Spitfire flight is another off the bucket list for 80-year-old Woodford woman

Eileen took to the skies on Saturday
Eileen took to the skies on Saturday

A great-grandmother has completed another challenge on her bucket list by taking to the skies in a Spitfire.

Eileen Clipstone from Woodford recently celebrated her 80th birthday, but age appears to be no barrier for this daredevil as she took a flight in a 1944 Spitfire from Duxford.

Eileen with her flight certificate

Eileen with her flight certificate

Eileen said: “My husband died last year and he was Spitfire mad, he would have loved it.

“He wouldn’t fly, he’s never flown, but he would have loved to go down to Duxford to see me.

“I have always wanted to do it, it was on my bucket list.”

Eileen has travelled a lot and said she has been on ‘all sorts of aircraft,’ but never in a Spitfire.

While she likes the idea of a trip on the Amazon, she says she has done everything else, including seeing the Taj Mahal and the wonders of the world.

But taking to the skies above Cambridgeshire in a Spitfire was a brand new experience for her and she loved every minute of her flight on Saturday.

The great-grandmother said: “It was really exciting.

“The actual flight was only about 20 to 25 minutes, but worth every penny.

“It was a 1944 Spitfire and we flew up and over Cambridge and back, and we did three victory rolls where you are upside down.

“The first two were great, but the last one made me feel a bit queasy.

“They also let you take over for a few minutes, he gave me instructions on what to do and when I steered it to one side, it dipped.

“I would recommend it to anyone.”

Eileen’s flight with Classic Wings included a detailed pre-flight briefing covering the aircraft, equipment and in-flight safety procedures, a 30-minute flight experience in the rear seat of the T9 two-seater Spitfire and the chance to be pictured with the aircraft.

While admitting that the flight was quite expensive, Eileen said it was definitely worth it.

And reflecting on what her husband would have have made of her trip in a Spitfire, she said: “My husband would have been thrilled, he would have loved all the aircraft and seen me go off.”