Flying by touch

A FEARLESS blind woman from St Neots has completed her biggest fund-raising challenge yet, flying a plane. Martine Brooks, 57, who lost her sight 25 years ago, has raised at least £2,000 for the East Anglia s Children s Hospice (EACH) by flying a plane w

A FEARLESS blind woman from St Neots has completed her biggest fund-raising challenge yet, flying a plane.

Martine Brooks, 57, who lost her sight 25 years ago, has raised at least £2,000 for the East Anglia's Children's Hospice (EACH) by flying a plane without anyone else touching the controls.

The mother of one who lives in Hawkesford Way told The Hunts Post: "The experience was amazing I did take-offs, landings and a few circuits. I was really nervous because I didn't want to do anything wrong but I loved the experience and raised money for a very worthy cause."

Her challenge, which took place on Thursday morning at Great Gransden airfield, lasted about 25 minutes.

Mrs Brooks' was joined in the dual controlled four-seater Cherokee plane by her flying instructor British Acrobatics Pilot Mark Jefferies and her husband Phil.

Mrs Brooks, who is a teaching assistant at Longsands Community College, only had five lessons before taking to the skies for her challenge. She said: "I loved the taking off. The feeling you get when you feel yourself lifting off the ground is amazing. The first landing was a bit bumpy but by the third go I had managed a bit of a smoother landing."

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She would like to thank Barretts, of St Neots, Waitrose, in Huntingdon, St Neots Community College, the Perse School, in Cambridge and Barclays for their fund-raising support.

Last August, Mrs Brooks drove unaided along the A428 Great Barford Bypass before it was officially opened and raised £4,000 for the Guide Dogs for the Blind Association.

She now plans to take a year off from fund-raising challenges but says she is open to suggestions from Hunts Post readers. "I am going to have a rest but if anyone has any fund-raising ideas I would be happy to consider them as long as they do not involve going under water. I think if you want to raise money you have to do something a bit different to get people's attention."

INFORMATION: To sponsor Martine visit www.gbchallenge.info

What do you think Martine's next fund raising challenge should be? Send your suggestions to editor@huntspost.co.uk or write to The Hunts Post, 30 High Street, Huntingdon, Cambs, PE29 3TB.