Skyfall OAP: Supergran Irene’s 8,000ft leap of faith

Irene, 72, pictured having the thrill of a lifetime on holiday in Turkey.
Irene, 72, pictured having the thrill of a lifetime on holiday in Turkey.
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SUPERGRAN Irene Tyson made her very own skyfall after leaping 8,000ft from the top of a Turkish mountain.

The fearless Doxford Park 72-year-old, who uses a wheelchair, showed that age and ailments are no barrier to enjoying life to the full.

Irene and husband Robert, 78, decided to throw caution to the wind after seeing others paragliding while on a holiday in Olu Deniz, Southern Turkey.

Family members were shocked when they heard of the couple’s leap of faith, especially when they saw the photos.

“It’s the craziest thing we’ve ever done at our age,” said Robert, who has a pacemaker fitted and a hip replacement.

The former St Aidan’s PE teacher added: “We enjoyed it to say the least. We’re still flying high.”

Irene, who worked in the chest clinic at the Royal Infirmary, cannot walk far due to problems after an operation and has to use a wheelchair most of the time.

“I didn’t’ think she would do it at first,” said Robert.

“She can’t walk far, and she’s small, she only weighs eight stone so I didn’t know if she would be able to manage it.

“It was scary going up the mountain, especially when we got to the top and saw how high up we were.

“The professionals were just excellent though, they picked us up from the hotel and did everything for her.

“Irene was holding her hands out as we flew down.”

Their son Brian, 46, told the Echo: “I was shocked.

“I picked them up when they got home and my mam said to my dad ‘don’t tell him when he’s in the front seat.’

“When I told my wife, she said she wished she’d been sitting down when I told her.”

Robert and Irene’s grandsons Christopher, 15 and Adam, 12, pupils at Venerable Bede school, were surprised too.

“They’re very proud,” said Brian.

“We’ve been on holiday to that resort and not had the bottle to do it.”

The couple were up in the air for 40 minutes and flew in tandem out over the Turkish coast in the aircraft.

“They were driving it like a car and we flew out over the sea,” Robert said.

“I was scared about landing because of my hip but I never felt a thing.

“We stopped in the air just before landing and floated to the ground.”

•Are you a daredevil pensioner? Call the Echo newsdesk on 501 7326 with your story.

Twitter: @Monica_Turnbull