Dream flight in vintage aircraft

A MAN with an incurable disease has been given a dream flight in a vintage aircraft.Philip Betts, from Pulham St Mary, near Diss, was diagnosed with motor neurone disease in June, and on Wednesday night he taken for a flight in a second world war Harvard plane.

A MAN with an incurable disease has been given a dream flight in a vintage aircraft.

Philip Betts, from Pulham St Mary, near Diss, was diagnosed with motor neurone disease in June, and on Wednesday night he taken for a flight in a second world war Harvard plane.

The trip was organised by family friend Suzie Vincent, from Pulham Market, who is also holding a charity ball in 50-year-old Mr Betts' honour to raise money to combat motor neurone disease, a steadily progressive and debilitating condition that affects the nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord.

One of the sponsors of the event on May 23 is Maurice Hammond, from Eye, who is offering a flight in the Harvard as an auction prize.


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After hearing about Mr Betts' dream of flying in the aircraft, a flight was arranged for the father of two at Airfield Farm, in Topcroft, near Long Stratton, which houses a museum dedicated to the 93rd Bomb Group, that was based there during the war.

"We were blessed with perfect flying conditions, Philip spent some 45 minutes in the air, not only flying over his home village but also having a taster of a barrel roll," said Ms Vincent.

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"Philip's expression on his return said more than words, it was obviously a wonderful experience for him."

Ms Vincent said that when she found out about Mr Betts' condition she wanted offer him the opportunity to raise much needed funds for charity.

"Everybody has been contributing, I've been absolutely blown away by people's generosity.

"It's a humbling thing to be involved with," she added.

The ball is at the Cornwallis Country Hotel in Brome, near Eye.

Tickets priced £22.50, including food, music and entertainment, are available from Ms Vincent by calling 07885 818290.

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