VIDEO: Sun shines for Baird of Bute festival

Sunny skies made for perfect weather for aviation enthusiasts on Saturday for the annual Baird of Bute festival on the island.

The celebration, which is now in its fifth year, recognises 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.

Crowds gathered on the beach at Ettrick Bay to watch as the visiting pilots swooped low overhead in a fly-past before heading off into the horizon.

Crowds gathered on the beach at Ettrick Bay to watch as the visiting pilots swooped low overhead in a fly-past before heading off into the horizon.

Following Friday night’s awards ceremony (click here for more details), spectators gathered at the Baird Airstrip at Kingarth to watch visiting pilots touch down in various spectacular aircrafts.

A short memorial was held, led by Rev Owain Jones of the United Church of Bute and accompanied by piper Jo Jo Kane, following the tragic accident on August 9 in which a light aircraft crashed down not far from the airstrip.

Sixty-three year old Thomas McGowan, from Stonehouse in Lanarkshire, died in hospital on August 10 following the accident, while the second man on board the plane, 52-year-old Kenny Dickson - who is a regular participant in the Baird celebrations - is still recovering in hospital.

At Ettrick Bay, award winners Amanda McMillan, managing director of Glasgow Airport, and Clyde Space’s Craig Clark, the founder of the company which designed and built Scotland’s first satellite, placed a wreath at the foot of the Baird memorial stone outside the tearoom, and offered a few words of thanks for the honour bestowed upon them.

The Royal Navy Sea King search and rescue helicopter from HMS Gannet also made an appearance at Ettrick Bay, landing in a field and allowing excited spectators to have an up-close look at the enormous aircraft. Sadly there wasn’t time for the crew to perform a sea rescue demonstration as an emergency call came in, but it allowed those present to see exactly how the team responds to such situations.

Bringing to a close another successful festival, the visiting pilots - who’d travelled from across Scotland, and even included one who made the trip over from Ireland - took part in the traditional fly-past over the beach where Andrew Baird made his remarkable flight - to the delight of families watching below.

* Click on the video above for a selection of clips from the day.