'Bader Braves' take to the sky at White Waltham Airfield

A chance to experience flying in light aircraft was given to children with special educational needs at White Waltham Airfield on Sunday.

The day was part of the Douglas Bader Foundation’s summer tour, during which plane owners around the country donate their time and their planes to enable children to take to the skies.

Children flying at these events are called Bader Braves after the Battle of Britain fighter ace Douglas Bader.

Keith Delderfield, director of operations at the Douglas Bader Foundation, said: “It was fantastic. Get a nice day and give a kid a ride in an aeroplane and you can’t go wrong really.”

Pilots were from the West London Aero Club and the children were from the surrounding area, including eight pupils from Manor Green School.

It was the fifth of 12 events taking place this summer from as far afield as Kinloss in Scotland to Bodmin in Cornwall.

Douglas Bader lost both his legs in a crash during a display in 1931 at Woodley Aerodrome, but went on to become one of the RAF’s leading fighter aces during the Second World War.

He was knighted in 1976 for his services to people with disabilities.  

His legacy is the foundation set up in the year of his death in 1982, which aims to support those with life altering disabilities and keep alive his defiance in the face of disability.


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