Scotland

Golden plane makes special flight on Orkney anniversary

Gold painted Islander plane
Image caption The gold painted Islander was 30 minutes late arriving at Kirkwall airport

A golden Islander plane has made a special island-hopping flight from Kirkwall to five of Orkney's north isles, to mark the 50th anniversary of scheduled services operated by Loganair.

It comes as the airline faces competition on Orkney and Shetland routes for the first time.

View through the Islander windscreen
Image caption The plane took off on a whistle-stop tour round five of Orkney's north isles
Flight controls
Image caption The Islander plane, which has been in service for 50 years, has operated the routes since they began
Sandy Firth
Image caption Sandy Firth from Kirkwall was on the very first north isles flight from Kirkwall ...
Flight tickets
Image caption ... he still has the return tickets he was given 50 years ago.
View from the window
Image caption The plane flew over the Orkney mainland
Firefighters and plane
Image caption First calling point for the special flight was the airport in Stronsay
Ian Cooper Stronsay Community Council
Image caption Ian Cooper, chair of Stronsay Community Council, said getting the inter-isles flights was just like getting on a bus
Propellor
Image caption Back in the air and the plane headed for Sanday
School children in Sanday
Image caption School children turned out in force to greet the flight when it landed in Sanday
Jim Lennie
Image caption Jim Lennie, who has just retired from working at the Sanday airfield, remembers having to clear cows off the landing strip - and cow manure off aircraft. He cut the ribbon to officially open the new terminal building.
View from window
Image caption The mist begins to close in as we fly from Sanday to North Ronaldsay
North Ronaldsay terminal
Image caption North Ronaldsay terminal building
Christine Muir from North Ronaldsay
Image caption Christine Muir from North Ronaldsay says Loganair pilots saved her life when she went into labour very early and she needed to be urgently taken to hospital in Aberdeen - though sadly the baby died
Wind sock at Papa Westray
Image caption It was pretty windy by the time the plane landed in Papa Westray
Group at Papa Westray
Image caption A small group gathered on the airstrip at Papa Westray for the presentation of a plaque to mark the 50th anniversary of the air service
Westray runway
Image caption The flight from Papa Westray to Westray takes less than a minute and a half - the shortest scheduled air service in the world
Crowd at Westray
Image caption A small crowd gathered at Westray airfield to watch the special plane come in ...
Westray dog
Image caption ... though some locals didn't look too impressed
Plaque unveiling
Image caption A scheduled stop off at Eday was cancelled because of timing problems, so the plane headed back to Kirkwall where Loganair bosses unveiled a final plaque in the terminal building

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