Aircraft touches down on the loch

Councillor John McLaren (left) meets pilots (l-r) Gerrard Brown, Pauline Gallagher and William Naphausen.
Councillor John McLaren (left) meets pilots (l-r) Gerrard Brown, Pauline Gallagher and William Naphausen.
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The Freedom of Flight disabled pilot relay achieved the first aircraft landing on the loch in Strathclyde Park last week.

The event, a fundraiser to help more disabled people access aviation, was organised by Greenock woman Pauline Gallagher, an officer in Cumbernauld’s air cadet unit and former scholar of Flying Scholarships for Disabled People (FSDP).

The Strathclyde Loch landing took place after twice being cancelled due to this summer’s poor weather.

It was performed by Gerrard Brown from Muirhead, a North lanarkshire’s Working supported employee, and after 90 minutes spent chatting to people who had come to watch the landing, Kilsyth garden centre owner William Naphausen took the controls.

The relay concluded with visits to lochs around the Borders and East Lothian as well as Loch Lomond, Greenock and Largs before finally returning to Prestwick.

Pauline said: “FSDP helped me realise my dream of flying a light aircraft solo. More flight training to gain a Private Pilot’s Licence has been supported by Aerobility, the other beneficiary of the challenge.

“It’s given me so much, for example the confidence to stand up and speak to a room full of strangers. Flying solo for the first time was the realisation of a dream.

“Thanks to all the sponsors the Freedom of Flight Relay Challenge is able to spread the word about FSDP, Aerobility and its goals and to give someone else that way forward, as well as the confidence to make their dream come true.”

Donations for the challenge are still welcome at http://bit.ly/FreedomOfFlight.