So driving past Ashaig the other day, this was in – I’ve seen it around a few times it seems to have been quite busy for the past couple of weeks.
A quick chat with one of the people looking after the aircraft on the day shows up some interesting information, which I’ll add to and put in the post for information.
The aircraft has quite an interesting history, having been built in 2001 it has been around the block a bit. It’s US history is as follows, with a manufacturers serial (Construction) number of 20800340 to start the trace with we can find the following information. Please note that the dates are the last date that the entry appears in my database, so as an example Boothbay had the aircraft from the 4th 0f June 2001 until the 8th of August 2008.
| N985SC | CESSNA AIRCRAFT COMPANY | Historic | 2001-06-04 |
| N985SC | BOOTHBAY REGION BOAT YARD | Historic | 2008-09-08 |
| N985SC | REGISTRATION PENDING | Historic | 2008-09-15 |
| N985SC | WELLS FARGO BANK NORTHWEST NA TRUSTEE | Dereg | 2008-09-17 |
As can be seen from the time line above, the aircraft really only had one operator in the United States, before it was sold on to Dubai owners – it was probably retro fitted with Air Conditioning at this point. After leaving the US, the aircraft operated in Dubai and around the Persian Gulf for a number of years as A6-TDA, where it was operated by TDIC (Tourist Development and Investment Company) before arriving in the UK after being purchased by – Aerodynamics Ltd of the Isle-of-Man. Now dry leased to Loch Lomond Seaplanes and operated under the Skye Seaplanes banner.
This aircraft will probably operate out of Ashaig from Monday to Thursday for most of the summer, although if there is demand it may operate more frequently. This is really good news for the air field, there is now a manned office for much of the time that the aircraft is there so hopefully the word will spread and more general aviation will be attracted to the strip.
During the conversation that I had with the person at the strip, who was at the time cleaning the aircraft. I was surprised to find out that there are some 300 plus booked seats and that good weather increases that dramatically, so maybe the passenger figures for the strip will be a good number this year. Although the figures could probably be a lot better, the person that I was talking to was lamenting the lack of landline or mobile signal at the airfield – still one thing at a time eh?