‘Sky’s the limit’ as woman celebrates 100th birthday with glider plane flight

A pensioner has celebrated her 100th birthday with a flight in a glider plane, to show people can be “adventurous at any age”.

Olwyn Hopkins overcame her fear of flying at the age of 99 last year when staff at Davers Court care home in Bury St Edmunds in Suffolk arranged a flight for her at her request.

She enjoyed the experience so much that she asked to go again this year, and the trip was arranged with the help of a local gliding club.

Mrs Hopkins said afterwards: “I wanted to show people that you can be adventurous at any age, and that the sky really is the limit!

“It was a wonderful day and I was delighted to be able to get back into an aircraft, this time feeling excited rather than nervous.

“It was a fantastic way to celebrate my 100th birthday and I can’t thank Rattlesden Gliding Club and the team at Davers Court enough for organising this experience for me.”

She said she did not enjoy her first experience of flying as a 19-year-old, which was on a trip from Portsmouth to the Isle of Wight.

Olwyn Hopkins
Olwyn Hopkins took to the skies for her birthday (Davers Court care home/PA)

She was so scared that she got the boat back and did not set foot in another aircraft until last year.

She made her request to go up in a glider a second time through her care home’s Wishing Tree initiative and soared over Suffolk from Felsham.

Sharlene Van Tonder, home manager at Davers Court, said: “At Davers Court, we consistently encourage residents to lead fulfilling lives, whether that comes from helping out in the garden, or taking a trip in a glider!

“Olwyn’s last flying experience was a real success, so when she submitted her wish to fly a second time through our Wishing Tree initiative, we were thrilled to be able to grant her wish and help her to fulfil her dreams once more.

“Olwyn had a brilliant time and it was great to see how being up in the air brings her so much joy.”

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