The team behind the UK based PBY Catalina flying boat are appealing for help after it became stranded in Loch Ness last week when an engine problem meant it couldn’t take off.
‘Miss Pick Up’ had landed back on the Loch after being used for filming but became stuck after an engine was damaged. As a result she was lifted from the Loch by crane.
Plane Sailing, the Cambridge based team that operate the aircraft, say that the damaged engine must be replaced which is an expensive and time-consuming operation made more difficult as it will happen away from the home base at IWM Duxford.
Former RAF Harrier pilot Paul Warren Wilson, leader of Plane Sailing’s Catalina operation and The Catalina Society, said: “The logistics involved are massive.
“Once the damaged engine is replaced we need to put her back onto the water so she can be flown home, otherwise she will be at the mercy of the harsh Scottish winter on a Loch (which as we all know is home to a certain wee beastie!) rather than her usual cosy hanger in Duxford. The damage this could do to the aircraft – an important piece of aviation history – could be irreparable.
“We have been absolutely staggered and humbled by the generous donations from so many of Miss Pick Up’s supporters.
“Yesterday the future looked bleak. Today, with the Cat safely on dry land again, there is a light glimmering at the end of the tunnel.”
Miss Pick Up is operated not for profit and the purpose of the group is solely to keep the aircraft, the only one flying in Europe, flying and to honour the legacy of the aircraft.
At the time of writing over £22,000 had been raised via the GoFundMe page which has a target of £29,400.