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

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.

Wednesday, 17th May 2017, 11:31 am
Updated Sunday, 4th June 2017, 9:43 pm
Jean Humphreys, pictured in 2015 before the wing walk. Picture: Liz Pearce

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.

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.

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

“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.

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

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