Test Aircraft Makes Low Flight Over Scilly

Islanders were surprised to see a large jet aircraft making a low level fly-past of the airport yesterday afternoon.

The four-engined RJ100 plane, owned by the military contracting firm QinetiQ, flew as low as 600ft over St Mary’s shortly after 4.10pm yesterday afternoon.

The plane had taken off from Boscombe Down in Wiltshire forty minutes earlier.

The former British Airways passenger aircraft was bought by QinetiQ last year and is used to support the training of test pilots and engineers as well as testing airborne technologies for the RAF.

QinetiQ spokesman, Mark Clark, said RAF and QinetiQ crews are currently undergoing a period of familiarisation on the plane, including making planned approaches or landings to new or unfamiliar airfields. They’ve recently undertaken practice landings at Jersey Airport and yesterday made training approaches at St Mary’s Airport on the Scilly Isles.