Smiles for Miles in Colwell Bay

pic: Ian Plested

A group of luncheon companions had a novel way of travelling to the Island on Monday – they popped over on an American vintage seaplane, a Grumman HU-16 Albatross.

The 1953 model was photographed landing in Colwell Bay, as its passengers were picked up by RIB to go to the Hut, the beachside Colwell Bay restaurant popular with the rich and famous.

The eight-seater aircraft had taken off from Southampton, at around 8am, before travelling via Lee-on-the-Solent, Selsey and Chichester airports. It then took a course following the south coast of the Island flying low over Steephill Cove and Shanklin.

It is not known who was in the party, but the plane is the plaything of rumoured billionaire Phillip Sarofim, Californian car collector and enthusiast. Through his company, Trousdale Ventures, he is also owner of Meyers Manx, manufacturer of the classic off-road dune buggy.

Written under the cockpit window is the slogan ‘Smiles for Miles’ – indeed!