Touchdown on St Helena… hang on, who’s flying this plane?

You Tube screen grabLadies and gentlemen, we are beginning our descent… into the sublime.

A simulation of an aircraft landing at St Helena International airport has been posted on the YouTube video website.

Watching it might be slightly unnerving, though, for anyone familiar with the personalities at construction firm Basil Read, which commissioned the video.

And it may confirm the oft-voiced suspicion that there is nothing Basil Read will not turn its hands to.

Once the plane has plopped softly on to the runway and turned on the apron by Great Stone Top, a Saint voice comes over the address system to welcome passengers to St Helena.

“On behalf of Basil Read Air,” says our hostess, “our captain, Jimmy Johnston, and co-pilots Graham Temlett and Deon de Jager, we trust you had a pleasant flight.”

Jimmy Johnston is project manager for the St Helena airport, Graham is general manager, and Deon is island director.

Denain Venter of Basil Read is happy to admit the company has its cheeky side: “A sense of humour is what keeps us going.

“The simulation was done in the UK. We re-worked a bit on the wording to make it more ‘personalised’.”

There’s one puzzling detail. If the simulation shows the first plane ever to land at St Helena, how come there’s another one on the tarmac when it gets there?

It must have arrived on the ship.

  • Basil Read Air? We look forward to seeing those initials on the side of an aircraft…

View from the cockpit as plane lands at St Helena (includes link to video)
All secure: airport ship is first to dock at St Helena

About Simon Pipe

I'm a former print and BBC journalist, now teaching journalism at university. I run St Helena Online, a news website about the remote British island in the South Atlantic at as well as other sites related to journalism teaching.
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