A NEW aircraft set to arrive at Land's End Airport from Canada this week has been hit by severe snow at the start of its transatlantic journey.
Skybus, which has operated year-round flights from the UK mainland to the Isles of Scilly since 1984, is taking delivery of a fourth 19-seat De Havilland Canada DHC-6 Twin Otter aircraft.
The plane left Calgary in Alberta last Thursday to start the 4,500 mile journey to Cornwall but it only managed to make travel 940 miles before being snowed in at Churchill.
Accompanying the plane to Land's End is Mick Yould, engineering manager at Skybus. He is posting regular updates about the delayed flight on the Isles of Scilly Travel Facebook page.
"This sounds a bit like the pioneering days of aviation but the Twin Otter is actually a really tough piece of kit renowned for its ability to operate all over the world," he said.
Because the aircraft has a normal operational range of around 650 miles, it has been fitted with a giant fuel tank holding 1,576 lbs of fuel and taking up half the space inside the 19-seat passenger cabin.
The Isles of Scilly Steamship Group, which owns and operates Skybus and Land's End Airport already has three Twin Otters and the arrival of the fourth will give the company more flexibility on routes.
"It's a great aircraft for us because of its short take off and landing capability but they are not easy to get hold of because they are so popular, which is why we had to go to Canada," said Jeff Marston, chief executive of the Steamship Group.