An RAF Boulmer servicewoman is currently high in the skies as part of a team circumnavigating Great Britain in microlights.
Flt Lt Kat Janes, an aerospace battle manager from Alnwick, is one of six disabled people navigating our coastline this week and next to raise awareness for charity Flying for Freedom, which is partnered with Help for Heroes.
And while the current expedition may sound daunting to some, it is all part of the build-up to a major expedition as the team bids to become the first to fly to the South Pole in flexwing microlights.
As reported by the Gazette in January 2013, Flt Lt Janes, then 37, who has had difficulty walking since she caught an infection in Cyprus in 2007, was delighted when she was selected for the team.
“Obviously it’s completely different to anything I have ever done before,” she said at the time.
“I do like flying, but I have never flown a microlight before.
“It will be a whole new experience being open to the elements.”
The attempt next year will be the culmination of five years’ planning, training and testing and aims to highlight the urgent need to build self-sustaining activities that get veterans back into work and daily life.
The current challenge has been put together and will be led by Capt Luke Sinnott, of the Royal Engineers, who lost both his legs while serving as a search advisor in Afghanistan.
He qualified as a microlight pilot in 2014, training in Flying for Freedom’s modified flex-wing (powered hanglider) microlights.
To find out more about how the 2,000-mile, round-Britain trip is progressing, take a look at the British Antarctic Microlight Expedition Facebook page.
For more information about next year’s Antarctic expedition to the South Pole, visit www.flyingforfreedom.org
Anyone interested in supporting the cause, text WINGS to 70900 to donate £3 to Flying for Freedom.