Plane sailing for Lundy aircraft

Joseph Bulmer

A light aircraft which had a bumpy landing while visiting Lundy last week ended up with a journey to Bideford that was simply ‘plane sailing.’

Two men who flew in for lunch had a less than perfect touchdown on the island’s small airfield when their two-seater aircraft touched its nose on the ground, causing damage to the propeller and the engine.

Contact with insurers brought two specialist mechanics to the island and it was decided the aeroplane had to be shipped back to the mainland for repairs.

The wings were stripped and the craft was then loaded on to a trailer and taken to the island’s supply ship MS Oldenburg before sailing to the mainland, creating added interest for the passengers also on board.

The aircraft was offloaded on Bideford Quay and taken away for repairs.

Island manager Derek Green said this was the first time the MS Oldenburg had carried a complete aircraft, although it had transported a few microlites in the past.

“We had to choose a calm day to bring it back and had to strap the aircraft down securely to the deck,” he said. “We were delighted to be able to assist.”

Ironically this came just a few days before Lundy held its annual Air Day on Sunday. This popular event last year attracted 75 light aircraft and microlites to the island.