Farewell Captain Linklater

Unusual for me to post twice in the same day but due to the circumstances, very necessary.  Tomorrow sees the retiral of Captain Stuart Linklater who is the senior pilot for the Loganair Inter Island Service.

The facts and figures are astonishing.

1.3 million miles

Up to 50,000 landings

10000 hours flying

25 years service, 20 as Senior pilot.

These achievements could not go past unnoticed and as he landed this morning a guard of honour was waiting for him.


Many members of staff, friends and public were waiting in the terminal building for his arrival.  The new Senior pilot, Orcadian Dave Miller, said a few appropriate words followed by an impromptu speech by Stuart.


Refreshments had been arranged by Station Manager, Jackie Delaney which everyone tucked into after Stuart opened a number of gifts from the Staff at Kirkwall Airport.

The picture, taken in North Ronaldsay,  was taken by Premysl Fojtu who works for the Inter Island service and the cake says it all.

Not forgetting the other member of the team, his wife Hilda who was presented with a gift of flowers.

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So that’s it for Kirkwall but Stuart is not the type of person to take things easy in retirement, therefore, 3 days after retirement, he will be joining the rota to fly Twin Otters for Loganair between Glasgow and Barra.

On top of everything else Stuart is a genuine nice person and will be sadly missed at Kirkwall.  I and everyone else wish him every success in his new role and we look forward to seeing him pass through the terminal.


As always thanks for taking the time to read.

All the best

Neil 😉


4 weeks until the nights start drawing in!

But at least we have a few new visitors when it’s sunny.  WE had our first visit from Tango Bravo which was in doing pilot training.  Pretty strange without windows but this aircraft is used for cargo.


G_ELUN was in for a short visit.  IT is a Robin DR400 and in my opinion is one of the prettiest small aircraft to visit us.


And the inside!


G-FJET passed through for a short time.  Cessna Citation Jets are a regular feature at Kirkwall now and Citations in their various guises seem to be the main choice for private operators.


Kirkwall also seems to be a popular choice for crew changes and we get regular visits from Jetstream 41’s, in this case G-MAJK operated by Eastern.


On Friday, I heard an S92 from the terminal and had a look through the windows to see which one it was.  I saw the letters NHS written on the side and thought it was just a duel role helicopter for the National Health Service 🙂  In actual fact it was a norwegian helicopter in for refuel operated by Norsk Helikopter Service.


Shortly after I was aware that there were strange sounding engines buzzing about and went out to look.  This pretty 1958 Piper Apache was doing a practice approach and popped in to say hello.


And the inside!  Note the updated glass dash.  Not bad for an old girl!


And finally we had a visit from another Citation, in this case, an Excel, which is here for a few days and you will see it parked at the end of the disused runway near the main road.


That’s it for just now, I will try and post regularly as and when something new comes into Kirkwall.  I am in the process of setting up a new bulletin board which will allow visitors of this blog to upload their pictures.  I am regularly asked for details of visitors and at http://orkneyaviation.createaforum.com hopefully we will build up a database of pictures and have a place for all enthusiasts to chat about all things Kirkwall and elsewhere.  Hope to see you there.

As always, thanks for taking the time to visit

All the best

Neil 😉

70 years – an appreciation

Operation Chastise was an attack on German dams carried out on 16–17 May 1943 by Royal Air Force No. 617 Squadron, subsequently known as the “Dambusters”, using a specially developed “bouncing bomb” invented and developed by Barnes Wallis. The Möhne and Edersee Dams were breached, causing catastrophic flooding of the Ruhr valley and of villages in the Eder valley, while the Sorpe dam sustained only minor damage. Two hydroelectric powerplants were destroyed and several more were damaged. Factories and mines were also either damaged or destroyed.

The Lancaster is/was one of the most graceful aircraft ever to fly and I thought I would add some of my pictures of PA474 in Phantom of the Ruhr Livery.

To all who gave so much, you will never be forgotten.

Thank you


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