Special birthday celebrations have taken place as airborne twins mark 40 years since their delivery on board an air ambulance with the UK’s largest regional airline Loganair.
40 years ago, on 13 August, twins Lynsey and David Henderson were uniquely born almost 40 miles apart.
The eldest of the two, Lynsey was delivered by Dr. Freshwater on the special Britten-Norman Islander air ambulance flight as it flew over the sea enroute from Tingwall Airport to Aberdeen.
Younger brother David waited until wheels-down on the runway at Aberdeen Airport to make his special appearance.
Twins Lynsey and David, who had arrived four weeks earlier than their due date, were then whisked to Aberdeen Hospital for review, alongside first-time mum Mandy Henderson and dad Adrian Henderson.
Ten days later, after a short stay in hospital, Mandy and Adrian returned home to Shetland, this time with planned company from their new-born baby twins.
Earlier this week, Lynsey and David were both welcomed back to Shetland by Loganair to be presented with a birthday gift of flight tickets from Captain Eddie Watt at Sumburgh Airport.
It was an extra-special meeting as Eddie Watt gifted birthday treats from the airline to David and Lynsey some 19 years ago for their 21st birthday.
Still flying Loganair to this day, coincidentally the twins landed in Sumburgh on a Loganair flight from Bergen to be greeted by the airline staff.
Lynsey had recently competed in the gruelling Norseman Triathlon with encouragement from her support team, which included brother David.
Lynsey, a chemist at The Sullom Voe Terminal in Shetland, secured her place at the Norseman following success at the Celtman Extreme Triathlon in the Scottish Highlands and has previously competed for Shetland at the Island Games.
The special delivery on board back in 1982 welcomed just two of over 20 airborne childbirths that Loganair has supported throughout its 60-year history.
As the UK’s largest regional airline and one that flies to more island destinations across Britain than any other airline, it still plays a significant role in transporting patients to mainland hospital appointments today.
More recently, Loganair renovated its regular DHC-6 Twin Otter and Saab 340 aircraft into air ambulances to support the Scottish Ambulance Service with transfers during the Coronavirus pandemic.
David Henderson, a civil servant based in Lerwick, said:
“It’s nice for a couple of ageing twins that our birth, on an ambulance flight 40 years ago, has become a small part of the history of the important Shetland to Aberdeen route.
“Our thanks to Loganair for marking the occasion.”
Jonathan Hinkles, Loganair’s Chief Executive, said:
“We have a long history of connecting communities for all kinds of travel requirements, including the unexpected ones.
“David and Lynsey are part of a small but elite club of babies born on board with Loganair and it was great to present them with a small token to mark their 40th birthday celebrations.
“We’re very proud to still play an important role today in connecting remote communities to the mainland for NHS treatment.”