Pensioner, 93, fulfils wish to return to the skies in small plane 

Elizabeth Buckland soared 2,000ft above sea level as part of a wish to recapture her love of flying from her youth.

A 93-year-old care home resident in Edinburgh has completed her wish to return to the skies in a small plane.

Elizabeth Buckland, also known as Betty, had the opportunity to soar 2,000ft above sea level in a Cessna aircraft, flying at speeds of 150mph.

Now a resident at Care UK’s Lauder Lodge, on Wakefield Avenue, Ms Buckland often visited America when she was younger to stay with family in Seattle.

Her cousin was a pilot who owned an aircraft and Ms Buckland would sit alongside her cousin in the Piper PA-28 Cherokee plane, occasionally even taking the controls.

Betty Buckland, a resident at Care UK’s Lauder Lodge in Wakefield Avenue, Edinburgh, took to the skies in her youth. Care UK/Neil Hanna

After she shared the holiday memories with members of the Care UK team, as well as her dream to fly a plane once more, they began planning to get her wish off the ground.

She underwent some training on the ground with a pilot at Royal Air Force Kirknewton – whose mother-in-law also stays at Lauder Lodge – and then took off for a morning flight.

“It was a wonderful day and we had an amazing view of the Kelpies at Falkirk,” Ms Buckland said.

“Being in a small plane again was thrilling and brought back so many happy memories.”

Betty Buckland was delighted to return to the skies as part of the Wishing Tree initiative by Care UK. Care UK/Neil Hanna

The flight took place as part of the Wishing Tree, an initiative launched by Care UK which allows residents to suggest ideas for new hobbies they’d like to try, places they’d like to visit or activities linked to past careers.

Anees Riaz, home manager at Lauder Lodge, said: “We love to go the extra mile for residents here at Lauder Lodge, and our Wishing Tree is a fantastic way to understand what’s really important to residents.

“We are thrilled we could help Betty to reminisce and get the chance to soar high in a plane once again. It was a fantastic experience for everyone involved and it was wonderful to see the smile on Betty’s face as she landed after her flight.

“A big thank you to Andy again for helping to make this wish come true. I cannot wait to see what wish we organise next – the sky really is the limit!”

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