POLICE are seeking witnesses after two “reckless’ pilots shocked drivers by flying beneath the Kessock Bridge in Inverness.
An appeal following the stunt has resulted in numerous calls, but no arrests have yet been made, and the Civil Aviation Authority is looking for anyone with photographic evidence to contact them.
A report on the Grand Theft Auto-style stunt has been passed to the CAA. The investigation was launched after the low-flying antics of the pilots were reported to police, with witnesses saying the “reckless daredevils” flew under the biggest bridge in the Highlands at around 1:15pm on Tuesday.
Three planes flew past the bridge, with two of them “peeling off” before carrying out their stunt. They then rejoined the third plane and all three flew off.
One eyewitness said he feared at one point that the pilots were going to deliberately crash into the bridge, which carries thousands of vehicles every day.
The two aircraft – which flew in from the Craig Dunain hill west of the Highland capital –were initially accompanied by a seaplane.
But the seaplane wheeled away as the pair went under the bridge, which has a 90ft clearance between the water and the road deck.
Police confirmed they are carrying out inquiries into what they described as “unofficial aeronautical acrobatics”.
Pilots must not intentionally fly within 500ft of any obstacle.
One local man was sitting in his car at the Kessock slipway when the surprise incident unfolded said: “There were three light aircraft and one was a seaplane. The seaplane seemed to bank away but the two others continued and went under the bridge.
“They were flying alongside each other, wing to wing.”
He said the craft were single engined planes – possibly Cessnas – painted white with red flashes.
He added: “Perhaps I watch too many films but I thought for a minute, ‘are they going for the bridge?’ It was just unbelievable.”
A police spokesman said: “Inquiries are continuing and we have had a number of calls. We received a report from a member of the public regarding an incident of possible unofficial aeronautical acrobatics when three planes were seen flying past the Kessock Bridge.
“Two of the planes were reported as having flown beneath the bridge, before meeting up with the third plane and continuing on their flight-path.”
A CAA spokesman said: “In conjunction with the police we are carrying out enquiries and would ask any witnesses or anyone with photographic evidence of this incident to send this information either to the police or the CAA. All pilots must abide by the rules of the air and maintain a safe distance between their aircraft and any buildings or structures.”