Air traffic controllers get biking for charity

The Big Tour. Wayne and Alan are planning a major bike ride to raise funds for Aerobility.'Picture: Alan Parr
The Big Tour. Wayne and Alan are planning a major bike ride to raise funds for Aerobility.'Picture: Alan Parr
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An Inverurie-based air traffic controller, Wayne Clarke, and colleague Alan Campbell from Birkenhills, are set to complete a marathon bike ride for charity.

The pair will set off from Aberdeen on Sunday, May 26 and ride to various National Air Traffic Services (NATS) radar sites. Starting in Fitful Head, Shetland, which is the most northerly NATS site, to the most easterly site, Cromer in Norfolk, continuing on to the most westerly and southerly sites at Burrington in Devon.

The ride is in conjunction with Prospect ATCO Branch who have organised ‘The Big Pull’ to be held at Goodwood on Sunday, June 3, where a group of Air Traffic Controllers working for NATS in the UK will pull a Harvard aircraft on the racetrack in an attempt to raise £100,000 for their chosen charity. The charity in question is Aerobility, a charity run largely by disabled aviators and dedicated to offering handicapped and seriously ill adults and children the chance to experience the joy of flying. They also help with the rehabilitation of wounded servicemen and women. Wayne and Alan’s ride is scheduled to finish on Saturday, June 2 when the duo plan to make their way to Goodwood to take part in the event.

The money raised at the Big Pull is destined to purchase a new aeroplane: Wayne explained: “The charity’s ageing aircraft means high maintenance costs and less airborne time. By securing Aerobility a brand new plane, we can ensure that less of the valuable sponsorship money they receive is diverted to maintenance, and therefore enables more people to benefit from all that the charity has to offer.”

The “pull” will take place during the Sunday afternoon following one of the regular Goodwood Breakfast Club events that day. The previous evening there will be a gala dinner and charity auction at Goodwood House.

Continuing, Wayne said: “Our fund raising is going well and we are up to £505.00 in a week, so fingers crossed, we hope to reach our nominal target of £2000.

“Please dig deep and support us. The amount you give is not important - it all goes towards our massive target of £100,000, but please consider donating something, however little.”

To find out more about the event and details of how to donate through JustGiving, visit www.thebigpull.co.uk.