Today I fulfilled another flying dream – whooshing up into the air in a little GT450 microlight plane – essentially an engine powered go-cart attached to a hang-glider. As we tore down the runway at 80mph, my co-pilot told me ‘these little machines are the rockets of the air’. Perched on a seat a little wider than a motorbike seat, with my feet dangling partially over the sides and zipped into a flying suit that resembled a giant sleeping bag, we soared up to 3,500 feet over East Anglia. But it wasn’t height I wanted. My main aim was to fly as close to the ground as possible to get the sensation of what it would be like to be a bird, skipping and swooping over fences and trees across the fields.
After letting me fly around at 3,000 ft for a quarter of an hour, the pilot took over the controls (the closer to the ground you go, the more experienced you need to be). ‘This is the kind of flying everyone dreams of doing,’ he said as we chased deer across the fields. To my great delight, without realizing it, I had picked the world microlight champion, Dave Broom as my instructor. He is just back from winning the fastest time at the World Air Games in Dubai.