This was all Andrew‘s doing. He likes his planes, and will find any excuse to go for a flight or two. When he suggested a quick flight to the Isle of Man and back, I was up for it. All I knew about the place was that it’s the home of the TT Races. Also, there are various heritage railways there, and I was keen to see them for myself.
Doing the Isle of Man in a day is a bit of a fraught process. On paper, it’s perfectly feasible: FlyBe operate several flights a day from Liverpool to Isle of Man Airport. In practice, it’s a little more difficult. In fact, this was our second attempt to reach the island. Our original day out was scheduled for 10th August. However, we got as far as the departure lounge before discovering our flight had been cancelled. We were offered the next flight, but it would have given us almost no time in the Isle of Man.
Two hours of hanging on the phone later, and Andrew had successfully got our flights rearranged. Six weeks later, we were back at the airport to try again… only for our flight to be delayed. At first it was 30 minutes late, but more and more minutes were slowly added.
There’s only so long you can hang around in an airside Wetherspoons. We sat, surrounded by twentysomethings off to Ibiza to “large it”, who were already on their third pint. At 8am.
Eventually, over 75 minutes late, our gate was called, and we were soon climbing aboard “Adam Stansfield”.
I’m a little bit suspicious of propeller aircraft. We’ve been spoiled as a race by jumbo jets – propellers seem just a bit… primitive by comparison. It may just be too many episodes of Stop the Pigeon when I was a child, but I had visions of the propellers snapping off and us plummeting to a fiery/comical death.