Monica's a high-flyer - aged 90!

By James HoreTHEY say it is better to regret what you have done, not what you haven't - and after taking to the skies in a glider for her 90th birthday, Monica Banks certainly would agree.

By James Hore

THEY say it is better to regret what you have done, not what you haven't - and after taking to the skies in a glider for her 90th birthday, Monica Banks certainly would agree.

The plucky pensioner had always dreamed of her first flight and this week, as she sat enjoying the views from above the East Anglian countryside, her life's ambition had finally been achieved.

Her day as a co-pilot was a gift from her family and they stood watching nervously as the glider was catapulted into the skies from the Essex and Suffolk Gliding Club in Wormingford, near Nayland.

The journey went without a hitch and the clear skies gave the perfect opportunity to enjoy views of home town of West Mersea, Chelmsford and the famous railway viaduct at Chappel.

Mrs Banks, a retired teacher, said Monday's flight had been a wonderful experience and added she had not ruled out the possibility of going up again.

Most Read

“It went very well indeed - it is something I have always wanted to do for as long as I can remember,” she said.

“I always imagined it would be so peaceful up there and it was lovely and quiet up there and it was such a good day for it.

“The fields looked wonderful and we could see Chelmsford, Colchester and back to Mersea - I would definitely take the chance to do it again.”

A bottle of champagne was put on ice and upon landing her family opened it to celebrate the most daring of birthday presents.

Mrs Banks said she expected her birthday next year would probably be more sedate - but do not rule out a bungee jump or a skydive.

Her feat set a new record at the gliding club as she became the oldest person to take to the skies, beating the previous record held by a 70-year-old.

james.hore@eadt.co.uk

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter