The distinctive yellow theme that has adorned the Channel Islands Air Search aircraft for the last 40 years is being changed.
The latest generation Britten Norman Islander is getting a red and white paint job, in order to align with internationally recognised colours for coast guard.
John Fitzgerald, Chief Officer of the CIAS, said: "We will still carry the Lions International decal on the tailplane in recognition of the original sponsor of our first aircraft. Also included will be the fouled anchor emblem on the fuselage. There will also be technical elements to the scheme using matt black and matt grey."
As well as being immediately recognised as a search aircraft by other authorities and when visiting other airfields, the colours have also been professionally acknowledged as being most easily seen from the sea and the land.
The temporary aircraft CIAS have been using the interim until the new plane is ready.
This new aircraft has been purchased by the CIAS after the previous one was destroyed in a crash more than five years ago. The new aircraft was initially expected to be in service as early as the start of 2017, but that never came to fruition thanks to a number of delays. In the interim, CIAS have been using an aircraft that is not fully kitted out with the systems it wants so it can be as effective as possible.
But now, it should just be a number of weeks if not days before the volunteer team can get their hands on the new, fully kitted out, aircraft. The procurement team visited the paint-shop on Saturday to approve the work which will be completed on Monday.
Mr Fitzgerald added: "The aircraft will be flown back to Lee on Solent from Bournemouth on Tuesday afternoon. The aircraft will then complete its internal fit and the search equipment will be installed."
Pictured top: The new aircraft before it went to the paint shop.
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