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Olympic Gymnast takes flight in Nottinghamshire

Central Helicopters

Central Helicopters in Nottinghamshire has provided a Trial Helicopter Lesson for retired Olympic Gymnast Beth Tweddle along with fundraiser Alec Shillaker from West Bridgford as part of a charity prize.

Alex and his wife Victoria won the Mountain Warehouse Charity Challenge competition and received £10,000 for their charity, Meningitis Now. They won the support of the public vote with their ambition to trek to the summit of the Aconcagua Mountain in Argentina for their chosen charity, which they will attempt  later this month. The prize included an opportunity of a lifetime to join Britain’s greatest ever gymnast, Beth Tweddle on one of her bucket list challenges to fly a helicopter.

The trial lesson at Central Helicopters started with a 30 minute technical ground briefing with Head of Training, Capt. David Marsland and then both Alex and Beth got to fly 30 minutes each in an R44 four-seater helicopter.  The lesson included hands-on control of the aircraft, hovering and circuits.

Capt. David Marsland, said: “The lesson provided an insight in to what it’s like to fly a helicopter.  To train to become a pilot takes a minimum of 45hours statutory flying time and Beth and Alex’s flying time can be counted towards that target in the future.  Both Beth and Alex handled the helicopter well in what were quite windy conditions.”

Beth Tweddle said, “It was brill! Thanks for the great experience.”

Finance Director at Central Helicopters, Marilyn Briggs said, “We are delighted that Alec and Beth came to fly us and we wish them every success in their fundraising activities for Meningitis Now and their trip to Argentina.”

For those wanting to support  Alex and Victoria on their trek please go to:


To book your helicopter experience in Nottinghamshire, visit: http://www.centralhelicopters.com/ 

Posted on 13 November 2015

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