The Freedom of Flight Relay Challenge is to land in one aerodrome in each county of the United Kingdom, with each leg of the relay being flown by a disabled pilot or one under instruction.
This task, of some 4000 nautical miles will take place during June and July 2015. It will finish at Fairford during the Royal International Air Tattoo, which supports Flying Scholarships for Disabled People.
The aims of the challenge are to raise awareness of disabled flying in the United Kingdom; raise much needed funds to support those using the power of flight to increase confidence and self esteem; and bring together everyone in the community of disabled pilots, qualified or in training, in a shared endeavour which will inspire the wider population.
Phase 1 of this task, of some 700 nautical miles, took place on 22nd June 2015. The route on the first phase, which was done using a Piper Warrior 161, started at Glasgow Airport and visited Oban, Skye, Inverness, Perth, Dundee, Glenrothes and Prestwick. Press releases can be found here and photos from the stops can be seen here
Phase 2 has had to be rescheduled twice due to bad weather but will now take place on 13th August 2015. Details of the route, which will cover most of southern Scotland and visit a number of lochs using the seaplane G-DRAM, can be found here.
Flying a light aircraft is a mentally and physically demanding activity, more so when you have constraints in the physical world. Aerobility and Flying Scholarships for Disabled People are charities which help disabled people realise their full potential through the medium of flight. One disabled pilot has said that "…flying gives me the freedom that I don't have on the ground"; while another really articulates the fulfilment and transformation in their quality of life by saying that learning to fly "…has given me a real sense of achievement and pride in myself again".
Meeting the challenge of disabled pilots flying around the United Kingdom in order to support Aerobility operations and contribute towards a scholarship for Flying Scholarships for Disabled People will cost in the region of £25,000. I urge you to support this amazing, life-changing opportunity to give many more the Freedom of Flight. For ways to do this, follow the link to Support Us.