Disabled RAF Spitfire Pilot to lead team of WIS on Aerial Pilgrimage to WW1 Battlefields

The first disabled RAF Spitfire Pilot since WW2 is leading a team of injured servicemen and women on Aerial Pilgrimage to the WW1 Battlefields in microlights


During the first two weeks of Jun (2-18 Jun) a team of Wounded, Injured and Sick (WIS) servicemen, women and veterans will fly from Wiltshire across the Channel to visit the WW1 Battlefields of Northern France and Belgium in microlights.

Their mission is to visit the WW1 battlefields 100 years on from some of the biggest battles of WW1.  Then on the 8th June they will fly the exact line of the front line from 100 years before, from the Channel to Switzerland. Not content with that, they then plan to circumnavigate the Alps! They are doing this to raise money so more of their wounded and injured comrades can be helped with their recovery through flying microlights.

They also aim to raise £25,000 to support their endeavour and help fund future WIS pilot training.  The Team have chosen to leave from Old Sarum Airfield which was one of the early Royal Flying Corps airfields in WW1 and this year will be celebrating it’s 100th anniversary.  Once in France the team will initially be based at Saint Omer airfield in Northern France which was the main depot airfield of the RFC in WW1. Then after visiting the battlefields the team will fly around the Alps as part of their training to be the first team to fly flexwing microlights to the South Pole.

The team will be led by Sgt Alan Robinson who is a serving RAF Technician and last year became the first amputee since WW2 to fly solo in a Spitfire.  Alan lost his lower leg in a motorbike accident and has had to overcome many difficult physical challenges to become a qualified pilot.

Flying for Freedom are partnered with Help for Heroes and the Expedition is supported by the Endeavour Fund, a programme led by The Royal Foundation of The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry which supports WIS Service personnel and veterans using sport and adventurous challenges as part of their recovery and rehabilitation.

The launch Press Day will be held at Old Sarum Airfield, Wilts on Fri 2 Jun at 1030-1200hrs. The programme for the day is:

  • 1030 – Arrive and Coffee
  • 1045 – Central Briefing including Q&A
  • 1100 – An opportunity to interview team members, photograph aircraft / team members etc.

Route and further Press Opportunities

The team will be setting off from Old Sarum early on the 3 Jun and return to their base at Kemble in Glos on the 18 Jun.

Contact: James Harris  james_e_harris@me.com , 07899 995253 for further information.