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A Guide to the history of British Flying Sites within the United Kingdom
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A guide to the Highland & Islands




HIGHLAND & ISLANDS

(Including CAITHNESS, CROMARTYSHIRE, INVERNESS-SHIRE, NAIRNSHIRE, ROSS-SHIRE, SUTHERLAND and WESTERN ISLES)


I now think is probably an impossibility to list many of the flying sites used in this region. They are mostly lost in the mists of time even though widespread aviation activity arrived, generally speaking, some twenty years later to this region compared with England. Pretty much from the mid to late 1920s. One useful source, for example, was to explore the air ambulance routes and history, and I am much indebted to Iain Hutchison and his most informative book ‘Air Ambulance’.

Another aspect is that the Highlands and Islands have enjoyed for many years a small but dedicated band of floatplane flyers. One of whom is a dear friend, James Roland, a senior British Airways captain who once had a share in G-DRAM, a Reims-Rocket Cessna 172 then based at LOCH EARN (PERTHSHIRE).

To celebrate the sheer freedom and diversity of this amazing kind of flying, a plan was concocted to fly the A-Z of Scottish Lochs in one day. And, this is exactly what we did, just for the fun of it. It probably set a World Record but we weren’t interested in that sort of flying, but I did produce an article for Flyer magazine for posterity.

My log book records: Taking off from Loch Earn at 10.15, then landing on Loch Tay, Loch Lyon, Loch Daimth, Loch Rannock, Loch Pattack, Loch Airkaig, Loch Oich, Loch Mhor, Loch Ness, Loch Cluanie, Loch Garry, Loch Quoich,Loch Hourn, Loch Morar, Loch Beoraid and Loch Sheil. We ‘diverted’ to Loch Leven landing at 14.02 to refuel.

Because nearly all Scottish Lochs have Gaelic names, a language which doen’t have an ‘X,Y,Z’ the obvious answer to overcome this problem was to cheat. X, Y and Z being the longest, deepest and largest Lochs. (Loch Awe, Ness and Lomond). A bit more ‘jiggery-pokery’ was involved getting a ‘J’, the Sound of Jura and a ‘W’, West Loch Tarbet but the spirit of the enterprise was the reason for doing this.

Taking off from Loch Leven we then landed on Loch Frisa, Loch na Keal, Loch Uisg, Loch Awe, Sound of Jura, West Loch Tarbet, Loch Lomond, Loch Iubnair and Loch Voil before returning to Loch Earn. On landing and shakinghands, without a word being spoken and it still being light, Jim applied the power and we took-off again to land on Loch Lubnig. Again, just for the fun of it.

I have no idea how many Lochs can be landed on, with various seaplane types of aircraft, and equally obviously cannot say how many have been flying sites over the years.



NOTES: Given my intention to try and always list the sites in this Guide under their ‘proper’ County title the sheer size of this region has lead me to provide a ‘Guide’ within a ‘Guide’. Therefore I have compiled a separate index to help you find some of the sites.

 

ACHNASHEEN see ROSS-SHIRE

ALNESS see ROSS-SHIRE

AVIEMORE see INVERNESS-SHIRE

BLACK ISLE see CROMARTYSHIRE

BRACKLA see NAIRNSHIRE

BRIMS NESS see CAITHNESS

BROADFORD see INVERNESS-SHIRE

CASTLETOWN see CAITHNESS

COLL see ARGYLLSHIRE

CROMATY see CROMATYSHIRE

DALCROSS see INVERNESS-SHIRE

DELNY HOUSE see ROSS-SHIRE

DORNOCH see SUTHERLAND

DOUNREAY see CAITHNESS

EVANTON see ROSS-SHIRE

FEARN see ROSS-SHIRE

FORT GEORGE see INVERNESS-SHIRE

GLEN BRITTLE see INVERNESS-SHIRE

GLENEGEDALE see ISLAY

INVERNESS entries see INVERNESS-SHIRE

ISLAY see INVERNESS-SHIRE

ISLE of MUCK see INVERNESS-SHIRE

ISLE of SKYE see INVERNESS-SHIRE

JOHN O’GROATS see CAITHNESS

JURA see ARGYLLSHIRE 

KILMUIR see INVERNESS-SHIRE

KINLOSS see MORAYSHIRE

KNOCKBAIN FARM see ROSS-SHIRE

LUBMORE see ROSS-SHIRE

NAIRN see NAIRNSHIRE

NIGG see ROSS-SHIRE

PLOCKTON see ROSS-SHIRE

SANDWOOD BEACH see SUTHERLAND

SEAFIELD see INVERNESS-SHIRE

SKITTON see CAITHNESS

TAIN see ROSS-SHIRE

UIG see INVERNESS-SHIRE

ULLAPOOL see CROMARTYSHIRE

WEST MURKLE see CAITHNESS 

WICK see CAITHNESS

 

                                                

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