Pensioner Olwyn faces her fear of flying and takes to the skies at the age of 99

A woman of 99 conquered her lifelong fear of flying after her care home arranged a surprise glider ride.

Olwyn Hopkins developed her phobia aged 19 after screaming her way through her first flight – a turbulent trip from Portsmouth to the Isle of Wight in 1937.

She was so scared she got a boat home and had never flown since.

But with her 100th birthday next May, Olwyn told her care home she wanted to face her fears.

So staff at Davers Court in Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, arranged a flight with the help of Rattlesden Gliding Club – and the delighted OAP said being a passenger over airfields at Felsham “felt marvellous”. Olwyn said: “I just turned up, it didn’t bother me from start to finish. I just loved it.

“I wasn’t frightened at all. I wanted to show people that you can do anything you want to, no matter how old you are. I was delighted to be able to get back into an aircraft.

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“I can’t thank Rattlesden Gliding Club and Davers Court enough for organising this experience.”

Wendy Harvey, home manager at Davers Court, said: “It is important for us to really know our residents and understand their wants and needs.

“When Olwyn submitted her wish to our ‘wishing well’, we were thrilled to be able to make her request happen and help her tick a real must-do off her bucket list. Olwyn had a brilliant time – she’s not stopped smiling since.”

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