Friendly, Courteous and Helpful

For the past week we had been keeping an eagle eye on the weather.
A family member had made plans to visit us over the weekend.
He was travelling north by train then flying from Glasgow.
Would he make it over?

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You cannot organise the weather.
And the forecast was not reassuring.
So it was encouraging to know his plane had taken off.

Hebridean ‘Islander’ on the apron

The question is not whether it will berth – it is whether the plane will land.
Wind speed and direction are a determining factor.
This is especially the case in the evening
when only the main runway can be used.

The Twin Otter from Glasgow approaching from Scarinish

Poor visibility is the major factor in the plane not landing.
Sometimes the plane circles and then turns back.
On other occasions it is cancelled.

The Twin Otter beneath the wing of the Islander

Thankfully there was a weather window on Saturday evening.
During the afternoon the cloud ceiling had gradually risen.
He was going to make it. Yes!

The Twin Otter taxiing after landing – in the background Parkhouse

It was a greatly relief to welcome our son.
There were others thankful to see friends or family arriving.
Some passengers  were from the previous evening’s flight that had failed to land.

Sunday was a wild day.
The ferry ran to an amended timetable.
It departed Oban at 4:00am and arrived at Tiree at 7:15am
All day the wind speed rose with the gusts eventually peaking at 62mph.

The two aircraft on the apron

Almost unbelievably the plane landed on Sunday afternoon.
We later learned that it did not taxi to the Terminal Building.
Passengers would have been transferred by minibus.

Boarding the Islander – note the SMALL steps provided

With sunrise today came a wintry blue sky.
However there were also threatening dark shower clouds.
Nevertheless when both planes arrived they had no problem in landing.

The pilot about to board the Islander

The first plane to arrive was from Oban and the neighbouring island of Coll.
It was also the first plane to take off – taking its 2 passengers to Oban.
The next plane to land was from Glasgow International Airport.

The Islander beneath the wing of the Twin Otter

Briefly there were 2 planes sitting on the apron.
First to take off was the Hebridean ‘Islander’ for Oban.
Then shortly afterwards it was up, up and away for the Loganair ’Twin Otter’.

The Oban bound Islander in the air – Ben Gott is the backdrop

Most of the island’s mail arrives and leaves by plane.
It is always amazing just how many parcels arrive in this way.
So you will normally see the Royal Mail van meeting the Glasgow plane.

The Twin Otter on the apron with the steps just lowered

On the Mainland, especially in the cities, you are all too aware of ambulances.
There are the blue flashing lights and the sound of the sirens.
We have our island based ambulance service.
And there is the Air-Ambulance.

Today’s Mail arriving

The sound of an unexpected aircraft may be a private plane.
But more often than not it is the Air-Ambulance.
Many are so thankful for this provision.
It can be a life saver.

The short walk from the terminal building to the waiting aircraft

Tiree Airport is small in comparison to Edinburgh, Glasgow or Heathrow Airports.
But it is big in the level of service – where people are treated as people.
The staff are both friendly, courteous and helpful.
And we appreciate them.

The Twin Otter takes off – bound for Glasgow

This is ‘Life on Tiree’.

Up, Up and Away – Arriving shortly in Glasgow