Flying in the Scottish Highlands

Flying in the Scottish Highlands

Above; Here is the exact route taken on my final flight in July 2016

Having flown round the Highlands and Islands for more than 30 years in all types of weather, gaining  both confidence and  experience as the years rolled on, I became increasingly aware that there is no getting away from the fact that a great deal of bravery and resourcefulness was needed by those who flew in the early days of flight in The Highlands Surprisingly, many of the planes still in use today were, as flying types say, around, “when Pontius was a Pilot” Indeed a fair bit of the technology was used by Noah when he built the ark!  As the book of Ecclesiastes tells us, there is nothing new under the sun. After all flight is just journeying through air rather than water. Creation has these feathered creatures who fly so well and it was by looking closely at them that the principles of flight were understood and developed..

An early seaplane in Kyle of Lochalsh, my hometown
The changeable weather. Poor runways and lack of sophisticated navigation aids must have made it challenging. Half a century later the planes I flew may have been rough round the edges but were  both benign to handle and land. Some of these vintage machines…while a treat in the air are very challenging to land in a crosswind and even to handle on he ground.
Sat Nav image at top, worked through my iPad shows the exact route taken from Stornoway to Glasgow on my last flight pre brain tumour. The weather was challenging, to say the least. Low cloud persisted over the whole of the mainland. Coming out of Stornoway  that day  I  went very low, knowing that if I cleared  the Island  I could if necessary divert to Plockton via Skye The route taken was purposelybelow cloud because the most common cause of fatal accidents in light aircraft is controlled flight into high ground. Going above cloud in certain conditions also causes  icing on the wings with serious risk of losing control.Imagine a trip to the Highlands in this!

You will se.As shown high ground was avoided by going through the Sound of Mull. Down Loch Echt longing to reach Dunoon then turn left east  for Glasgow we were thrown about at the base of large, dark, nasty cumulus clouds, then circled over Dumbarton waiting for the jets to clear and when called went through the murk to the bright runway lights and friendly reassuring controller on final approach….tired but thinking, when can I go again? The answer: NEVER.

I flew this one in Inverness, here it is in the Sound of Mull

Where is the spiritual help, comfort guidance and reassurance usually featured in my blogs?

1 Joking apart Pontius Pilate was ahead of the time asking Jesus “What is truth?” He was indeed “Post modern” in outlook.

2 Read about Noah and you find a very clear type of Jesus. We get  clear echos of the saviour right through the Old Testament. To me this makes the bible completely credible. Noah and family were saved through trusting and obeying God.

3 we are all on a journey, If we are wise, then the bible is our EXCLUSIVE navigation. All roads do not lead to heaven. Jesus the son of God is unique, eternal and divine, THE WAY THE TRUTH AND THE LIFE Are you trusting him? The alternative is very unwise…just hoping for the best? For me a safe arrival in heaven is guaranteed.. I hope you do not consider me to be pedantic. The bible assures us that we are justified in the eyes of God through faith in Jesus his son. Do you have that great assurance of a bright and better land on the day  you leave this world behind.?

One of the nicer planes I used, a  PIPER PA 28 with variable pitch prop, fuel injection and retractable undercarriage. You could cover a lot of ground in a short time in this machine.

Give a Donation to Stirling Free Church for my book ‘One Good Owner’ at: Golden Giving





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