Scotland on Floats – 2021


We wish you a very warm welcome to Scotland on Floats, and hope to whet your appetite for our exciting new prospectus. Our aims are twofold.

Firstly, we want to help promote Scotland as the alternative destination for floatplane flying.

Secondly, we aim to help you put the FUN back into your flying - without having to travel abroad or spend a fortune.

                        north of the Lake of Mentieth - April 2008 -
                        photo by DJApril
                      2007 - back on the water again First
                        flight - Dec 2006

How are we going to do that ?

We promote Scotland as a destination both for seaplane instruction and adventure sports by touring extensively - making the airframe available as a quality photo opportunity for tourism, whisky, fresh-air and adventure sports industries - and we are introducing pilots to the sheer freedom and beauty of flying floatplanes around the stunning, world-class environment of Scotland.

                        Maree Loch

If you already have a Pilot's Licence (NPPL, PPL, LAPL, CPL, ATPL, FAA) then you are ready to embark on a voyage of discovery - to rediscover flying as it should be. No landing fees and no clearances - you work out the wind direction and water state and then you choose your landing area. You will learn the skills of taxiing, mooring, docking, sailing and much much more. You can add a seaplane rating onto your licence by completing (on average) between 8 and 10hrs of flight training for the SEP(Sea) Rating. You will also need to pass the written Seamanship Exam. Alternatively you can fly as PU/T under instruction without the stress of an exam at the end, spend a few hours visiting restaurants, beaches, castles and then log the time as your biennial dual-flight with an instructor.

Initially '' can also offer shared ownership of G-DRAM, (Wee Dram), where you can learn with us as we rediscover the exciting qualities and joys of Scotland.  Contact for more details of shares and promotional opportunities.

We have been operating successfully since 2010, and are registered with the CAA as a Designated Training Organisation (GBR.DTO.0203). We have three part-time instructors and a tame in-house examiner, so if you need a revalidation, a renewal, or a new challenge. Get in touch.

We can also provide the seaplane for filming and Part-SPO work, and we have a track record in making things happen. In recent years our clients have included

·         Haig Club Whisky (David Beckham)

·         Channel 4 (Flying Across Britain with Arthur Williams)

·         Channel 5 (Rumpus Media) Walking Britain’s Lost Railways with Rob Bell

·         CBBC (Grace’s Amazing Machines)

·         Expedia (VisitBritain Advert)

·         Arte Channel (France) - Par Avion

Instruction for the SEP (Sea), Seaplane Class Rating can be booked through Scotia Seaplanes Ltd at 07710460694 or

2021 - LATEST NEWS – 2021


2 July 2021 – Our season is well and truly underway. This week we validated a father and son team in record time. We did 84 landings (waterings?), all around the Galloway Hills, including some beautiful beaching practice at Loch Dee, and operations around Clatteringshaws, The Merrick and Loch Doon. Two 8hr courses and 2 skill tests completed in 5 days. A first for our examiner!! And as I speak, Wee Dram is now splashing on Loch Lomond, doing her third Skill Test in less than a week. Fingers crossed for another successful outcome !

19 June 2021 – A rather special flight, and quite a thrill for Wee Dram, when she followed the Red Arrows as they departed Prestwick Airport ! Keep up at the back Red 17!

April 2021 – Wee Dram is just about to come out of Annual Maintenance, and we are tentatively starting to fill up the diary with rating, renewal and revalidation requests.

February 2021 – A last engine maintenance flight before going in for Annual Maintenance, and Wee Dram took the opportunity to test out her new SkyEcho2, ADSB detection against the Skyports Drone Delivery Trials currently being conducted around the west coast of Scotland. Unfortunately, despite being assured to the contrary, and stated in their ACP, the drone companies ADSB was not functioning – which kind of defeated the object of the exercise.

November 2020 - Despite the inclement weather, and flying against the ticking clock of expiring temporary extensions, we managed to use the downtime of 2020, revalidating a CRI rating and qualifiying one of our intrepid instructors as a seaplane examiner! This should bode well for 2021.

2020 - We hope you all stay safe and look forward to catching up next year when, hopefully, life returns to some more normality.

November 2019  - Really looking forward to this year’s Aerobility Aviators Ball – Heathrow T5 Sofitel Hotel on St Andrew’s Night, 30 November – this is THE Aviator’s Event for 2019, with an estimated 400 guests. Wee Dram, Scotia Seaplanes (and Seaton the Duck) are providing some sponsorship, and offering a Seaplane Adventure as an auction prize   we look forward to welcoming the lucky bidder next spring ! Remember to bring your shorts and flip-flops ….

October 2019  - Last official display of the season was an invitation to return to Old Warden for the final Shuttleworth display of the season. This was, like last year, a tribute to Air Racing, and, as Wee Dram regularly races in the Schneider Trophy, it seemed highly appropriate, and a privilege, to be invited back. The weather had other plans, and one by the one the display programme was curtailed as the 15kt crosswinds rose to 25kts and occasional gusts of 30+kts. This kept most of the precious Collection in the hangars, and sadly the planned Cessna/Spitfire/Husky combo (not something you see on many Display Programmes), was slowly trimmed back. The good news is that Wee Dram provided a ‘spirited’ 8 minute display to close the Shuttleworth 2019 season – pretty bumpy conditions, but safely conducted and hopefully ‘spirited’ enough to return in 2020!

Autumn 2019  - Well …. I hate to use the B word, but Business has been noticeably quieter this year. With all the uncertainty, enquiries from Europe have dried up, and many more seem to be keeping their hands in their pockets. It’s a shame because we have had some of the best flying weather in Scotland this summer. May was exceptional, with several adventures to Mull, Ulva, Jura and Skye.  The long flight south to Alderney was flown on 21-24 September – this time to compete once again in The Schneider Trophy – the first time since 2016 – (it was cancelled in 2017 and 2018). We flew a tight course, but the stronger than predicted winds hit our handicap and we finished a disappointing seventh. Maybe next year …

Spring 2019  - Scotia Seaplanes is now an EASA DTO (Designated Training Organisation), providing training for the SEP(Sea) Rating. We can also do Part-SPO Ops, and in May we completed some filming for the Children’s BBC programme Grace’s Amazing Machines – Grace the presenter was given a seaplane flying lesson from Prestwick to nearby Loch Doon, and she has shared her experience with 1000s of future aviators – why not watch the episode on BBC catchup!!?

October 2018  - What an exciting 2 months!! Once again we took part in the Scottish International Airshow, held over the first weekend in September. The weather was changeable, and several displays were cancelled, but Wee Dram put on an exciting display on both days, with plenty of splash-and-goes along Ayr seafront to keep the estimated 200,000 spectators entertained. And the first snows of the year in mid-October were captured in dramatic style, with a little adventure into the heart of the Scottish mountains. Bush flying at its very very best. The year was rounded off with an invitation to display at Shuttleworth Collection – in a tribute to the Schneider Trophy Races. This event saw the exceptional combination of two floatplanes chasing each other round a pseudo-racecourse, while a Spitfire provided ‘Merlin’ sound effects and visual drama a hundred feet or so above J

August 2018  - Standby your televisions !! Flying Across Britain With Arthur Williams, an inspirational beautifully crafted 4 part series takes to the air on Channel 4, Sunday evenings 1900hrs. Wee Dram and Loch Lomond will feature on the 3rd programme, which covers some of the amazing aviation experiences in Scotland. Tune in, and let us know if it inspires you !!

July 2018 – Halfway through the season and already we have had lots of enquiries for rating training, 2 successful passes and several revalidation flights. On top of that the usual 2 or 3 day adventure flying trips to Mull and beyond. Including the Third Annual Mull Treasure Hunt (featuring the magnificent Bread Arrows), some beautiful sunsets, and an Air Race win at Sherburn-in-Elmet (The Rolls-Royce Merlin trophy). The last two photos below are of a day trip to climb Stac Pollaidh, and a marvellous landing at the beautiful little Banffshire village of Crovie. Flying in and out of the newly activated grass strip at RAF Banff – home to the Mosquito Strike Wing during WW2.



January 2018 – A decision to upgrade the radios and avionics over the winter is now a reality. Fully 8.33, LPV, ILS, VOR and IFR capable with a Garmin GTN650 and twin G5s. A new fuel flow meter and EGT gauge will also make for more accurate monitoring and planning of leaning, CHTs and endurance. And …. Bluetooth music to add to the mountain experience !!


July 2017 – A delayed start to the season due to technical difficulties at the annual, but thankfully all is now fixed and the year is up and running!! And what a busy one it is looking so far. Had the privilege to fly with Arthur Williams as he toured round Scotland in his beautiful Piper Cub – hopefully some of the excitement might be coming to your screens in the autumn!! Watch this space!! We’ve also had several pilot visitors from overseas adventuring their way around the stunning west coast of Scotland. Still a few spaces left for some of our Seaplane Safaris into August and September – remember we can do 1,2,3 or even 4 day adventures. Took part in another of the Royal Aero Club RRRs Air Racing weekends on 3+4 June at Llanbedr in wildest Westest Wales – and this time, headed home triumphant – proud winners of The Gower Cup. Hoping to return to Alderney this year in September to try and improve on our Second Place in the 2016 Schneider Trophy. Congratulations to Roderick Morton in his Lake Buccaneer, who pipped us for First Place by an excruciatingly tight 7 secs !!



September 2016 – Once again, Wee Dram thrilled the crowds at The Scottish Airshow, held at Ayr seafront on Saturday 3rd September.


January 2016 – DRAM is now in for her annual maintenance, and all things going well (ulp!) should be back in the air for early March. We’ve already got some 3-4 day adventure trips booked up with clients for May, June and September – and a couple of possible students lined up for the summer – so, if you fancy putting some va-va-voom back into your flying, then please do get in touch, and we will get the good weather on order. First Air Race of the season is at Abbeville on 9+10 April 2016, so that’s a definite plan to go and defend the Battle of Britain trophy. And September could hopefully provide a repeat, with a Scottish Airshow at the start of the month, and the Schneider Trophy at the end of the month.

September 2015 – A massively eventful month, with ‘Wee Dram’ giving her first ever Air Display – in front of over 100,000 spectators - at the Scottish Airshow on Saturday 5th September 2015. Wee Dram felt hugely privileged to share this stage with the Red Arrows, the Catalina, B17, Swedish Historic Flight and, for the last ever time, the Avro Vulcan. This  culmination of 5 months planning, practice and obtaining of the necessary approvals and Display Authorisation from the CAA.

Later in September, Wee Dram headed to Alderney in the Channel Islands to take part in the famous Schneider Trophy Air Race. Originally instigated in the early 1900s as a race purely for waterplanes, Wee Dram became the first floatplane to race since the Supermarine S6 won the trophy for Britain in 1931 !! The trip included flypasts at the grave sites of several past Schneider trophy racers and personalities, including Howard Pixton, Lady Lucy Houston, RJ Mitchell, Flt Lt Sam Kinkead, Flt Lt Waghorn. Although on the day we didn’t win any trophies, we won a load of new friends and a lot of respect. I think we’ll be back to try again in 2016…..

July 2015 – Once again journeyed across Europe to Lake Wolfgangsee for the simply breathtaking  - Scalaria Air Challenge 2015the trip included a nostalgic trip home for DRAM, to Reims. The last time she flew there was in May 1969, when she was built ! Stop-offs at Headcorn, Le Touquet, Reims, the fabulous Dornier Museum at Freidrichshafen, Tannheim and a few shuttles at Salzburg, were the order of the day. The return trip a week later via lunch at Kitzbuhel, dinner at friendly Hohenems, and a breakfast trip to the old museum at Villingen-Schweningen preceded a welcome chillout with good friends at Dijon-Darois and the excitement of Aero Restauration Service !! The one day (9hour) trip home from Dijon into 30kt headwinds was a rather more gruelling undertaking, stopping off at Caen and Gloucester for some well earned tea and cake !!

May 2015 - What can I say? A month into the flying programme and it has already exceeeeeded my wildest expectations. This year it was decided that, as DRAM is a seaplane, she should enter the Schneider Trophy (please Google it if you are not aware of its significance). Initially this had been the plan in July 2006 when the floats were to be first fitted, but due to circumstances on the other side of the Atlantic they were delayed by 6 months, and the moment passed. Handicapped Air Racing, is organised by the Royal Aero Club and involves getting an FAI (Federation Aeronautique Internationale) Race Licence, insurance approval, a Royal Aero Club Handicap and partaking in two races prior to the Schneider itself (27th September 2015) on Alderney. Some common sense maths were applied to the principle of 45degree bank racing turns at speed, and Turnberry lighthouse became a practice turning point for one glorious spring evening in late April.

The race weekend at Abbeville in France (9/10 May 2015) presented itself as the perfect opportunity to get all these requirements completed, and have a continental adventure into the bargain. Seven days were set aside, and leave scrounged from the day job, and despite 30-50kt winds, a safe yet steady, route was negotiated to Abbeville, with social stops at Gloucester and Shoreham on the way out, and Cambridge and Sleap on the return. My trusty navigator flew in from Copenhagen and rendezvoused with DRAM and I in 1920s style at Brighton City (Shoreham). And so, the adventure began. Slightly nervous about flaunting the kilt after the Election Result, our whisky and tasteful shirts were warmly welcomed into the Racing fraternity, and a keen interest was taken in the two headwind generators that were attached to our amphibious aerial chariot. Saturday dawned with a sporty 20-25kt wind, resulting in the most challenging race conditions that the ensemble could remember (that may be due to old age and whisky). Despite this, Team DRAM finished a very respectable 10th out of 17, and there was much hearty congrats and cheering at the lively evening dinner.

Sunday, the Battle of Britain Trophy race day, saw perfect conditions, a gentle 10kts, and few cumulus at about 1500'. The 5 laps of 23 miles round the Somme estuary flew by (scuse the pun) at 131mph ias, and as we turned the final corner (having overtaken a Cessna152 at the second last turning point - 5kts faster) we started to get worried. Where was the swarm of RV8s and Rallyes that had screamed past us by this stage yesterday? Keeking over my left shoulder I could just see them a mile or so behind, approaching the last Turning Point .... but by this stage we could see the finish at Abbeville Airport. We passed over the Somme canal at 700ft, at which stage we could commence a final dive to 100ft toward the finish line. The nose went down, the airspeed rose, 140, 150, 160..... the altitude wound down 600, 400,200..... the line of poplars and the A16 tollroad flashed past underneath.........we could see the fear in the truck-drivers eyes .....yet, we nervously held our line, looking over our shoulders expecting to be bypassed at any second ......but it never came......the finishing line rushed past with a huge black and white chequered flag and we pulled up into a gentle climb to 1200ft and had a nervous giggle to ourselves......"did we just cross the line first?"....then the doubt sets in......."I think I cut one of the corners at TP1"......."we can't have won"........"NO WAY" . We waited for all the other racers to cross the line, join the circuit and land ahead (we needed a little more care as we could only use the intermediate exit and didn't want to hold up the landing stream with our supermarche-trolley-like taxiing tendencies). And so, to the grass parking, engine shutdown, adrenaline still racing, and the calming tick-tick-tick of a gently cooling 210HP, 5.4litre Continental flat-six (IO360DB)...... Chilling out on the grass in glorious 24deg sunshine, listening to the skylarks celebrating overhead, this felt good. A local aviateur in his World War One Royal Flying Corps SE5a replica completed the picture with a celebratory flypast (or he may have wanted a closer look at my hi-vis screaming pink and yellow beach shirt (seaplane flying de rigeur attire)). Whatever, the kindly committeee sidled up to us and with a wink of congratulations, suggested that we might like to check the results. Partly in disbelief, partly embarassed at our beginners luck and partly humbled to be the winners of such a prestigious trophy on the 70th anniversary of VE Day, we were warmly applauded and welcomed into the racing fraternity. No longer racing virgins, now we have a trophy to defend next year, and a tiny thought that maybe, just maybe, we are not in the Schneider to merely take part any more ...... addiction has never felt this good.

 2014 - Well, what looked as if it would be a quiet year turned out wildly busy, way beyond expectations. The highlights were getting two more instructors up and running, helping to take some of the pressure off the one-man-band. It also enabled us to get 4 ab-initios though their SEP(Sea) ratings, including the first to qualify at Loch Doon (a former WW1 seaplane base) since 1918!! History in the making. On top of that there were numerous 3-4 day training safaris around the west coast, taking in Oban, Mull, Plockton, Wick, Inverness and all points and lochs in between. Another highlight was a trip to the Orkney Folk Festival, Fair Isle, and the northern reaches of the Shetland Isles and Out Skerries - including landings on Scapa Flow, Lerwick Harbour (the first since Charles Lindberg) and St Ninians Isle. But the total highlight of the year was DRAM being used as the star of - David Beckham's Haig Club Whisky advert. Now shown across the world, on inflight airline videos, in airports, on TV stations and repeated in late 2015. Anyone else needing a seaplane to shine on their video … have a look at what can be done !!

2013 - Managed a few flights over the winter - weaving amongst some spectacular snowy mountainscapes - but by heck the water was bloody freezing - we need more jetties in Scotland, to save having to paddle!! After her annual maintenance DRAM was back in action early April. A two week jaunt at the end of May all around Scotland, as far north as Cape Wrath, and taking in about 20 different lochs, picking up flying students at various locations on the way. Camping at Plockton, lunching at the rollvan on Loch Lochy, or slumming it in the occasional 4star hotel. Variety, and good weather, was the spice of 2013. In July, we took the FlyScotland message to Scalaria Air Challenge 2013 at Lake Wolfgangsee in Austria. We lunched at the Red Bull Hangar at Salzburg, and were entertained at Lake Wolfgang as VIP guests, by the hosts and sponsors (Gulfstream, Lufthansa, Mercedes and Scalaria Hotel). We were treated to amazing flying displays by Team Red Bull, and we took in some sightseeing amongst the spectacular alpine backdrop. We look forward to returning in 2015 and meeting up again with the Catalina, the Dornier Do24T, Beavers, Cessnas and Super Cubs from Germany, Norway, Poland, Switzerland, France and Italy. The sad event of the year was the last ever RAF Leuchars Airshow. As a wee boy in short trousers I well remember being lifted over the fence exactly 40 years ago, at Leuchars 1973, to sit in a Hawker Hunter cockpit - and that set in chain an inspiration and chain of events that led me into aviation as a career. Forty years later, it was a privilege to show other youngsters around Wee Dram. Hopefully the inspiration can be passed on to the next generation.

Svolvaer - Lofoten Islands - spot the DRAM Look left, look right and look left again
A summary of 2012.
An incredibly exciting year. Started with some flying and interviews around Skye and Loch Ness, with French TV Station Magneto who are putting together a series of documentaries on what inspires pilots around the world. Series due to go on air in May 2013. In mid-May we headed south to the bi-annual Biscarrosse seaplane meet - stopping off at Dunkeswell, Dinard, Chateau Monhoudou and Amboise en route. Returning (after enforced delay due to wind, rain and low cloud) via Caen (with 40kt headwinds), Gloucester and Halfpenny Green. Good to catch up with old frriends and get the low down on the next adventure ..... which was ...... a trip to Norway and the Arctic Circle at the end of June 2012. First leg was 3hrs, direct from Prestwick to Sumburgh, and then a 197nm hop over to Bergen. Now beer may be £10 a pint, but what a stunningly beautiful country - and can't wait to return. Planning started a few months in advance, getting local advice (thanks Cyrus, Frank and Daniel) on fuel availabilities and charts. The adventure continued north, stopping off at Kristiansund, Bronnoysund (for the longest day), crossing the Arctic Circle south of Bodo, and then carrying on as far as 69 Deg North. Spent 4 amazing days based at Helle on the Lofoten Islands - thanks Frank :) - taking in the Trollfjord, VFR flying at midnight, beer-drinking with Wideroe crews and doing lots of inter-island splashing about near Harstad and beyond. All too soon we had to head south again, keeping a weather eye open for the hoped for hop back across to Scotland. A nightstop at KristiansUnd then we headed for some landings at Geirangerfjord, Bergen and lunch at the beautiful Rosendal Fjordhotel. By this stage low vis and clag had settled in on Scotland and showed no sign of shifting. So, rather than heading off on a 260nm direct route with 350nm endurance and no diversions, we headed off on the southerly route toward Denmark and the low Countries. We got as far as KristiansAnd until the weather socked us in yet again - nevertheless, we met up again with Daniel (who was night-stopping with a Wideroe Dash 8) and made the most of live music, tasty beer, free coffee and wifi and the Italy v Germany World Cup semi - now poor Daniel knows what it feels like to be a Scotland fan ..... Eventually we had to adandon DRAM for 3 weeks and fly home by (whisper it) Ryanair. Still that was the excuse for a return rescue 3 weeks later .. but therein lies another tale :)

August/September 2011. Was grounded with a broken arm during July, but fully back flying by mid-August, just in time for some late summer adventure and training. Islay Airshow (Aug 13th), and then a week around the west coast of ScotlandRAF Leuchars Airshow (Sept 10th), including Story-Telling sessions about “Wee DRAM” for the kids. Schneider Trophy Commemorative Flypast (Isle of Wight), (Sept 12-15th) and the Fermanagh Seaplane Festival (Sept 23-25th).

Summer 2011 - Aircraft Rental and Training. G-DRAM is back on the Public Cat, and has been available since May 2010 for seaplane rental and differences training through Prestwick Flight Centre (01292 476523). Located at Glasgow Prestwick International Airport (EGPK) - a handy Ryanair hub .... G-DRAM is classed as a complex aeroplane, with retractable gear and constant-speed prop, so not only do you get the exciting Seaplane Experience, you will also get differences training thrown in !! On top of that, all water landings are free, which can make an hour in the circuit a very cost effective hour indeed !! So, if you fancy giving seaplanes a try, or if you already have a seaplane rating that needs revalidating, then pop along to Prestwick.

25 December 2009 - Happy Christmas and a Prosperous 2010 to all those who like a DRAM. The latest Christmas present will be a totally new engine for DRAM in February 2010. Ordered through Richard Boddie at Norvic Aero Engines. This Factory Exchange Continental IO360DB will get DRAM off the Private Cat back onto the Public Cat and available for rentals, revalidations, shares and instruction. More to come in the New Year including .... a 2 week adventure to Bordeaux in France for Europe's Largest Seaplane Airshow - "Biscarrosse 2010" (commemorating the 100th Anniversary of the world's first ever seaplane flight)..... a Dawn-to-Dusk challenge ... more restaurants ... more cycling .... and more fun ....

17 Sep 2009 - Videotime ....  Spent a fun Thursday afternoon and evening making a movie with a pal from work. Headed up to Loch Eck for some beautiful scenery and glassy water. The music is by two Scottish bands .... 'The Red Hot Chilli Pipers' and 'The Chair'. If you wonder what all the fuss is about seaplanes and Scotland ... then maybe this little piece of video will persuade you to come and have a shot .... ? having trouble downloading the video ? Go to and search for Fiddlers DRAM. Enjoy J

12 Sep 2009 - Leuchars. Fortunately it was no repeat of 2008 .. at least not as far as the weather is concerned. A simply stunning sunny east-coast day, with over 45,000 visitors and some superb displays. Many many thanks to Derek, PopPrune, Seaton the Duck and Ricardo - who all helped out with showing dozens of kids (large and small) around the intricacies of a seaplane. We also sold a few photies and raised a wee bit for Help for Heroes. You can read an enthusiasts report of the show here. Despite the parking chaos, despite the lack of Tornadoes and despite the curry running out in the VIP tent ... it was a cracking day out. We were lucky enough to be right on the centreline of the Reds display, but they still caught us napping coming in over the trees - that WOULD have been a superb picture if the camera had switched on quicker ... anyway, we are all looking forward to 11 Sep 2010, the 70th Anniversary of the Battle of Britain - the summer leave has already been booked. Hopefully see you there !

Seaton the Duck has the best view in the
                      house ...  Takes me back to the summer of 1971 - RAF
                      Valley and Airfix models. Where this aviation bug
                      took hold.  Steaming home to Prestwick .....

Aug 2009 - Alderney/Jersey/Ireland - The Mysterious Tale of the Disappearing Bicycle ....  A word of warning .... if you visit Alderney .... lock up your bike !! The two week cycling adventure around Ireland suffered a last minute amendment as the Atlantic coast weather stayed drizzly and grey. Instead, we headed south, for the sunshine, stocking up on Banks's Mild, pork scratchings and Black Country hospitality at Walsall International Airport (AKA Ha'Penny Green). Clearing customs we then probed further south, ending up on a campsite on Alderney. You would think that on an idyllic island paradise, far far away from the petty bureaucracy of the mainland, that camping by your aerial chariot might just be 'de rigeur' ..... Sadly not. Flourescent jaikets abound and the nearest (and only) campsite, is a good 3 miles away at the other end of the island. No chance of an overnight pitch like Plockton or Mull last year ... ho hum! But that didn't dampen our spirits. Good food, good weather, and a spontaneously random lunchtime reunion with Stevie Muir (controller at Guernsey). We had a superb night in the Coronation Inn (cheers Coxy), despite losing one of our wheeled chariots at 1am. Fortunately the posters worked, pricking the conscience of our errant bike thief - and it appeared (courtesy of the Alderney Constabulary) 10 minutes before we departed for Jersey. A couple of bits were missing which kind of put the kybosh on the 'cycling' part of the cycling holiday, but undeterred we had 2 super days on Jersey, before swinging north and heading for Plymouth (pee-stop), Waterford, Dingle Bay and Enniskillen. The highlights were driving round Dingle and being helicoptered in to the Foynes Flying Boat Museum on the River Shannon. We cannot thank Gerry H at Brittas, Brian Cullen at Killaloe and Steve+Tracie Powell (at EGAB) enough for their generous hospitality and safe moorings :) Thanks guys !!

Crimewatch Alderney .....  We
                      nearly camped in the carpark at Wateford, but then
                      plumped for nearby Tramore ... beware the price of
                      taxis and Guinness ... ouch ...  Foynes Museum has a fullscale replica of a
                      Boeing 314 flying boat .... and it does a fine
                      Irish Coffee ....

25 July 2009 - Loch an t-Seilich - (Loch of the Willows). Our previous 3 day adventure had ended at Peterhead (Longside), so after the next set of nightshifts, it was up for the early train from Prestwick to Aberdeen. An 8am departure would get me there for 2pm and I planned a leisurely meander back through the Cairngorms. I was joined by Ken, one of the stalwarts at Buchan Aero Club, on the understanding he'd be making his own way home from Prestwick. Well, we had a truly memorable 3hr trip. Ken, being the editor of the Fraserburgh Herald has quite a way with words, and as a consequence his version of events will be published in Pilot magazine around February 2010. I won't spoil the surprise, suffice to say one of the many highlights was a wee splashdown and Ovaltine stop on Loch an-t-Seilich (Loch of the Willows) - I have never quite heard the sound of silence like it. Stunning simply stunning.

15 July 2009 - Barra Beach - Life is Grand, Land on the Sand. Last summer we were thwarted in our attempts to get to Barra by a looming wall of black Cunim-ness. Older and wiser we determined to make the most of our days off, so, finishing nightshift at 7am we then headed for a wee sleep. The weather had been dreadful the previous 3 days, 20mph winds and driving rain, and the prospect of getting across the 100nm of water to Barra seemed remote. Awake at 2pm, the sun was breaking through and the forecast was favourable with a slight headwind, so off we tootled to Prestwick to fuel up. We had a beautiful trip, splashing down on Loch Ciaran (Kintyre) on the way. Our route took us over the Paps of Jura, the sparkling turquoise gems of Iona and Coll, finishing with a successful low level recce for swimming beaches on the west side of Barra. Now, as a little aside, Barra is operated by HIAL (Highlands and Islands Airports Ltd) who have a bit of a reputation of being inflexible and dogmatic (in that small town/local council kind of way). HIAL seem very determined to insist that you can only use the beach runway when the Control Tower is manned, even going so far as to file MORs on pilots who land outside 'their' hours. The truth I believe is less prosaic - at closing time the beach reverts to being a public beach, which, providing you are not endangering yourself or others, is quite acceptable as a landing ground. DRAM of course had other options .. we could have landed on the sea, lowered the gear and then driven out of the water ... I'm sure that would have got someone's knickers in a twist. Anyway, not wishing to stir up a hornet's nest (or land on corrosive salt water) we diplomatically tried our best to abide and touched down on the sand at 1627, a mere 30 secs after the Twin Otter schedule had departed for Glasgow .... and only 3 minutes before the airport 'closed' at 1630, thereby creating the only confliction of the day for the overworked FISO in the tower. We were warmly greeted, made full use of the excellent cafe in the terminal, shared a cold beer with the airport security guards, and then pitched camp a mere 10 yards from our trusty aerial chariot. Unfolding the bikes .... we then had an idyllic cycle to the Bay of the Seals for a wee swim in the Atlantic Surf, serenaded by seals yawning and stretching in the 20degree sunshine. At this time of year the entire island is carpeted in wild flowers, the closer you look the more you see and the warm balmy breeze off the sea carries the fragrances of clover vetch and wild orchids for miles - absolute paradise that we cannot recommend highly enough. A quick hillwalk up Beinn Mhartain and we retired to the Heathbank Hotel for a couple of well-earned pints. Cycling back to the airfield it was still light enough at 11pm to cook dinner on the Trangia, and even better ... there were no midges !! The next morning we crossed Skye and the Highlands, refuelled at Inverness en route for Peterhead, and got picked up by friends who were staying at the village of Crovie, near Banff. We had two most relaxing days, playing with the kids on the beach, but when it came time to depart, solid cloud at 300 feet, 20kt crosswinds and driving meant bus and train would take the strain on our voyage home.

                      tropical paradise of the HebridesFreeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeedom
                      the tent ....Twin
                      Otter "LOGAN852" taxies out for a beach
                      departure to Glasgow

6 June 2009 - Perth Airshow. Organised by the Scottish Aeroclub, Morris Leslie and ACS Engineering. Perth Airshow was the place to be over the weekend of 6th June 2009. It was a real family event with the Red Arrows, Yaks, Husky Floatplane, Pitts, Beech200, balloon-busting and a Typhoon all doing their thing to entertain the 5000+ visitors - you can have a look at the photos here....! Anyway, good effort by all involved and as a bonus, all the 130 ATC cadets who helped out managed to get flights the next day ... some even landed on the River Tay !

30th May 2009. A certain little aeroplane had a significant birthday.... and to think she took to the same French skies less than 3 months after Concorde 001, F-WTSS not a million miles away in Toulouse. Hopefully there wasn't quite as much smoke at Reims !! I like to think that whoever was building her stopped, had a glass of wine and toasted the health of F-WTSS ..... Anyway, an informal party was held on the 30th at Prestwick Flight Centre with lots of cake, sandwiches and small kids with big grins .... retro French chic ....

22nd-25th May 2009. Headed south from Orkney and across the water to the International Seaplane Festival at the Share Centre near Enniskillen. Enniskillen is situated on Lower Loch Erne and was home to 2 flying boat bases (Castle Archdale and Killadeas) during WW2. On the Saturday, 5 seaplanes (from Northern and Southern Ireland, Scotland, Netherlands and England) landed on the river in the Town Centre, with DRAM having the privilege of taking retired Catalina pilot Ted Jones along. Sunday was the Open Day where several thousand visitors turned up to see what sea-planing is all about. On Monday we flew a tribute to the crews of Coastal Command along the Beleek/Donegal Corridor - a narrow strip of Irish airspace that was used as a shortcut, saving the Sunderland and Catalina crews an hour long detour during their U-boat patrols. The BBC and RTE came along for the ride and we got some excellent filming and an interview with Ted on the flight from Loch Eske (near Donegal). Huge thanks to Steve and Tracie Powell at The Amphibious Flying Club and Waterways Ireland for organising and sponsoring the event.

18-21st May 2009. Went 'stravaigin' around Scotland, visiting Loch Shiel, Loch Morar and a few more lochs near Achnasheen, with overnight stops at Plockton, (where we took part in a mini retro-remake of The Wickerman) and Peterhead Longside, (where we were warmly welcomed and biscuited by Alfie, Ken, Bruce and the Buchan Aero Club). Then on to the Orkneys, for a quick overnight visit to the Orkney Folk Festival.

1-3 May 2009 - Glenforsa Yakathon -Celebrated Mayday in style with a camping trip to Mull and the Glenforsa Hotel. Met up with a whole host of fine fine people from White Waltham and their fine fine aeroplanes - mostly Yaks .. well about 7 of them - so I guess that was a herd? Had a superb photo opportunity over the Sound of Mull with G-YAKT and David and Zan Blundell - if you would like to see what else they can offer then click along to their website and look at more photos of the best weekend of the year so far .... Glenforsa photos - And finally, was treated to some aeros over the airfield in Andy and Ellie Hill's superb RV8 (G-HILZ) - breathtakingly amazing and a fine way to finish the weekend. Thank you guys and gals, and to Alison and Brendan for your hospitality :)

                      her elements .... if it operates on land, on water
                      and in the air .. surely it's a TRI-phibian ?Duart
                      Castle on the Sound of Mull

                      South towards Scarba IslandWatch out for Yak
                      droppings ...Lismore

March 2009 - Springtime stretch of the wings. Two sunny days spent splashing around Loch Venachar (lunch at the Harbour Cafe ), Loch Earn, Loch Rannoch and Loch Laidon before arriving at Prestwick ready for the annual maintenance check. The views were stunning, but 'jings', the water is still VERY cold .... brainfreeze on Loch Laidon (brrrrr...).

                      - can you hear that ? It's the Sound of Jura ... came in handy for cycling
                      to tea at the Glenforsa Hotel on Mull .... May
                      on Sandwood Loch ..... Aug 2008

About "G-DRAM" - The first Cessna 172 Amphib in Europe.

We operate a Reims/Cessna FR172F "Reims Rocket" on brand-new Wipline 2350A amphibious floats. This aircraft (G-DRAM "Spirit of Scotland") is no ordinary Cessna 172 - with EASA approval G-DRAM becomes the FIRST (and ONLY) certificated amphibious Cessna 172 in Europe.

Built by Reims in France and corrosion-proofed in the factory, she has a 210HP 6-cylinder Continental engine with McCauley Constant Speed prop. She has operated on 'straight' floats for many years, but new investment in the latest Wipline 2350A amphibious floats has opened up a whole new world of flexibility. A maximum take-off weight of 2550lbs gives us an excellent 690lbs of useful load. This means that we can realistically offer 3 seats plus 2 hours flying. Or 2 adults, full tanks (4hrs flying), two bikes and luggage. The amphibious floats add unprecedented versatility, and by operating between Prestwick Flight Centre and Glasgow Flying Club we have the accessibility and backup of two major airports, on the edge of Scotland's liveliest city.

                      Lomond - G-DRAM (2004) before respray and new
                      amphibious floats Mystery loch ....
                      elevation 2500 feet ....Jammy dodgers at Oban

Why travel thousands of miles to Alaska, Canada, or Florida ? Instead - before your transatlantic flight would have crossed over Ireland - you (and your loved one .. or flying buddy) could already be splashing down in some of Europe's most stunning and beautiful landscapes. You could picnic on a secluded beach or visit that extra-special castle on a remote lochside. Try a spot of fishing, dinghy sailing, hill-walking or bird-watching - or, if you are brave .. bring your snorkel !! We can stop off for breakfast, lunch or dinner (or all three) at numerous hotels or restaurants, ranging from coffee shops to 4 star luxury - or - we could pack a couple of bicycles and enjoy a remote days cycling...  The list is as long as your (or our) imagination, and as curvy as the cheesy grins .....

                      on Loch Ericht Glassy water touchdown on
                      Loch TayClyde Cessna ....


November 2008 - Tucked away again for winter, we can all relax and enjoy restful nights, not worrying about tie-downs and the wind whistling down the chimney at 3am .....

Saturday 13th September 2008 - RAF Leuchars Airshow - Mark your diaries. This is THE premier Airshow in Scotland for 2008. Once again we have been invited to attend with G-DRAM on the static display and look forward to answering any questions about the floatplane revival that is currently taking place in Scotland. See you there !! Well, despite the poor weather and low cloudbase, which severely limited the flying display, the anticipated Vulcan and RAF's 90th Anniversary Celebrations drew a large crowd of around 50000. The flying might have been curtailed, but that just meant there were many more visitors and questions for those on the static display .... and judging by the smiling faces and eager photo opportunities there were still a lot of people determined to enjoy their day out. Let's all just hope and pray for better weather and even bigger crowds in 2009 ! You can read a good review of the day here.

August 2008 - Scottish Island Hop - DRAM's summer holiday for 2008 was a 1000 mile epic island-hopping adventure with a tent and folding bikes. From Prestwick to Cape Wrath (not strictly an island), Orkney, Eday, Sanday, Westray, Papa Westray, Fair Isle, Lewis, Harris (with a boat trip to St Kilda as a non-flying bonus), then back to the mainland for a couple of days camping at Plockton before a successful CAA checkride at Lochearnhead - Scotland now has one more Seaplane Instructor :) Finished off (where else) on Islay with a few drams and the last of the summer sun. Words cannot express what a stunning country we have the privilege to fly in.

                      Loch on Fair Isle wasn't very wet ....Hanging out the washing
                      at PlocktonLoch
                      Shiel at the Glenfinnan monument.

1-4 May 2008. Biscarosse Airshow, Bordeaux, France. BISCAROSSE - the spiritual home of seaplanes and flying boats in France. Located on the Aquitaine coast, about 100 miles north of the Spanish border. This was where French flying boats were built in the 1930s and now hosts a museum, biennial airshow and seaplane extravanga - the biggest seaplane exhibition outside North America. We believe that G-DRAM will be the first Scottish seaplane to attend and we look forward to making many new friends and contacts. See you there !!

                      drives up the ramp at Biscarrosse 2008Ooh la la - toujours les
                      hydravions - toujours Biscarrosse !Topping up avec le cask
                      strength malt ...

Well we made it !! Stopping off at Ha'Penny Green, friendly Lasham, Guernsey for a tasty lunch (Hi Colin and Sam!), Dinard, Quiberon (Hi Pierre!) and La Rochelle - 5 days, 900 miles, many storm dodges and many lunches later, G-DRAM and her tired crew splashed down on Biscarosse Lac near Bordeaux. 2 fantastic days of seaplanes and sunshine, and the promise that we will return in 2010 - (the 100th Anniversary of the first ever seaplane flight by Frenchman Henri Fabre). We spread the word that Scotland is THE place to visit for scenery, whisky, fresh air and seaplane adventures. On top of that the kilts got on French TV and several French Flying magazines carried articles with some more now planned specifically on Scotland. With a good tailwind we made it home to Prestwick in one day of over 8 hrs flying !! (4 days, 35 seaplanes, 25,000 visitors, 90 journalists, 15 TV channels and 14 radio stations - giving an estimated 5,000,000 audience.) Official Biscarosse Airshow 2008 website

29 November 2007 - Tucked away for the winter. After the horrendous weather of 2007, the decision was taken to hangar G-DRAM over the forthcoming winter. She is now safely tucked away and should re-emerge next April with a new C of A and fresh annual completed.

                      learns floats .... November 2007Little
                      Cumbrae off the port wing - photo by DJ - April
                      2008On the step on Loch Lomond - photo by DJ -
                      April 2008

27 April 2007 - Finally .... back on the water again !! Probably the best weather day of the year so far .... well .. DRAM is back !! :) The engineers at ACS in Perth have done a fantastic job and she is looking brand new. Thanks to everyone - Mufid, Bob, Brian and Kerry for their immense help and support. We picked her up from Perth and flew her to Glasgow last Friday (20th). And then we waited and waited for the real spring weather to arrive ... all the time nipping up to the airport to check the new ropes and tie-downs on a daily basis !!

We got airborne and had a wee splashorama .... Loch Lomond was breathtaking. Later on in the month we headed on to the Isle of Harris, to Wick and the northwest, as well as many forays into the lochs of the west coast. Over the coming years we hope to give you a little taste of the variety of flying that Scotland has to offer.....

                      rocks on Loch Voil - August 2007The tropics ? or Loch
                      Lomond ? Isle of
                      Harris after flying Tim the ghillie !! May 2007

February 2007 - GOOD NEWS !! -Repairs are now well under way, and we expect to be back in the air by Easter. God Bless the insurance, God Bless the engineers and God Bless everyone at Glasgow who helped secure DRAM and prevent further wind damage later in the week. Nice articles on our plans in this month's Pilot and Today's Pilot Magazines :-) A BIG THANK YOU to Ron the Loss Adjuster, Brian and the Insurers (sounds like a band doesn't it?) and all at Glasgow Airport who helped out in our time of need ... The Flying Club, BAA Ops and Works Dept, Air Traffic, the Fire Service, mates Stewart and Neil (for holding the ropes), Bob, Brian and Steve with the Hi-Ab (for not dropping it off the back of a lorry on the M8 in the middle of the rush-hour) and to all the well-wishers who emailed, phoned and commiserated on Scottish Radar 127.27 .... Thank you :)

1 January 2007 - Happy New Year (NOT) - Not the best of news at 9am this morning. Gusts of 80mph last night snapped the two fixed tie-downs and dragged G-DRAM (and another 4 large concrete tie-downs). Damage to left float, awaiting assessment :-( ....... in best Victor Meldrew voice ... "I DON'T BELIEVE IT!!" - 4 other aircraft damaged at Cumbernauld, and a hangar blew down in England :-(

20 December 2006 - FIRST FLIGHT - successful 2 hour test flight on land and water. Aircraft re-positioned to Glasgow Flying Club at Glasgow International Airport.

17 December 2006 - G-DRAM rolled out the hangar at Perth in the second week of December. Float-fitting was carried out on time and on budget by ACS Engineering. First flight is expected this week (weather permitting).

11 November 2006 -Full bare metal respray with photochromatic paint, completed by Eastern Air Executive at Sturgate Aerodrome (01427 838280) - Oyster leather Interior completed by Aircraft Interiors (01902 345251) -G-DRAM flown to Perth for float fitting by Air Charter Scotland (ACS) Engineering (01738 552503).

September 2006 - Float shipment delayed until October 2006 - respray now expected September/October with float-fitting and completion in November 2006.

May 2006 - Floats have now passed FAA and EASA STCs, are due to be shipped from Wipline in July and fitted by end of August - with expected rollout mid-September 2006. Respray now scheduled for end of September 2006. First lessons planned for Summer 2007.

If you would like to register your interest for flying next year, or if you just want to blether about float-flying, then please feel free to contact us on - - or by mobile phone 07710 460694