Reminder: Baird of Bute Festival this weekend

The annual Baird of Bute festival takes place on Saturday, September 20.
The annual Baird of Bute festival takes place on Saturday, September 20.

The fifth annual Baird of Bute aviation festival takes place on Saturday, September 20, with events at Kingarth and Ettrick Bay to mark the day.

The event, which celebrates the achievement of Rothesay blacksmith Andrew Blain Baird in undertaking Scotland’s first heavier-than-air powered flight, in a plane of his own design and construction, at Ettrick Bay in September 1910, begins with the Baird of Bute Society’s annual awards dinner at the Victoria Hotel in Rothesay on Friday, September 19.

Then, the following day, light aircraft pilots from all over Scotland will bring their planes to the Baird Airstrip at Kingarth from 10.30am, giving the public a chance to get ‘up close and personal’ with the machines once they have landed.

There will also be a short commemoration following the crash of a light plane near the airstrip last month in which 63-year-old Thomas McGowan, from Stonehouse in Lanarkshire, lost his life. A second man on board the plane, 52-year-old Kenny Dickson, is still recovering in hospital.

The planes attending this year’s event will then fly over Ettrick Bay in tribute to Andrew Baird at around 1pm, while there will also be fun and games for children and, emergencies permitting, the arrival of a Royal Navy Sea King search and rescue helicopter.