Let me tell you about Flying In Scotland .com, a young and ambitious company, a dedicated site for all who have looked to the sky with longing. I aim to replace wonder with knowledge, shattering myth and making aviation accessible to as many people as possible.
I am a pilot with flying time on Group A, microlights and gliders, so I will be flying around Scotland gathering information, images and experiences to guide and inspire you, while promoting aviation in Scotland. I love flying in all forms, from foot launched to fast jets, it's all about having fun, connecting people and supporting business.
Who is it for?
Anyone who seeks to experience our beautiful country from the air, whether learning to fly, taking a trip or ticking off something exciting from the "bucket list". Flying is as exciting as you imagine but probably more accessible and affordable than you might think. Of course there are high end expensive options but there are also ways to fly for a lot less than you expect.
I created Flying In Scotland because I had a life changing experience that I think is worth sharing. My first flight was in a De Havilland Chipmunk when I was 13. I had aspirations at the time to pursue a career in the Navy, my humble background did not induce me to think of flying as a career, certainly not as a hobby. I thought as many others do, that it was beyond my reach.
As a young Air Cadet I went to what was then RAF Turnhouse in Edinburgh, which is now part of the airport. After a short briefing they put a parachute on me and I waddled out to an aircraft in RAF markings that sat where Spitfires had once waited for the outbreak of war. I was helped into the cockpit behind a serving RAF officer who took us out to the runway in short order. That man asked if I was OK, opened the throttle, and changed me forever.
As we took to the air he talked me through what he was doing as the view expanded and the world shrunk as my personal horizons did an impression of the big bang. In the next twenty minutes he showed me that this was something I could do. He dismissed my doubts, fears and shot down my excuses, with ease, in a very supportive way while chuckling as he had probably heard it all before. Against guidelines he took us through a loop and barrel roll, the G forces crushed the last of my doubts, I was hooked.
I walked away from that aircraft as a different person, ten feet tall with a new ambition and a complete inability to look up without wishing I was there. I'd taken control of an aircraft, looking out over a wing with a Royal Air Force roundel on it, having reached for the sky and connected with history. The sense of achievement was incredible, I still had a long way to go but the process had begun.
Life twisted and turned and plans came and went with varying degrees of success but a common thread remained.
After thorough searching I have not found a website or publication about flying in Scotland. Most popular magazines tend to focus on events that are very much in the South of England, nothing though to inspire or show the way for those like me who want to find out more about where to fly in Scotland.
I think this is an opportunity missed as there are events and communities throughout Scotland with a mutual interest in flying but you have to look very hard to find them.
My aim is to bring all aspects of flying together and unite them in the hope that people with an interest in aviation don’t have to travel huge distances or scour the internet to get airborne. There is an active flying scene north of the border but it is quite fragmented with each sub niche serving its own members quite well but little to engage or serve the newcomer to flying or visitors to the country.
As the site grows and evolves with customer feedback and demand at the heart of what we do, we have also adapted. In addition to this online magazine we provide services to businesses and individuals in the form of written content for web and social media and a range of photographic services.
I hope you enjoy the site and that you will follow my blog. Please send us your stories too which will appear on a page of your own that you can share with your friends and family. Don't worry it is very simple to do and we take care of all the technical aspects.
If there is anything you would like to see get in touch and let us know. Join us on Facebook to keep up with the latest developments, events and news about flying in Scotland.
A pre lockdown flight in the Scottish Aviation Bulldog with Mike Falconer. Mike had a share in this great wee machine that was the ex demonstrator from the factory. It still has switches for rockets and guns that were options for military customers. Sadly the hardware had been removed.
The team at Flying in Scotland is a small but passionate one;
I have been besotted with flying as long as I can remember, from building Airfix kits in primary school, through the Air Training Corps who took my flying for the first time circa 1983, to gaining my own PPL in 1994. I flew Pipers from Cumbernauld, Cessnas from Prestwick and microlights from Strathaven before a long and enforced break due to family commitments. I returned to flying almost five years ago now and I am currently a member of the Scottish Gliding Union at Portmoak flying gliders as often as I can.
I have finally found the right aircraft to fully indulge my passion to take a flying tour of Scotland and take you with me to the most beautiful corners, to connect people and open up our wee sphere. I am also working on setting up my own grass airstrip, to literally get back to grass roots flying.
I have a lot to learn, and often relearn as times change and new opportunities open up. As one career choice draws to a close another one, this one, opens up. Perhaps finally I will be able to do what I have always wanted to do? These lessons will I hope, inform and inspire others to follow their passion, not just in aviation but in all aspects of life.
There are many like it but this one is mine... This is the only example in Scotland at the time of writing and one of only a handful so far in the UK. It is a full Group A two seater with the wheels and controls all in the proper places. Right hand for the stick and left hand for the throttle, what more do we need? the Trail comes as a kit with a choice of engine. This one was built by two different people as the first builder became ill and decided to pass it on for completion. It was finished by the UK distributor, Sprite Aviation, and Graham Smith has continued to advise me, even though I did not get it directly from him. Please come and say hi if you see me on the airfield.
Future projects include organising tours to open up our beautiful country to many more people, a guide book to flying in Scotland and video documentaries from locations of interest.
I believe flying suffers from a real image problem, it is really not just for the very wealthy or very clever. Yes it can be expensive, but there are ways to take to the air that cost you nothing. I intend to show you how you can fly, have life changing experiences and do more than you thought you could without breaking the bank. It can be done.