It’s beginning to look a lot like christmas

Hello

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.

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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 😉

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 www.airshow.co.uk 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 😉