Bader Braves Reach for the Sky

On the 4th June 2011, seventeen intrepid young aviators took to the skies at RAF Waddington, following in the footsteps of their hero, Battle of Britain Ace, Douglas Bader.  Like Douglas, they have not let disability hold them back from embarked on a thrilling flight of a lifetime in the skies over Lincolnshire.

Douglas Bader was an RAF fighter pilot, who lost both legs in a flying accident just before World War Two.  Undaunted by his terrible injuries he returned to operations, flying both Hurricanes and Spitfires in the Battle of Britain. Douglas later realised that his experiences could prove inspirational to other disabled people and worked tirelessly to help them live life to the full.  In 1982, Douglas died, but the Douglas Bader Foundation was formed to continue his work.

Nearly 30-years later, the Douglas Bader Foundation is still inspiring youngsters.  One of the ways in which this is achieved is by giving disabled children a flight in a light aircraft under the Bader Braves Scheme.  Together with the RAF Waddington Flying Club, the Foundation holds an annual event at RAF Waddington and this year’s proved as popular as ever.

The weather on the day was perfect and each young aviator flew over Lincoln taking in fantastic views of the Cathedral and Lincoln City football ground as well as many other Lincolnshire landmarks.  Some even got the chance to take the controls and experience what it is like to fly a light aircraft.

Not only did they get to take to the skies, they also enjoyed playing sports, getting to grips with an RAF fire engine, face painting and even a close up inspection of their hero’s aircraft, a Supermarine Spitfire.  

It was a real privilege to fly these kids.  The sheer determination they showed was quite amazing.

Not only did the Bader Braves get to fly, but many of their brothers and sisters also got the chance.  It was a fantastic day for all and possibly more importantly, it has also been a good chance for families to meet up and share experiences.