Spitfires fly over Scottish hospital with a message thanking NHS for its work during Covid-19

THANK U NHS is written on the aircraft.

Thursday, 17th September 2020, 12:49 pm
Updated Thursday, 17th September 2020, 12:50 pm

A Spitfire has taken to the skies bearing a special message thanking the NHS for its efforts during the coronavirus pandemic.

Emblazoned with the words THANK U NHS, the aircraft took off from Cumbernauld Airport in North Lanarkshire on Thursday morning to fly over hospitals around Scotland.

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The Spitfire, based at Duxford Airfield near Cambridge, flew over its local area during the weekly clap for carers at the height of lockdown.

On Thursday it is flying over hospitals including the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh, Perth Royal Infirmary, Ninewells Hospital in Dundee, Aberdeen Royal infirmary, Raigmore Hospital in Inverness and the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital in Glasgow.

Pilot and owner John Romain told the PA news agency: “For the last of the claps, my son said why don’t we paint ‘Thank-you NHS’ under the wing of the spitfire because it’s already this lovely blue colour – it was a photo reconnaissance Spitfire, it never carried guns, it just carried cameras and the blue was part of its camouflage.

“So we wrote that under the wings, flew those routes and more and more people just loved seeing the aeroplane. We then decided to do some hospitals, that grew with the NHS saying would you do some more, so the final thing was we said we’ll cover the whole of the UK and we’re in the process of doing that.

“Within the next two weeks we will have covered the whole of the UK.

Spitfire flying over Dundee with a message of thanks to the NHS picture: Craig Chalmers @Cchalmersphoto
Spitfire flying over Dundee with a message of thanks to the NHS picture: Craig Chalmers @Cchalmersphoto

“The reaction is amazing, it’s pretty humbling, we see hundreds of people out waving, in fact some are even waving bedsheets, they’re waving flags, anything they can get hold of.

“In some cases they don’t appreciate that I can really see them so the more they wave the better, and in fact sometimes with the smaller hospitals the way I’m finding hospitals is the people not the building itself.

“The big ones are easy to find because they’ve got helipads or lots of ambulances near them but the smaller ones can be quite difficult, so I’m seeing the people as being one of my navigation aids at the moment.”