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Is it a birdie? No, it’s another test flight…

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The first aircraft lands on St Helena - pictured by Nick "Kaiser" Stevens
The first aircraft lands on St Helena – pictured by Nick “Kaiser” Stevens

On Twitter, Niall O’Keeffe joked that golfers on St Helena now had a new excuse for a badly-played shot: being distracted by the noise of an aeroplane.

The crew of the first aircraft ever to land on the island went on to stage another dozen or so flights over ten days in September 2015, to allow calibration of the navigation and communication systems at the island’s new airport.

Screen Shot 2015-09-24 at 22.29.39When all the flights were completed, Governor Mark Capes held a reception for the team from the UK and South Africa who carried out the flights.

He said: “Tuesday 15 September 2015 will always be a special day to remember on St Helena. For this entire community it was an exciting day and for some an emotional one.”

Captain Grant Brighton, one of the pilots who were at the controls for the first landing, said: “We didn’t know what we were coming to but the runway was very good, solid and conditions were great.

“When we were first approaching the runway and experienced the turbulence you realise that no one has ever experienced that turbulence before. We probably did a dozen landings over the last nine days.

“The island itself far exceeded our expectations. The people are incredible and there’s so much history here which you don’t understand until you research it or are here to see for yourself.”

The results of the flights would not be known for some time.

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