Joan Simpson

A chance remark- a flying challenge!

 

It all began at a barbecue party whilst talking to a friend who is a glider pilot. We were discussing gliding when I just so happened to say. ‘How about a gliding experience for the disabled?’

 

In the blink of an eye, out came a mobile phone and a call was made to the airfield. That was when I found myself talking to one of the committee members. The outcome of this conversation was that it was perfectly feasible for ANYONE to fly, whatever their disability (with a few exceptions). It was also then when I learnt that the gliding club were looking to do more to integrate their passion into the community. The next move was to chat to all of the clients at Headway East Northants to see how many would be interested in taking up the challenge!

 

The date was set, weather permitting, and everyone looked forward to their challenge. Just two days before the set date, the weather forecast wasn’t good, so it was suggested that we try the day after. That morning was an ideal flying day.

 

The lunches were packed and, with some trepidation, we all set off. At the airfield we were met by the staff and pilots who were to look after us. A quick safety briefing and other important information was given to us and then we watched a trial launch.

 

There were gasps of astonishment as the plane rose steeply on the winch, then, at the right height, it was released. At this point there were a few anxious faces!

 

As the first two clients were helped into their gliders, everyone else looked on anxiously. At this point, I wondered if any of them would dare take the challenge of actually fliying the gliders themselves. We watched take-offs and followed their progress in the clear blue sky, circling in the thermals and eventually coming to land.

 

Their faces said it all. “I never thought Id be able to do something like this”. “I actually flew a glider. That was fantastic!” “I want to do it again!” were among many of the comments!

 

It was certainly a high flying challenge, which many thought they would never have the chance to achieve. 

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Headway East Northants

61 High Street

Irthlingborough
Northants

NN9 5PU

Call 01933 652311

Registered Charity

Registered Charity 1085311.

Company Registration 03788049

Affiliated to Headway UK– the brain injury association a Registered Charity