Olympic star achieves helicopter flight dream

Former Great Britain gymnast Beth Tweddle and fundraiser Alec Shillaker pictured before having a flying lesson with Central Helicopters at Widmerpool EMN-151113-104531001
Former Great Britain gymnast Beth Tweddle and fundraiser Alec Shillaker pictured before having a flying lesson with Central Helicopters at Widmerpool EMN-151113-104531001
0
Have your say

Olympic gymnast Beth Tweddle achieved one of her lifetime aims at Widmerpool when she piloted a helicopter during a special one-off flying lesson.

The retired former world champion was invited along for the experience by family business Central Helicopters, which runs pleasure flying trips and charter journeys from their Nottinghamshire base.

Beth was joined on the day by Alex and Victoria Shillaker, who won a lesson as a prize in the Mountain Warehouse Charity Challenge competition.

The couple received £10,000 for their chosen cause, Meningitis Now, after winning the support of a public vote with their ambition to trek to the summit of the Aconcagua Mountain in Argentina in aid of the charity.

The lessons started with a 30-minute technical ground briefing with head of training, Captain David Marsland, and then both Alex and Beth got to fly for half-an-hour each in an R44 four-seater helicopter, including hands-on control of the aircraft, hovering and circuits.

After her flight, Beth, said: “That was brilliant. It was a great experience.”

Captain Marsland, said: “Both Beth and Alex handled the helicopter well in what were quite windy conditions.”

Go online at www.justgiving.com/UpThenDown to support Alex and Victoria’s fundraising trek.