Wigan pensioner flying high as dream of taking to the skies once again comes true

Ian Hamilton
Ian Hamilton

A pensioner will be flying high when a Wigan care home ensures his dream of taking to the skies once again comes true.

Ian Hamilton, who lives at Montrose Hall on Sherwood Crescent, will enjoy getting back in an aeroplane thanks to the efforts of staff who heard him talking about his career in the RAF and how much he would like to experience another flight.

Mr Hamilton, 82, will take off from Barton Airport on August 10 thanks to Mainair Flying School.

He will also be accompanied by his friend and fellow Montrose Hall resident James Houghton.

Care home manager Kim Jones said: “Ian has not been with us very long but when an employee was doing his care plans he talked about the RAF quite a lot.

“The staff member has a friend with a private plane and talked to him about flying. He said he would love to fly again.

“She thought it would be a great idea to grant this wish and we’re absolutely thrilled with the prospect of being able to do it.

“We have a wish box and tree at Montrose Hall and when somebody says they want to do something we always try to grant it.”

Mr Hamilton, who was born in Newcastle, left school at 15 and originally started out in the Merchant Navy but joined the RAF aged 18, training to become an air electronics officer.

His first deployment in the air force involved shadowing Russian ships heading for Cuba in an operation called the Cuban Missile Crisis.

He later became a member of the Blue Steel Bombing Crew and climbed to the rank of flight lieutenant before his retirement.

He travelled extensively during his career, visiting Cyprus, Malaysia, Singapore and also serving in Northern Ireland.

His work on the front line for his country has been recognised by the Queen and a commendation from Her Majesty is in pride of place in his room at Montrose Hall.

The flight is being organised with the full support of Mr Hamilton’s family.