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Sea plane touches down in harbour

Pilot Hamish Mitchell's sea plane pictured in Skerries on Monday. Photo: Julie Arthur

ISLANDERS were treated to a rare view they may not have seen since the war when a Cessna FR172F seaplane landed briefly in Lerwick Harbour on Monday morning.

Having flown up to Shetland from Prestwick, pilot and owner Hamish Mitchell toured the isles on Monday.

He touched down at the Tingwall airstrip and also visited Skerries where his great-great uncle John McQuarrie had been the lighthouse keeper in 1887.

There were also reports that the plane had briefly landed on Girlsta Loch.

Mitchell was reportedly touring Orkney on Tuesday and could not be contacted on his mobile phone.

The sea plane may have been the first of its kind in Lerwick Harbour since the war. Photo: Charlie Umphray

Lerwick Port Authority deputy harbourmaster Alexander Simpson said the plane had obtained permission to land in the busy harbour.

“As soon as they land they become practically a vessel with all the navigation lights and equipment of a vessel that size.”

Simpson said he had never seen a seaplane landing in the harbour during his five years with the LPA.

He added it was likely that in fact the last seaplanes using the harbour from time to time were the Catalinas based at Sullom Voe during the Second World War.