Old age is plane sail­ing!

I may be al­most 90, but I’m still set­ting records

Chat - - Inside - By Betty Bro­mage, 88, from Chel­tenham

The idea just came to me one day last year…

I want to do a wing walk, I thought.

Sounds crazy, but I’d been think­ing about tak­ing on a chal­lenge be­fore I turned 90.

Al­ready 87, I needed to set­tle on some­thing soon. And soar­ing through the air on a plane’s wing seemed a fun idea. ‘You’re mad!’ friends told me. But I couldn’t wait to feel the wind in my hair.

I de­cided to raise money for Mid­lands Air Am­bu­lance. As a for­mer nurse, it’s a char­ity I’m pas­sion­ate about.

Friends and fam­ily got in­volved, and some­one set up a Just­giv­ing page. Soon, dona­tions started pour­ing in.

‘You’re one brave lady,’ some­one told me.

Truth was, I wasn’t even ner­vous – just re­ally ex­cited!

Last Septem­ber, it was time to take to the skies. So I went to Glouces­ter­shire Air­port, with fam­ily and friends for sup­port.

They looked on as I was led to a 1944 Boe­ing-stear­man plane.

‘You all look more ner­vous than me,’ I laughed, see­ing their ter­ri­fied faces.

I was helped up onto the wings and strapped into the seat. ‘Ready?’ my in­struc­tor asked. ‘Ab­so­lutely!’ I beamed. In­stead of shak­ing like jelly with nerves, I have to ad­mit I was buzzing with ex­cite­ment.

As the plane took off, I couldn’t stop grin­ning.

The wind on my face felt fan­tas­tic, as I soared through the air at 400ft, with the plane do­ing 90mph. I felt like a bird. ‘Higher!’ I yelled, as the air­craft climbed to 500ft.

The whole ex­pe­ri­ence was ex­hil­a­rat­ing, and I was still smil­ing as we landed.

‘I’ve never had so much fun!’ I cheered – and I’d raised £1,100 for the char­ity, too!

Af­ter, I wasn’t ready to put my thrill-seek­ing days to bed – I was thirsty for more. ‘I want to do it again,’ I told my friends at my re­tire­ment home, Abbey­field, in Chel­tenham.

So I raised an­other £2,000 for the char­ity. And, in June, I took to the skies again.

Strapped in, I gave a thumb­sup sig­nal. Like be­fore, the plane soared to an in­cred­i­ble 500ft. Only, this time, I’d asked the pi­lot for a more thrilling ride… ‘Do a half-loop,’ I’d re­quested. As the plane rose and fell, my adren­a­line was pump­ing.

The whole flight lasted about 15 min­utes, and I was gut­ted when it was over.

‘You haven’t seen the last of me,’ I told staff at the air­port.

Who knows, maybe next time I’ll go for the full loop-the-loop!

I’ve since learnt that I’m Bri­tain’s old­est lady wing walker. And I’m proof that you’re never too old to reach for the skies!

This time, I’d asked the pi­lot to do a half-loop

Chocks away! I’m glad it wasn’t a ‘crash’ course!

Room on top for a lit­tle one!

I’m hap­pi­est wingingi i it it…

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.