As some of you may be aware in 2017 I won a scholarship to learn to fly with the fabulous charity FSDP. If you didn’t then I have Vlogged about it and you can find them here.
I was at Riat in 2017 but at the time I had not yet started my scholarship and so was still in a very difficult place mentally with my disability. So for all of the 2017 show, I sat in the VIP marquee, it was a great day but all the time I was aware that so much was going on around me, places, people, and planes to see. But back then I couldn’t walk the distances and was adamant I was not going to use a mobility scooter.
This year and 12 months down the line, and as I’m sure you know, I have fully accepted my condition and its limitations on my mobility and so I was going to see as much of RIAT as possible. obviously, for the Maximo, it was a breeze.
RAF Fairford where the USAF (US Airforce) is based is a huge runway and I believe it is the only runway outside the USA big enough to land The Space Shuttle (when it was still flying). This runway has the biggest planes in the world land and takes off from it daily, in fact when I was flying at Kemble (near Fairford) last year, I was in the air, twice, at the same time as the B-52 Stratofortress. It was just several thousands feet higher, thank goodness!
USFA B-52 Stratofortress
Anyway, enough about the Aeroplanes, Although they are really blinking cool! #GeekAlert because the truth is that without my mobility scooter I wouldn’t have been able to see hardly any of them up close and personally.
In fact, I was so chuffed with the whole new experience that I even took some photos of the Maximo alongside a few planes, why you may ask? And i’m sure many of my fellow spectators thought the exact same thing.
Well… We all marvel in technology, I have already discussed how I feel there hasn’t been a better time to be disabled in the UK with the tech advances we have today, even compared to 10 years ago. but many of us with a disability rarely stand in ore of advancements to “disabled living” yes B-52, The Red Arrows and the F-35 raptor are beasts of engineering, A1 in their field and spectacles to marvel at, but to me, so is my Maximo.
Yes I know, it sounds soppy or even like a product pushy, but she is. If five years ago you’d have told me I would be using a scooter I’d have ignored you, but also if you had told me that I would have a scooter that fits in the boot of my car and will go over pretty much any terrain and it would reignite my need to explore with the family, I’d have told you it wasn’t possible!
A lot has happened to me over the past 12 months thanks to FSDP and TGA Mobility and I know I’m very very lucky not everyone will get their pilots wings in life, but we have to keep trying, we have to keep living and we must not let anything get in the way of doing the things we love.
So I will sign off as always and say if you think you need a mobility aid or a scooter DO IT! because #AnyoneCanExplore