It’s beginning to look a lot like christmas


I thought as christmas was edging ever closer, it was time for a post before the year is out and 2014 is upon us.   We have had some terrible weather lately with lots of wind and heavy rain.  Being Kirkwall, the pilots are used to it and try their hardest to keep things as normal as possible.

On one of the worst days of rain and wind, we had a visit from VP-CRR, a Challenger 604 which had a spectacular landing in the wet.  The photo is terrible but it gives you an idea of the conditions on the day.


And a much better one when it was parking at the terminal.


We had a short visit from XZ586 which was in for a refuel.  It has been a while since I have seen one of these at Kirkwall.


We have also had the first of our snow, interspersed with high gusts which made some interesting spotting for the public but these guys (and ladies ) do an amazing job.  Nothing would happen without the hard work of the Airport Fire Service and MT team who keep the runways open.


Last week we had a charter in from Southend, I think this aircraft was from Jota Aviation but registered to Aerodynamics in the Isle of Man.  Obviously a King Air 200.


And finally we have an extra mail plane this month over and above the Ben Air Guys who do such an excellent job bringing our christmas stuff in despite the weather.  This Metro Liner is operated by a german company called Bin-Air with the Captain coming from Portugal and the First Officer from Sweden.  ( Time for a correction as it turns out I had it the wrong way about!  The Captain is Johan from Sweden and the First Officer is Nuno from Portugal!  Nice for Nuno to come to Kirkwall to gain a promotion.  They left today 17/12/13 as their tour of duty is complete.  Pleasure meeting you and safe journey home) Nice to see them in the terminal and becoming part of the furniture.


That’s about it for this year.  Thank you to everyone who has taken the time to visit this blog over the year.  I enjoy doing it but wish I had more time to do it justice.

I wish you all a very Merry Christmas when it arrives and trust 2014 gives you success, health and happiness.

All the best

Neil 😉


Girl power at KOI

Well the cold snap has arrived at Kirkwall and if you believe some of the weather reports we are in for a hard time in Orkney.  Time will tell.  It’s a while since I updated the blog and although it has been very busy, I have very little to show for it.

We have had many spectacular sunsets but at the airport we get spectacular sunrises! The first bit of news is related to the post title.  We have a new pilot at Kirkwall on the inter island service, namely Rebecca Simpson who is/was a Saab pilot and has been training over the last 7 weeks,

Rather than me attempting to write the story, here is a link to the Herald giving all the details.  As well as making history for being the first female Captain flying Islanders on the inter-island service, Rebecca is also the first female Loganair pilot to fly the worlds shortest scheduled service between Westray and Papa Westray.

I was kindly given photos by Rebecca taken by and copyright owned by her brother, Jamie Simpson.  My photographs can be used with permission, however, these photos cannot be used without the express permission of Jamie or Rebecca.

Rebecca 003 -JS Rebecca 005 -JS Rebecca 008 -JS

We also had an unusual visitor prior to Children in need day.  Pudsey visited us at the airport and flew on a number of days last week to the north isles visiting different schools,  Here he is with Loganair Supervisor, Michael Bain and Radio Orkney’s Robbie Fraser.


This morning ended up with a pleasant surprise.  A norwegian crew changeover meant we had both Bergen Air Transport’s King Airs on the apron and in the terminal were Garth, Haavard, Magnus and Trine.

With a little help from Garth, I managed to identify a couple of strange aircraft in photos which I need to scan, so many thanks for your help Garth.

The sun came out just for these pictures;

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I look forward to seeing you again on wednesday, weather permitting.

As much as I enjoy keeping this blog, it has limitations, in that, it is not easy for others to share their images.  Bearing that in mind I have taken to facebook to allow others to share their images connected with aviation in Orkney.  Find it at or type orkney aviation into the search bar.  Please feel free to like or join in.

As always, thank you for taking the time to read, much appreciated

Till next time

All the best

Neil 😉

A day at RAF Lossiemouth

Hello All

Tuesday 23rd April saw a first for me with a very kind invitation from RAF Lossiemouth to attend an enthusiasts day.  As you know I have had an affinity with RAF Kinloss and had regular photographs of Nimrod MR2‘s as they did their regular low approaches at Kirkwall.  I also have atteneded numerous events at Leuchars but for some reason I have not had the chance to visit RAF Lossie.  What a loss it seems as the visit was excellent and we were treated like lords.

A couple of months ago, a notice came out asking for notifications of interest to attend this event.  Applications were well in excess of the number of places available and we all went into a lottery to see who would get the invite.  Lady Luck was smiling and although it was a hectic two days going there and back again, I have some (in my opinion) excellent photos and some nice memories.

RAF Lossiemouth is the home of 15, 12 and 617 Squadrons all operating the Tornado GR4 and 202 Squadron who operate Sea Kings in the SAR role.  There is currently a large exercise taking place called Joint Warrior with aircraft and crew attending from many countries and is one of the largest military exercises held in peacetime.

When I look back at some of my photos, I realised that Lossie GR4’s are a familiar visitor to Orkney but they travel so fast I rarely get a decent picture.  The other thing I noticed is Lossie is very spotter friendly with loads of places for the keen or not so keen spotter to watch the goings on and to enjoy the experience.

Anyway, here are the pictures, it may seem that there are duplications but I was trying out settings on my new camera and I have to say the change has been worthwhile.  I will never be a professional but I am a happy snapper and proud of it.

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So all in all, a very good day with excellent hosts which I am genuinely grateful for.  The next time I am in Moray, I feel another visit is on the cards.

I hope you enjoy the pictures and, as always, thanks for taking the time to read.

All the best

Neil 😉

Return of the Vikings

Well, what can I say.  Happy Hallowe’en, Happy Guy Fawkes, Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, Happy Up Helly A, Happy Chinese New Year, Happy birthday Rabbie Burns.  these are some of the things that have gone on since I last posted.

We haven’t had a lot of snow at Kirkwall but we have had a lot of high winds and seriously dreich weather.  Nothing too unusula has happend at KOI since I last typed but we are rinning a pilot at the moment on Twitter to see how it works.  Find us at @KOIairport.

Just a few photos this time to let you know we are still here starting with this picture of a Zenair CH701 UL owned by a local pilot, Tommy Sinclair.


It was sitting in a field next to the airport as I was rushing to take the kids to the airport party in December.  Always time to take a photo though :).




On the 19th of December we had a flypast from a 2 seater Typhoon, sorry it was too dark to get the tail number



We had a lot of helicopter traffic over christmas and the new year, most of which I have pictures of except this new S92 G-XCII






Then an unusual sight just after New Year.  Bristoews, Bond and CHC all in the same place at the same time.



One of the perks of this job is getting to meet some very nice people who are passing through the terminal and this gentleman was no exception.  Sir Ben Kingsley was in Orkney doing research for a program he intends to do in the next couple of years and while he was at the terminal, he made time for everyone that approached him.  Genuinely friendly and interested.  Many thanks Sir Ben.



Yes, I know, we both have the same hairdresser as I have been told many times 🙂

Short ago we had an ILS approach by G-BVRJ, a 146 or should that be an RJ operated by Qinetiq



And finally the Vikings.  Today had a distinct viking flavour with LN-BAA operated by Bergen Air Transport arriving from Haugesund and OY-JRJ, an ATR42 operated by Danish Air Transport.



What a fantastic colour scheme!.  That’s it for now.  More as it happens and don’t forget to follow us on Twitter.

As always, thanks for taking the time to visit, until next time

All the best

Neil 😉

Did you think I had forgotten about Kirkwall

Thought it was about time for me to bring things up to date.  Kirkwall has been very busy and we have had a number of new and unusual aircraft in.  In a previous post I told you we had a visit by a beautiful King Air registration M-FIVE.

I got a chance the next day to take a few further pics as the pilot was very hospitable so I am now able to say “and the inside”

We had a visit from SE-DJH, Citation

And a fleeting visit from G-PDGR, obviously a squirrel

It was a pleasant surprise to find Andrew Brown back in Kirkwall with his wife, in this case G-WIFE, his C182.  I had to take a second look though as she now is the proud owner of a 3 blade prop.

Last week saw a visit by LX-JFO, a TBM850 from Luxembourg, A first for me and a seriously fast single engine plane.

It was a pleasure to catch up with some old friends when PH-RID, owned by Cartier came in piloted by Captain Morgan Beret and First Officer Alex Balcells.

We also had a couple of bizjets in today, first of all M-CICO, Falcon 50

And another first for me, HB-JRV, a Geneva based CL60

That’s about it for now apart from what I heard on the news tonight.  It seems “Mr Loganair” Scott Grier who has made Loganair what it is, has decided to retire.

He is an amazing man and is well known in Orkney.  I believe he is going stay on for the next two years in an advisory capacity, however, I and I am sure everyone else wishes him the very best.

This is Scott on the right with the local engineering team as you have probably never seen them before taken 6 years ago at the formal opening of the hangar.  Yes!!! 6 years ago.

That’s it for now, as always thanks for taking the time to visit

All the best

Neil 😉

A mix of pics

Hello and thanks for taking the time to pop past.  Have been on holiday since the last post but have finally set aside an hour to bring things up to date.

Just before heading off into the wilds of Portugal we had a couple of new visitors in for the Subsea Viking crew change.  First of all we had LN-TWL, King Air, from Norway

And D-CCIR, Dornier 328  from Germany.  To my knowledge, the first visit to Kirkwall by Cirrus Airlines.

We had a visiting Beechcraft Baron 58P D-ICVA also from Germany.  The first time I have heard of Navigation by Ipad as you will see in the cockpit photo.

And the inside

Notice anything unusual?  No dual controls but the control column is on a centre pivot and can be rotated upwards and to the right allowing you to fly the aircraft from the co-pilots seat!  Very noticeable in this pic obviously is the Ipad.  I would imaging I will get sued now by Apple for using their name without permission 🙂  Actually I much prefer Android to Apples IOS, but that is another story.

I had the good fortune to spend a couple of weeks in the mountains of Portugal in July.  My family and I stayed in a farmhouse in a little village called Outeiro de Gatos.  A wonderful little village with wonderful people.

The thing about this village is hardly anyone speaks english and we don’t speak portuguese but we managed  to communicate for the fortnight.  One thing couldn’t help but notice is how much we are ripped off by the taxation system in the UK.  Portugal may be struggling financially but even if they doubled the price of things it would not hurt their pockets.

On the final night we were in Gatos 3 course meal for 14 including wine and juice was just over £40.  Tea, coffee and beer was around 25p, bottled water was around 15p for 2 litres and cigarettes about £3 a packet of 20.  Anyway off the soapbox and back to planes.

On the way back from Portugal I took a couple of pictures just for something different

These type of planes passed every couple of minutes but sadly I did not have the time to take any more.  While on the bus at Frankfurt Airport in Germany I saw the Airbus A380 for the first time.

Incidentally, what a huge airport Frankfurt is and I never realised just how big an airline Lufthansa is.  Sadly their ground staff do not have the manners of their flying staff.  I found them rude and unhelpful, but that’s a whinge for another time.

Back to planes again, and a Boeing 777 airliner from All Nippon Airways

And back to Kirkwall where over the last couple of weeks we have been very busy due to inclement weather and a number of GA aircraft.

Starting with D-ISKY, a private charter from Germany with engineers from Blohm & Voss.  And a first for me, a BE65 aka a Beechcraft Queenair.  This particular aircraft has a bit of history.  It’s registration is N911SA which gives a clue.  It used to belong to the police in the USA.  It was built in 1960 for the military and instead of the usual V6 engines, it was fitted with more powerful V8’s.  Apparently this aircraft was frequented by JFK a number of times when in USA VIP military service.

And the inside

We also had our first visit by G-COBI, the Cobham Super King Air 350 calibrator aircraft.  A stunning bit of kit.

Yesterday brought the arrival of a couple of Tucano’s based at RAF Linton on Ouse but on detachment to RAF Leuchars.  At least they brought the sunshine with them.  Many thanks to Flt Lt’s Mark Hume and Steve Iwanek for the guided tour.

And the inside front and rear

At the same time we had a visit from M-FIVE, a stunning King Air 350 based in Southampton

And last one for this post, G-REDT, a Super Puma in for a refuel.

That’s it for just now and would you believe, just a couple of weeks until the Leuchars Airshow Shaping up to be a good one but as yet the flying programme is missing the good old F16 but there is time yet.  As always I will post my pictures here.

Thanks for taking the time to read this post

All the best

Neil 😉

Olympic Flame comes to Orkney

No new aircraft for you, however, as the title suggests the Olympic flame arrived in Orkney this morning and was witnessed by thousands of people as it passed through the town.

The Saab carrying the flame arrived just before 0830 in an aircraft piloted by an Orkney pilot, Captain Dave Miller.

Each photo is self explanatory so I won’t bore you with a story.

L1050484 (800 x 600)









Well done to all who took part

As always, thanks for taking the time to read

All the best

Neil 😉

Time for an update

Hello and thanks for visiting.  Not much seems to be happening lately and I haven’t updated the blog.  KOI has had many visitors but I seem to miss them on each and every occasion.  I haven’t seen a bizjet in a while but when I was away in May, I saw a jet I hadn’t seen in a long time.  The thing is it was parked at a garage in Elgin.  Always having my trusty Leica by my side, here are the pictures.




Hmm, BMW, Jimny or Buccaneer. No competition!  Anyway back to Kirkwall where we had an unusual Diamond in from Germany.  First I thought it was a DA40 but soon found out it was an HK36.  The difference is in the huge wingspan as the aircraft is also a motor glider.


This gives you an idea of the span


While I was down at the small apron, I snapped N8829P, a Comanche 260


Finally, after the Diamond Jubilee for our Queen, we had a visit from The Princess Royal yesterday who was passing through on her visits to the lighthouses of the UK with the Northen Lighthouse Board.  She came in on G-FRYI, a King Air 200 operated by London Executive Aviation.  While Doris Stout ( The mum of Cameron Stout from Big Brother ) greeted HRH on behalf of the Lord Lieutenant, I welcomed the pilot who I recognised from years ago when he was a pilot for Cobham, flying the Calibrator.  Pleasure to see you again.

HRH transferred across to the NLB Eurocopter and was quickly gone.




That’s about it for now.  The weather is awful and we are a couple of weeks away from the longest day.  Then its all downhill after that.  I must also thank Holger & Martina Scharlach, who came all the way from Hannover in Germany to introduce themselves and to photograph the Saab 340’s.

It was a pleasure meeting you both and I hope you have a safe journey home.

As always, thanks for taking the time to read, much appreciated.

All the best

Neil 😉