Sunderland great-grandmother takes first flight in light aircraft – aged 91

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FLYING great-grandmother Alice Ord has taken to the skies for the first time – at the age of 91.

Despite her advancing years – and her grandson being a commercial pilot – Alice, of Millfield, has never flown before due to her fear of heights.

SUBMITTED PIC  COPY PIC''Alice Ord aged 91 - air flight

SUBMITTED PIC COPY PIC''Alice Ord aged 91 - air flight

So when daughter Carol, 65, bought her a trip in a light aircraft as a present, Alice was a little anxious.

She said: “I’ve never been keen on the idea of flying so when I received the gift, I was shocked.”

“I was eventually talked around. I just thought at 91, almost 92, I might as well.”

“The flight was wonderful. I thoroughly enjoyed myself. I wasn’t scared at all once I was up there. Although I was a bit worried that the weather would be bad, it ended up being a lovely evening.”

SUBMITTED PIC  COPY PIC''Alice Ord aged 91 - air flight

SUBMITTED PIC COPY PIC''Alice Ord aged 91 - air flight

Alice’s grandson, Michael, 43, is a commercial pilot for British Airways, so was delighted to see his grandmother finally get her wings.

The flight happened after daughter Carol, who works for Daisy Chain, a charity that helps autistic children, bid for it during the organisation’s annual fund-raising ball.

The flight took off at Croft aerodrome just outside Darlington.

She said: “I felt sure my mother would be up for it and she certainly was.”

“The flight was successful in raising a lot of money and gave an old lady a wonderful experience.”

Alice was taken on the flight by pilot Gary Oldfield, 48.

Alice was married to Stan, a firefighter at Fulwell fire station, which is where the pair lived until Stan’s death 25 years ago.

The widow has eight grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren ranging in age from nine to 46. Her two daughters, Carol and Valerie, watched her take to the skies, along with representatives from the Daisy Chain charity.

Twitter: @SunderlandEcho