News and views

08.08.2011

Bernard Goes Flying

Bernard Goes Flying

My name is Bernard, I attend the Blue Skies Project in Bow E3, my key worker is Norman. Norman won the raffle prize at the Southend Fun Flying Day in Two Trees and donated it to the Blue Skies Project.

At Blue Skies we those of us that wanted to go in the plane had to put their names into a hat and pick out a winner – you guessed it – it was me! ha ha. Norman then spoke to my cousin about getting me checked out so off I went to my doctors and got a clear bill of health. Me and Norman then sat down in front of the computer to look at some pictures of the plane that we would be going up in, we also looked at some other planes that Dave has. I said to Norman that I would like to go up in that one (pointing to a Pitts Bi Plane) but Norman said I wouldn’t be able to as it was a single seater – never mind I liked the look of the one we were going to fly in and it had enough seats for all of us.

So on Wednesday 13th July 2011 at 10am we drove to Damyns Hall Aerodrome in Upminster with some of my friends from Blue Skies who came to wave me off. Me, Norman, Dave and Dick walked to the plane. Dave asked me where I would like us to sit, I said put Norman in the back, I’m in the front with you ha ha. We all got into the plane, Dave did all the checks, he asked me not to touch any of the controls – well I was happy just to be sitting in the front of the plane – I even had a headset on!

We were off! Taxiing to the end of the runway where Dave turned the plane around and ran the engine up to full speed and off we go at full speed down the runway. Norman is in the back videoing it (I think he was scared as we go up heading to the clouds!) Dave was talking on the microphone to me and Norman saying we were heading to Southend – we climbed to about 2500ft. I was looking out of the windows and saw a fire down on the ground. I pointed it out to Dave who told me it had been burning for two weeks.

Dave then asked me if I would like to take control of the plane – I said YES PLEASE!! Dave then explained to me about the controls and asked me to hold the wheel which I did. Dave then took his hands off the wheel and said – Bernard you got the plane in your control Captain – well! There I was in the air flying an aeroplane A DREAM COME TRUE!

I was flying the plane over Essex on a course to Southend – Dave was talking to Norman saying how well I was flying the plane. I was concentrating hard and looking at the dials too as Dave said that I had to keep the one with the line on it level – I was enjoying it so much and just thinking that one day I could be a pilot. After ten minutes Dave took the controls back as we were going to fly over Two Tree Island, this is where Norman, Dave and Dick fly their model planes. Dave said that we would fly low so we could wave to them all on the field. Down we go to 500ft and fly across the field – Dave asked for me to watch out for model planes as sometimes they fly up to the clouds – so with my sharp eyes I look out the windows but cant see any planes so thumbs up to Dave.

We then climbed back up to about 2000ft heading back out to sea we turned around and headed back to the air strip. Dave asked us what speeds we were doing Norman thought it was about 150mph but I didn’t know. Dave said it was 125mph (I think Norman looked at the Speedo!).

As we got close to the air strip Dave asked me not to touch any of the controls as we were going to land in a cross wind – Dave told us over the microphone the landing was starting and put the wing flaps down. He lined the plane up for the approach and landed the plane on the runway before steering to the parking slot near the cafe. All my friends from Blue Skies were waiting for us. We got out of the plane it was time for a photo shoot and I thanked Dave for making my dream come true.

THANKS BERNARD HARRIS

A BIG THANK YOU TO THE SOUTHEND MODEL FLYING CLUB FOR SUCH A WONDERFUL RAFFLE PRIZE

Back to the News and Views page

Side Image

Vision & Values

We've set an ambitious goal for 2020. Find out how our values are helping us achieve it, whilst enabling people to lead the lives they want.

Read more

Side Image

Locations Map

Find out more about each Vibrance location on our handy interactive map.

View locations

facebook twitter

Registered Charity Number 1152186. A Company limited by guarantee, registered in England and Wales, number 8466095.
Registered Office: Unit 2, Caxton Place, Roden Street, Ilford, Essex, IG1 2AH