Loganair is carrying the torch for the Air Training Corp’s 75th anniversary, helping the organisation to a transport a baton the entire length of the British Isles.
Yesterday afternoon (Wednesday, 13 July) the airline brought the specially created-baton between Shetland and Inverness and then onto the Western Isles, as part of the Air Training Corp’s 75thcelebrations.
It visited the Royal Air Forces Association (RAFA) in Lerwick, the most northerly branch in the UK and the 1731 (Isle of Lewis) Squadron of the ATC in Stornoway.
Carried by a Saab 340 aircraft, the torch touched down in Inverness Airport at 1705 before travelling to Stornoway an hour later. It landed in the Isle of Lewis at 1855 and was delivered by Wing Commander Christine Copsey of the OC highland Wing who is from Forres.
The ATC75 Torch relay started at John O’Groats on Tuesday (July, 12) and will tour the Highlands of Scotland, visiting Hector Macdonald Memorial in Dingwall, Loch Ness, Spean Bridge and the Strathspey Steam Railway in Aviemore. On Friday it will pass through Nairn Beach, RAF Lossiemouth, Johnstons of Elgin and Glenfiddich Distillery.
The baton will reach many major landmarks in the central-belt including The Kelpies and Holyrood Palace over the coming days before jetting across the Irish Sea to Northern Ireland with Flybe
This year is the 75th anniversary of the Air Training Corps which was established by Royal Warrant on February, 5 1941
Its aim was to give part-time air training to teenagers and young men who might later join the Royal Air Force and during World War 2 its numbers grew to more than 400,000 cadets.
Today the organisation has over 34,000 male and female cadets in 940 Squadrons across the UK. In addition to flying activities, the ATC offers young people opportunities in leadership, citizenship, adventure training, nationally recognised academic qualifications and the Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme.
Squadron Leader Andy Dobson said: “We’d like to extend our thanks for Loganair for playing a part in this incredible journey. It has taken years of planning to coordinate each stage of the tour and it’s great to be finally underway. The ATC is an organisation with such a fantastic history and we hope to share some of this with people along the way.
Andy Thornton, director of Flight Operations for Loganair said: “We’re proud to support such an esteemed organisation which is undertaking a tremendous feat.
“Loganair currently employs more than 180 pilots many of who are former cadets themselves – including myself.
“Good luck to everyone taking part and I look forward to watching the challenge progress.”