What’s that in the sky?

The Trickeys pictured at Longside before their flight.
The Trickeys pictured at Longside before their flight.

AN Aberdeenshire couple have completed an unusual flight from one end of the UK to the other.

Dick and Maggie Trickey flew from Longside airfield to Land’s End in their two-seater autogyro.

The couple, who live at Ythanbank, made the 700-mile journey in stages over four days and encountered atrocious weather.

They bought the autogyro, similar in design to a helicopter, last November and Dick, a commercial helicopter pilot, qualified on the machine in January. It is kept at Longside.

His wife clocked up around 45-50 hours flying time before they made the Land’s End trip.

Maggie, 65, said: “We have been going to Land’s End by car for years so we thought we could do it this way.It was a big challenge but exhilarating. Coming down into Cornwall was absolutely beautiful.

“I believe I’m the first woman to have flown in a two-seater autogyro from Longside to Lands End.”

For Dick, 62, who comes from that area, it was a bit different from offshore flying.

He explained: “I have been flying offshore for so long that flying over land is a different skill. For me it was quite a challenge doing that kind of aviation. You have got to stay in visual contact with the ground and always have somewhere you can land.

“We were flying at about 800 to 1,000ft and some of the weather at times was becoming challenging rather than enjoyable, but a lot of it we did enjoy.”

The couple made meticulous plans for the flight and were in regular contact with air traffic controllers during the trip.

Maggie said they received tremendous support from their family and also from people at the various stopovers.

A week after they returned home they flew the two-seater to John O’ Groats.