Daredevil 83-year-old takes to the skies in Spitfire for hospice

Jean Humphreys, pictured in 2015 before the wing walk. Picture: Liz Pearce
Jean Humphreys, pictured in 2015 before the wing walk. Picture: Liz Pearce

An 83-year-old woman from East Preston is set for take-off as she prepares for a flight in a Spitfire to raise money for St Barnabas House hospice.

Jean Humphreys admitted it has been a lifelong ambition of hers to fly in the famous World War Two fighter plane, and her dream is soon to become a reality.

Jean Humphreys, 83, from East Preston, raised �2,040 for Mending Broken Hearts by doing a wing walk in 2015

Jean Humphreys, 83, from East Preston, raised �2,040 for Mending Broken Hearts by doing a wing walk in 2015

On Wednesday, Jean will lift off from Goodwood Airfield on a half hour flight which will take her down as far the Needles on the Isle of Wight and hopefully, she says, over Littlehampton golf course.

Jean said: “I’ve wanted to do it for a very long time. In fact, my very first sight of the Spitfire was in 1940 in the Battle of Britain.

“I was standing in our garden and dad said, ‘Look up there Jean, you can see the fighters dogfighting.’

“That was the first time I saw a Spitfire and all through my life I’ve thought what a beautiful aeroplane it is.”

The former pilot, who earned her licence in the 1960s, previously raised £2,040 for heart failure research charity Mending Broken Hearts by doing a wing walk in 2015.

The daredevil’s ambitions to do the Spitfire flight were finally realised when she found out she was a beneficiary of an old friend’s will.

If you would like to support Jean, donate at www.justgiving.com/Janet-Madell.