A great-grandad took to the skies just days after his 90th birthday – to help raise money for his daughter’s rare illness.
Harry Davies soared to 2,000 feet in a two-seater white glider before landing safely after a 20 minute flight.
Harry, a former army and police officer, was eager to experience another flight after his first ever run 23 years ago.
He clambered aboard the glider to raise charity cash for Lupos – a rare disease his daughter suffers from which affects the immune system.
He was taken up by instructor David Tagg at Wolds Gliding Club, East Yorks., on Saturday (July 29).
Harry said: “It was brilliant – I loved every single minute of it. Just brilliant.
“I had only been in a glider once before on my 67th birthday.
“I couldn’t wait to get back in the air again after last time – I enjoyed every minute of it last time and couldn’t wait to do it again.”
Daughter Holly Firth-Davies, 61, was diagnosed with Lupus in 2015 and Harry used the flight as an opportunity to raise some money for the charity Lupus UK.
He added: “My daughter asked me what I would like for my birthday and I said I wanted to go up in the glider again and I told her I wanted to do it for charity.
“We set a target of £500 but we have passed that figure now and raised £800.
“I’m really happy that my flight could help.”
As the glider came into land through the clouds, Holly and family members roared and cheered as Harry was helped out of the cockpit.
Holly said that she couldn’t believe it when her father told her that he was going to raise money for the charity so close to her heart.
She said: “Dad is an absolute hero – he was really brave.
“The money is going to help so much with research into Lupus.
“Dad wanted the flight for his birthday and asked me if he thought anyone would sponsor him.
“I said they would and do you want it for cancer or osteoporosis as my mum Freda had it before she died eleven years ago, I thought she was going to do it for mum.
“He looked at me and said he wanted to do it for Lupus UK – and I nearly burst into tears.
“Dad reached more than his target before he even set off on the flight and we have had donations from people at my work and friends.
“I think it is brilliant what he has done.”
Lupus is a condition that affects the immune system.
It is often a poorly diagnosed disease as the immune system starts to attack and inflame healthy cells, tissue and organs.
Holly said: “I was diagnosed in 2015 after developing a horrendous rash on my face.
“I pretty much diagnosed myself before I got to see the doctors as I googled the rash and found it was one of the symptoms.
“To hear that dad was going to get sponsors for the flight to help towards research of my condition made me very emotional and I nearly burst in to tears.
“I am so proud.”
Harry, who still lives independently in his bungalow in Pocklington, East Yorks., said he now wants to do a bungee jump for his 100th milestone.
He was stationed in Pocklington when he served with the Royal Corps of Signals and used to cycle 98 miles back home to Manchester.
To donate to the campaign visit: www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Harrygliderflight