without airplane pictures so I have a couple of first time visitors to Kirkwall starting with G-VUEA, A Cessna Citation 550.

And the inside

And finally a french guest who arrived from Fife and headed shortly after for Oban.  This is a beautiful Microlight.

That’s it for now, thanks for reading




Leuchars 2010


I am starting to get to grips with this software so I guess I will stay here, hope you have managed to find your way.  The next group of photos were taken at Leuchars last year.  The days started with torrential rain and then ended up reasonably warm so the light in the pictures change s dramatically.

If you don’t know what aircraft they are , drop me a line.

Have I finally found a new home?

Since the demise of spottersblog.com I have hunted around and never quite found what I have been looking for until now! Please bear with me as I get to grips with this but wordpress is looking promising. I have already integrated my other blog dedicated to the Spitfire Event on June 2010 and some of my most recent ramblings.

Please update your browser if you follow the posts as it is likely my blogger sites will be scrapped shortly.

Thanks for bearing with me



>Two posts in one night, am I keen or what?

>And now for a mystery photograph.  My mum and dad own a bit of land which had become a bit of an eyesore.  I think I mentioned before my house is on the site of a wartime ballon site/camp called Caldale and the bit of ground I have been tidying up is where the MT was where they serviced the engines for the ballons and the vehicles.

We moved here in 1970 and the ground was always covered in earth until a couple of weekends ago.  While I was tidying up I noticed what appeared to be lettering written in the concrete and once it had been swept there was no doubt.

Here is the photo, intriguing.  I would love to find out what is underneath but do not want to destroy it.

I love a good mystery

Here is a link to Caldale Air Station on the ARGOS website, and no not the chain store, the Aviation Research Group Orkney and Shetland.



>While I am on a roll……………………….

>I was looking through some of my photos last night and thought I would share a few of my favourite photos from RAF Leuchars which I make an annual pilgrimage to.  The first year I attended, I had a normal ticket but am fortunate that each year I have been successful in getting an enthusiasts pass.

It is 6 x the cost but worth every penny as you get hosted by the RAF for the 2 days, the pre-show day where you see the arrivals and the rehearsals and the show day where you get the advantage of not having to fight with 50,000 others to get in a position to take photos.

I will not describe each photo but I am sure you will recognise each and every aircraft, hope you like them.

I have thousands of photos and don’t know where to start with building them up again.  I will try and post regularly as I have a bit more time on my hands jsut now.  But for how long?  I have already formulated and instigated a plan for next year, probably JUly so watch this space!
Have a nice evening

>Some of my favourite moments

>As I said previously, years of my blog posts were wiped out when spottersblog disappeared and while I can never re-write my thoughts at the time, the photos survive.  I thought I would do some catch up and I will start with an event I was proud to be involved with last june.

It was the 70th anniversary of the Battle of Britain last june and with help from Derek Mowat, Anthony Hodgson and his Spitfire, Neil Geddes and his replica SE5A, Jim McTaggart and his Starduster and Dai Heather Hayes and his Pitts Special, a 2 day event was put on for the people of Orkney.

This event was particularly fitting as I work at what was once RAF Grimsetter but the main idea of the event was to honour the heroes who gave their lives and also those that survived.  To honour them it was arranged to do a low approach at RAF Skea Brae which finally closed in 1948.

I was put in touch with a retired pilot, Lt Cmdr John Moffat, who was the pilot respponsible for crippling the rudder of the Bismarck, allowing her to be sunk shortly after.  I had the privilege of spending a lot of time with him and he remains a friend to this day.

Anyway here are some of my favourite photoss of the event;

There were many more people that made this event so special, in fact too many to mention but my scribbles can be found here http://orkneyairpower.blogspot.com/
The most important item on the blog is this excerpt:
On the 16th of June 1940 Winston Churchill said:

“The Battle of France is over, I expect the Battle of Britain is about to begin”

At the end of the battle he said:

“Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few.”

He was right on both counts, I hope between us that we have done something to honour their memory.

Thanks for visiting, hope you like the pictures

All the best

>Every cloud……………………..

>No new photos this week but have added a couple of links to the site.  Sadly we have stood the Nimrod Heitage Group down to allow a local chap, Mark Mair to bring his ideas forward.  IThe Moravia Aviation experience is a bold concept and I wish him well and will give him all the support I can.

The RAF at Kinloss have a proud history and a long association with Orkney and it has been a privilege to work with serving and retired individuals over the last 10 months.

I spoke to Mark last monday and discovered he is the mainstay of the Search And Rescue Trust fund in Moray.  He has single handedly raised a lot of money and the trust itself is of particular interest to me as in my day job, I fully appreciate the important and dangerous role of SAR.  Ironically Mark also needed the support of the very people he raises funds for as he was badly injured at sea and required SAR to take him to hospital

Many Orcadians owe there lives to the brave deeds of the Coastguard and the RAF SAR helicopters, not forgetting the top level cover provided by the crews of the Nimrod MR2, so the link is on the right hand side of this page.  Please visit the site if you have a moment.

Finally, a big thank you to a dear friend of mine who has recently come into my life.  David Morgan, a journalist and aviation expert has worked alongside me every step of the way.  I also wish to give thanks to his wife Rhona, who kindly gave up her husband to the cause for the last 10 months.

Sincere thanks to the both of you and I hope you get the boat launched in Oban tomorrow.

Till next time


>Goodby Ariadne

>Hello and thanks for dropping by if you are reading this.  Since my last post we have had a few new aircraft in, I have bought myself a new Leica bridge camera and my all singing all dancing DSLR has been disposed of via ebay.

Still getting used to it but at least nearly all photographs are truning out first time, so no complaints.

We had our first Twinstar in a while drop past to drop some pax off for a long weekend in Orkney.  I still can’t get used to how quiet they are.  Anhyway here is G-DJET

At around the same time we had a Cessna T303, G-DOLY,  in for a visit.  I never managed to get close so her is a long distance shot on take off.

The first two pictures were taken by my trusty Fuji whih has been with me for a couple of years.  The Leica is about twice the size and just about every control is manual but the proof of the pudding will be when I go to Leuchars in September http://www.airshow.co.uk/

G-CHCX, Super Puma dropped in for a refuel so it was my first opportunity to try the zoom.  Here is the before;

And the after

WE were told we were being visted by Ariadne, a beatiful Hornet Moth which has visted Kirkwall on a number of occasions.  She was on her wat to Sumburgh for a memorial unveiling organised by the Fresson Trust.

And the inside
Reminds you of a vintage limousine.  I am having to rebuild my photos on this blog as years of work and around 900 photos were wiped at a stroke with the demise of my previous blog host so apologies if they look similar.
WE have a new aviation enthusiast in the terminal building who is also an excellent photographer.  Premysl Fojtu (pronounced Foytoo) rushed to get his camera to get his own pics of Ariadne.  Here he is on the left with old friend Mark Preston in the middle and Dick Felix on the right.
While I was down there, I snapped G-SMMB who was overnighting, ably crewed by Dave, Will and Neil
So why the title Godbye Ariadne.  She left us on Friday morning and flew to Sumburgh and then on to Unst where a sever gust of wind lifted the tail on landing, collapsing the undercarriage.  I understand both pilots are fine but Ariadne may not be.  She is to be recovered by road pending inspection.  Here is possibly the last picture I will take of her
Shortly after we waved good bye, we had a short vist from a brand new RV8, which was absolutely stunning.  Here is G-GRVY

And the inside
I thought it was minimalist until I saw this
Reminds me of FSX, many thanks for the guided tour.
We had a few microlights in today, all very different starting off with G-HIYA, Sky Ranger
Then I4558, CT20SW
And, of corse, the inside
And I promised Marco, one of the pilots to post his pic, so here it is!
And a pic of the accompanying Sierra P2002, registration I8282
That’s it for now, will keep snapping and see what I come up with.
I thought I would also give you an update on our project to save XV244 but there is no real news.  After it was withdrawn from disposal because of the LIbya situation, all has gone quiet.  There are rumours abounding but I ignore them until I see facts.
When I have more, will let you know
All the best for now