Partly because we do not have planes landing every two minutes at Tiree airport and partly because any transatlantic flights are generally flying about 35,000 feet, we are unused to regular aircraft noise. First of all we heard the sound of a rotor blade, then the helicopter came into view as it swooped towards the house before swinging back towards the BT Tower and landing close to it. Was it a medical emergency or was it someone landing to do their shopping at the local store?
Crossing the Machair, we saw the helicopter land and we could see two very distinct yellow bags. It had the appearance of an emergency. Arriving on site there was no sign of the crew or any paramedics. By a process of elimination we worked it out that it was BT engineers arriving to work at the exchange – this being later confirmed.
When speed is essential and engineers need to be on site quickly a helicopter makes sense. Otherwise it would have meant a possible two or three day trip – getting to Oban in time for the crossing, a 4 hour ferry journey, overnight accommodation and then the return trip.
Mobile phones with their cameras captured the scene. Children posed and parents snapped. One young lady could not resist the urge to sit in the helicopter (with permission) and be photographed. With a desire to reach for the skies the photograph was forwarded to ‘lifeontiree’. She shall remain nameless!