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Monday, 29 June 2009 14:01 Last Updated on Wednesday, 01 July 2009 13:19
A New Meaning For Beachcraft?
At some point in our microlighting careers, we have either done it or dreamed of that blissful low pass flight along the golden sands of an empty beach. What could be more satisfying than this particularly on a summers morning or late evening?
Well now imagine that dream going oh so terribly wrong when you decide to just do a touch and go, or skim those back wheels along the beautiful golden stuff. Because that’s what happened recently to Keith Brown at Sandwood Bay in remotest Sutherland when he decided that he would touch down on the bay's golden sands on a flight around the headland. As his wheels touched down they instantly got bogged down in the soft sand.
Luckily for Keith the plane was going slow into the wind when it hit the ground and he managed to walk away unscathed. The plane has now been totally dismantled and carried out from the beach, to be stored in a local crofter's shed four miles away.
The bay is between Kinlochbervie and Cape Wrath in Sutherland and is owned and protected by the conservation body the John Muir Trust, which does not normally welcome such arrivals. "The sand dunes around Sandwood are very fragile and this is a very sensitive time for breeding birds such as Skylarks and Meadow Pipits," explained conservation manager for the Sandwood estate Cathel Morrison.
It was out with the spanners for Keith as he had the labour-intensive job of having to dismantle the plane by hand and together with 13 other able-bodied men carried the fuselage, engines and wings back to a nearby car park.
The 3-Axis microlight will now be transported back to its Bedfordshire base, where it is to be re-assembled.