Pensioner marks 84th birthday with thrilling flight in Spitfire

A DAREDEVIL pensioner wanted a special experience to mark his 84th birthday – so arranged a thrilling flight in a Spitfire.

Peter Foster has previously taken on a wing-walk and giant zipwire in aid of Alzheimer’s UK after wife Wendy’s diagnosis.

The couple marked 60 happy years of marriage on July 30, which was also Peter’s birthday – and he arranged the flight as a special way for him to mark both earlier this month.

“I just see things and think yes, I’ll have a go at that,” said Peter, of Stag. “Why not?

“The flight was from a place near Northampton. You had to get weighed before and couldn’t have anything on there apart from your clothes, not even a coin in your pocket.

“Of course, the aircraft is 80 years old and they haven’t made them for 75 years. They said it needs servicing every 25 flying hours.

“You have the sound of that Merlin engine accompanying you all the time, but you can communicate with the pilot.”

Peter said that the exhilarating experience brought to mind the experiences of Second World War pilots and crew.

“It brings it home to you that during the war young men of 19 or 20 were flying these. They must have felt invincible but then a lot didn’t return. Families lost sons, girlfriends lost boyfriends.”

He added: “You think about the sacrifices that were made, not just in the RAF but the navy and army. It gives you a feeling of what it must have been like to be chased by the Luftwaffe. You think about the futility of war.