Orkney Aviation Festival and the Golden Islander

Well that’s it for another year and another success.  I have enjoyed attending the events I could and, as always, went away with more information than I arrived with.

Ian Brown’s presentation was of particular interest as it centred on the balloon base in Orkney where I now live.  Not much of it is left but the history lives on.

Full marks to Moya McDonald for bring up the Golden Islander with its owners Maurice and William Hynett who also own Britten Norman who as you will know make the Islander aircraft that flies our inter island service.

A big thank you goes to Davie Miller, senior pilot with Loganair who gave up the Islanders usual spot for the event and to Colin McAllister who brought up both Loganair Islanders on the day and parked it allowing an excellent photo opportunity for the visitors.

Liz Harcus and I took out guests to the aircraft solid between 1100 and 1300 and although we didn’t keep count, it made the day worthwhile.  Maurice and William were a great help and a source of information to the staff and public alike and  we are very grateful for your visit.

Not forgetting Davie Berston, Airport Manager for allowing access to the aircraft and everyone else who assisted.

Anyway, here are most of the photographs I took over the couple of days, hope you like them and if you have any you would like to share, please post them on the Orkney Aviation page.

If you like any of the photos, please feel free to use in any way you wish but please credit spottersblog.uk.

All the best and thanks for reading

Neil 🙂



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All hail the GANG

Who are the GANG, I hear you ask.  They are a great bunch of photographers in the General Aviation Nutters Group which I follow on Facebook.

As some of you know, the Orkney Aviation Festival kicks off next Thursday and we are are due to get a visit from Britten Norman with their Golden Islander and a Defender.

A quick search on google finds nothing so I went to the GANG and I got sent some fantastic pictures which they have given me permission to use.  WE are expecting the golden islander but not sure if the Defender pictured is the one that is coming.

Starting off with Alan Lapworth

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These were taken at RIAT 2016.  The next 2 are from Chris Clarkson

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The next 4 from Paul Mcivor

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Do you recognise the one under the tarpaulin.  Next time you are watching the latest Bond movie, check the registration on the fuselage.

The final picture is from Mark Jones, not either of the aircraft coming to Kirkwall but worthy of sharing.  Thank you very much gentlemen, I am indebted to you and appreciate your assistance.

Thank you for reading, hopefully see you next Saturday when, all things working out, the Islanders will be available for public viewing thanks to Dave Berston, Kirkwall Airport Manager.

All the best


Thank you Dave Berston

Here are the latest batch of photographs courtesy of Dave Berston, Kirkwall Airport Manager.

Some new ones and a couple that may be duplicated from an old post but a number are very interesting, in particular the photograph of the last members of the NAAFI staff when the station closed in 1945.

Thankfully, someone named them all and where they came from, so hopefully someone may find a picture of their family never seen before.

Not in any particular order but please enjoy them.

Thanks for taking the time to read

Copyright of the Viscount photos belongs to Phoenix Photos and the Cessna 406 I assume remains copyright of the Griffonmeister http://www.griffon.uk.com

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All the best

Neil 😉



Merry Christmas and Happy New Year


That’s all the fuss over and we are heading towards another festive season.  I have not taken many photos since my last post but I was fortunate to be given a number of old photographs by my colleague Marion MacLeod, which I have finally sat down and taken the time to scan

There are oldies but goodies, strange aircraft and some cracking pictures of the demolition of the old buildings to make way for the new terminal.

I don’t have dates for most of the photos but none the less please enjoy them and a big thanks to Marion.

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That’s it for now.  Thanks again to Marion for allowing me to share.

All the best

Neil 😉



Catch up

I seem to spend more time on Facebook and less time on here which I am not happy about.  Although the airport has been very busy, we have not had too many unusual aircraft stopping off so I had a look at my photos and have chosen a few that I have not published on Facebook.

Starting with a Tyrol Air ambulance which was in to repatriate a patient to Austria


And the new Air Ambulance


Jota Air was in with this very nice King Air C90


And this was taken on the first visit of a Dornier in the new Flybe colours


Wideroe popped in again with one of their Dash 8’s


Cartier popped in last week for a visit in their stunning C680+


And the same aircraft together with one of our Islanders

And an arty farty pic for me.  The sunrise was stunning on Wednesday morning so I nipped outside for a picture.


And the actual sunrise


That’s it for now.  As always thanks for taking the time to read.  May be some interesting pictures on or around the 11th December.  Check Kirkwall Airport Facebook for details.

All the best

Neil 😉

Magnus Henning flies in DH89 – Smile seen for miles

Sorry I never managed to put up any pictures yesterday, it was around 2230 before I eventually sat down after getting up around 5 so left the blog until this morning.

The weather was a little more iffy yesterday and as I type this the weather is still not looking too clever.  Sadly the afternoon flights did not take place with low cloud and wind being the main culprit.

Those that went out in the morning certainly seemed to enjoy themselves, in particular, a little boy from Kirkwall called Magnus Henning who came out to the airport with his mum to watch the Rapide take off and land.  Without him knowing, his family bought a ticket to get him on the Rapide and when he found out, the entire airport was treated to the biggest smile imaginable.  It may not show in these pictures as it was a bit different outside with the wind starting to pick up.

IMGP3614 IMGP3615 IMGP3616We also had a visit from Richard Fresson who is the son of Captain Ted Fresson who was the pioneer for the mail and passenger services to and from Orkney, so I grabbed an opportunity to picture him beside the Rapide, which is the same aircraft as his father flew.


Also the prize draw was held with the star prize being donated by Sheila Fleet jewellery.  Sheila herself came to conduct the draw and Moya Nelson from Birsay was the lucky winner of this beautiful piece.

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Finally I will leave you with a few pictures taken through the day, you never know you may recognise yourself.  I know everyone enjoyed themselves but I will let the pictures speak.

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I ended up at the King St Hall last night watching an excellent presentation by Richard Fresson followed by Ian Brown from The National Museum of flight.  All things going well, I will be back tonight at 1930 tonight to watch what looks like a very interesting presentation from Robert Foden who does so much for aviation in Orkney.

Hope to see you there, enjoy your day and thanks for taking the time to read.

All the best

Neil 😉

Lucky white heather Malcolm?

What can I say other than what a fantastic start to the Orkney Aviation Festival.  People started arriving earlier than expected with anticipation of what was to come.

The weather held for most of the day with just a small break while a dreich patch passed through allowing the Scillonia Staff to have a well earned cuppa.

There was an excited buzz around the terminal, in particular from Malcolm Parsons who is the OIC North Isles Airfield Superintendent and also has the accolade of being the first person to check in for the first flight.

AS the morning progressed and the wind direction meant using runway 14, Malcolm was bumped not once but twice and ended up on flight 3.  This was not a problem though as he got the prime seat inside the Rapide and enjoyed his flight immensely.

Thanks for the company Malcolm and have a great holiday in Florida.  I was asked not to use the picture by Moya but hey ho, you know me 🙂


After Shona, Laurie and David arrived (Scillonia), it did not take long until things were under way.

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This trip was particularly special for Al Richards who is pictured above in picture 5 as not only was he on the first flight, it was also his birthday treat.  We hope it was most enjoyable.

Then it was the end of the first flight and a photo opportunity.  Here is the first group which includes the Jenkins Family from Nairn and Al.


The next pictures are specially for David Tait who works for BP Northair at the Airport.

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I have not photographed everyone, however, the next couple are of Richard and Willie Shearer, great supporters of these events and George Stevenson who was the winner of the Living Orkney competition, I am told.

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You may have noticed the attire Richard Shearer was wearing very dapper and appropriate.  Outstanding!

The next picture is just one I liked showing the old and the new in the same picture.



And this one just because I liked it.

Believe it or not at this point, I have just lost half an hours work as it did not save the draft. Happy days, or it was when unexpectedly I was invited to join the last flight of the day along with Liz Harcus, Security Manager.  We jumped at the chance and I took a few pics on the way.

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The next two give you an idea of the cabin of the aircraft.  You may notice Ian Brown, Curator of the National Museum of flight unsuccessfully trying to hide from my camera 🙂

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All too soon the flight was over and it was my turn to be at the other end of the camera with Liz.


The final photo of today is of the Scillonia Team, David, Shona and Laurie who brought this beautiful aircraft to Orkney and were a delight to work with.

IMGP3596There are a few days to go yet but thanks in particular order go to Moya who organised the visit and arranged the flight for Liz and I, the airport fire service who were a great support when we needed them most.  The Loganair inter island team who could not have done more to help in particular Chris Burton who has recently returned to he airport family.

The hidden hero in this is Davie Berston, Airport Manager who kindly sorted out everything quietly in the background and made it all possible, HIAL and all the sponsors

I will get killed for mentioning him but hey ho 🙂  Maybe not killed but the coffees will be on me tomorrow.

Thanks for taking the time to visit

All the best

Neil 😉


Ain’t she a beauty

The day is almost upon us and the second Orkney Aviation Festival is upon us.  G-AHAG, the beautiful Dragon Rapide arrived last night after a long journey north and was put to sleep in a cosy hangar thanks to Vic Murphy and his staff from Loganair.

Hopefully I will post some of the best pictures here over the next few days and thank you to the Scillonia Staff for allowing me access to the aircraft.  The weather was a little dreich yesterday but it was a bit brighter today so hope the photos are a little better.

Remember to keep checking here for photos, Kirkwall Airports Facebook page for the latest updates and of course my Orkney Aviation Facebook page where I will share any and all of your pictures for everyone else to enjoy.

Let the fun begin 🙂

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The small aircraft pictures are the support aircraft which arrived at the same time namely a Jodel and a Piper Super Cub.  I can’t finish any post without the immortal words “and the inside” so here is the cockpit for those that are interested


Thanks for taking the time to read and enjoy the festival.

All the best

Neil 😉

Holidays are over (For me anyway)

Oh well, my break is over and life back to normal.  Kids back to school on Tuesday and County Show over so next we have winter which only finished in July from last year.  I never got the chance to visit any airports on my holidays but did get to see the Armstrong museum in Bamburgh Castle last week.

I hope you can read the information cards on each display item, but it was fascinating to see these items.  I normally photograph complete planes but felt these were worthy of sharing.

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The hardest one to photograph was the Tornado part which upset my laser autofocus but where there is a will there is a way.

Back to Kirkwall where there have been a number of interesting aircraft this week.  Starting of with this PA27 which left for Copenhagen today.


This beautiful Phenom 100 landed yesterday and is here for a few days.


This C560 landed this morning


And finally this lovely little Europa came in from just outside Elgin for a few hours.


An hour and a bit from Elgin is pretty impressive.  Anyway that’s all for now.  Thanks for taking the time to read.

Till next time

Neil 😉