Plane hitches ride on landing craft to attend aviation event


‘Skippy’ being uploaded by crane onto Vijay’s landing craft

The BN2 Islander plane, which is the event’s mascot, undertook its sea voyage from the Seychelles International Airport to Cap Lazare where the Routes Gala Dinner is being hosted.

The plane with its engine, propeller and wings proved to be too big and hazardous to be transported on land. After some deep soul searching and head scratching by the operation’s team of the Seychelles Civil Aviation Authority (SCAA), it was decided that the Vijay Construction landing craft would be the best means of transportation.

The plane’s fuselage, wing and engines, were uploaded by crane under supervision of the SCAA team to the Vijay 2 landing craft on Wednesday. The boat left the airport the next day for Cap Lazare where it offloaded its precious cargo.

The whole experience was immensely challenging for the team, who was very relieved when it finally landed safely among the trees in its designated location.

The idea to have the plane as the mascot came from the lead coordinator of the event, Wilfred Fock Tave, who wanted to have a symbolic icon at the event.

The Routes team then baptised it ‘Skippy’ and its role is to be an attraction during the aviation event.

Skippy is a decommissioned islander plane previously registered as S7-AAA, which operated since early 70s, originally with Air Mahe and subsequently Air Seychelles. The plane undertook thousands of island hopping trips between Mahe and the inner islands aerodromes. The Islander’s last trip was in December 2003.

It took the SCAA mechanic team about three months to revamp the decommissioned aircraft, giving it a new facelift to assume its new role at one of the biggest aviation networking events.