There was an unusual flyby at Stornoway airport today (Tuesday 11 February) when one of the jets which serve the President of France passed low over the airport.

F-RAFB is a Dassault Falcon 7X long-range jet, capable of carrying up to eight passengers and three crew and belonging to the French Air Force, L’Armee de l’Air Francaise.

She is one of two Falcon 7X craft which make up part of the French Air Force Transport squadron ET60, based at Air Base 107 at Villacoublay in northern France. The corps is charged with the safe transport of the President of France and other government ministers as well as visiting foreign statesmen.

In 2010 she was bought as a back-up craft for her sister jet F-RAFA, nicknamed Carla One as a reference to the wife of then-president Sarkozy. Both jets are meant to be available to transport the president when the principal presidential jet, an Airbus A330-200, is under repair or when the available runways are too short for the Airbus.

Today’s flyby saw F-RAFB complete two low circuits at Stornoway without landing. Despite poor visibility, she was snapped by Bristow’s engineer Jason Spinks as she made practice approaches to the runway.

The aircraft is believed to have been on a training mission and to have cut short its practice runs due to the appalling weather conditions. It’s thought to be the first time the craft has been seen at Stornoway.

Pictures show (top) the Falcon 7X jet over Stornoway airport at lunchtime today (Jason Spinks) and in operation at her base showing her presidential livery (Marco Papa).