Captain David Barclay, airport manager Colin MacPhail and Captain Eric Starling
Photograph of Captain David Barclay, airport manager Colin MacPhail and Captain Eric Starling at Tiree airport terminus in 1961.
Courtesy of Mr Ailig MacArthur
In this photograph taken in 1961, Captain David Barclay looks on while BEA’s senior pilot Captain Eric Starling makes a presentation to Colin MacPhail on his retirement from the post of Tiree airport manager. Between them both captains flew thousands of air ambulance missions.
In the history of the Scottish Air Ambulance only one plane has ever been lost. In September 1957 a Heron aircraft crashed in foul weather on approaching Islay airport killing the pilot Captain Paddy Calderwood, Radio Officer Hugh McGinlay and Sister Jean Kennedy from Glasgow’s Southern General Hospital, who was a native of Coll.
A second air ambulance was manned by Captain Starling, Captain Kenneth MacLean and Sister Isobel Thompson. The storm was so violent it was three hours before the relief plane could take off. To compound the night’s tragedy, the patient, seriously ill in a diabetic coma, died minutes before landing at Renfrew.
Black and white photograph of Colin MacPhail of Crossapol in 1961.
Colin MacPhail of Crossapol (centre) outside Tiree airport on his retirement in 1961, with Captain David Barclay on the left and on the right Captain Eric Starling. (Original in Filing Cabinet 8 drawer 2)