Ex-marine takes to skies for record bid

Adam Coatsworth, from Chapel-en-le-Frith, is taking part in Flying for Freedom.
Adam Coatsworth, from Chapel-en-le-Frith, is taking part in Flying for Freedom.

As you read this, former Royal Marine Commando Adam Coatsworth is preparing to soar high above the country he served.

Adam, who hails from Chapel-en-le-Frith, is among a team of wounded service personnel attempting to become the first disabled pilots to navigate the British coastline in a fleet microlight aircraft.

Adam Coatsworth, from Chapel-en-le-Frith, is taking part in Flying for Freedom.

Adam Coatsworth, from Chapel-en-le-Frith, is taking part in Flying for Freedom.

The group set off from Gloucestershire on Saturday aiming to complete the 2,000-mile journey in 14 days.

The route will be a true test of endurance due to the nature of the terrain below. The flight path includes over 20 stops and visits to some of the UK’s most historic airfields.

With each take-off and landing they are raising awareness and funds for Flying for Freedom, a non-profit organisation partnered with the charity Help for Heroes.

The charity’s ambition is to demonstrate how flying creates a sense of freedom for those with physical disabilities and to inspire other injured or wounded servicemen and women to learn to fly as part of their long-term recovery programme.

Flying for Freedom

Flying for Freedom

Each pilot has overcome a life-changing disability, caused by injury or sickness, to join the programme which is funded by public donations and private sponsorship - including from the Endeavour Fund, founded by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry.

Adam, a full-time dad to his young daughter, had his right leg amputated below the knee after a climbing accident.

Lt Col (Retd) James Harris, Co-Founder and Trustee for Flying for Freedom, said: “Flying for Freedom gives people a new focus after a life-changing trauma or injury.

“Flying is very immersive and gives individuals used to being active a challenging outlet which is not restricted by their disability.”

Flying for Freedom

Flying for Freedom

Each specially modified microlight will carry two people and be supported by a ground team travelling by road.

The team are using the challenge as part of their preparations for an attempt to become the first microlight pilots ever to cross Antarctica.

To support Flying for Freedom, you can make a contribution of £3 by texting ‘Wings’ to 70900 from a mobile phone.

Alternatively, donations can be made by visiting the website at www.flyingforfreedom.org.