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Oban Airport buzzing as visitors admire aircraft from through the years

Catalina Miss Pick Up was one of the stars of the show at Oban Airport's open day. Picture by Louise Glen.
Catalina Miss Pick Up was one of the stars of the show at Oban Airport's open day. Picture by Louise Glen.

Hundreds of people turned out to admire a huge range of spectacular aircraft on show in Oban yesterday.

Oban and the Isles Airport threw open its doors for the event, which made a welcome return following the pandemic.

From one of the finest aircraft still in existence, whose kind once graced the air around the west coast town, to a bucking bronco, there was something for everyone.

Oban’s airport is a hub for flights to the west coast islands, as well as being a landing site for smaller private jets and helicopters for many a celebrity making their way to one of the five-star cruises that depart from the busy town.

Drone on show

It has recently been given a new role, as the place where school meals will be delivered from to schools across the west coast.

Remote controlled drones will be used for school meal deliveries in a major trial and will launch from Oban airport.

Pupils at Lochnell Primary, just a mile away, will be the first in the UK to receive food dropped off by the aerial devices.

The drone, which is about the width of a white-tailed eagle, was also on display.

The Wace drew a large crown. Picture by Louise Glen.

A treat for locals

But Saturday’s open day was a treat for local residents to come and have a look around some very fine aircraft indeed.

The airport is in one of the finest locations on the west coast, near Connel Bridge and overlooking the inner Hebridean islands of Kerrera, Lismore and Mull.

Drones will be used to deliver food to an Argyll school.

The largest craft on show was the Miss Pick Up, a Catalina.

She is owned by The Catalina Society, and is believed to be the last of her type still flying.

It cost £10 for a good look inside, and looked to be a great fundraiser for the volunteer crew who fly and maintain her .

Miss Pick Up

In October 2020, on a trip to the north, the amphibious craft decided she’d like to stay in the Highlands longer than the crew planned – and a major overhaul of her engine was required before she returned south to Doxford Airfield.

For those who wanted 15 minutes up in the air, a pilot was found the night before the event to make that happen.

It cost £40, for people to enjoy a trip out on the Hebridean Air Services flight to enjoy a view of Oban.

While the day started a bit blowy, it ended in glorious sunshine.

A visitor from Glasgow – a US Military, Knife 75 08-0050 CV-22B Osprey also made a special appearance – much to the delight of the crowds.

As well as stars of the sky, there were classic cars and vehicles on site as well.

A bright red Waco was offering flights in return for generous donations to the RNLI.

Hebridean Air Services found at pilot at the 11th hour to take out flight across the town. Picture by Louise Glen.

Something for everyone

The local air club also had its hanger open with members giving of their time to show off their own airplanes, and even allowing youngsters to sit in the pilot’s seat.

From every age, the vehicles’ owners are all members of Oban and District Classic Vehicle Club.

Antique fire engines, and lorries were a winner with the hundreds of children who came along.

A fight simulation ride, showed those brave enough what it would be like up in the air in a Dam Buster, and a mighty steed – a Rodeo Bull Ride – was on site for anyone who wanted to stay firmly – and in most cases quickly – on the ground.

The Catalina Society Miss Pick Up. Picture by Louise Glen.
Hebridean air services G-Hebo. Picture by Louise Glen.
Oban and District Classic Vehicle Club. Picture by Louise Glen.

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