TV host Carol Vorderman was flying high as she piloted a plane solo for the first time yesterday – and achieved a broadcasting first.
The Loose Women star is training for her pilot’s licence with a view to flying around the world single-handed to follow the intended flightpath of aviation pioneer Amelia Earhart.
She notched up her first solo flight after taking off from Gloucestershire Airport, near Staverton, witnessed by viewers of ITV’s This Morning. It was said to be the first time a solo debut had been broadcast live on TV.
Viewers heard her scream with excitement as she landed successfully. Prior to her flight she said: “I’m absolutely excited, excited, excited, but nervous, nervous.”
Her trip, during which she climbed to 1,000 feet, was monitored by a helicopter team shadowing her overhead. Before taking the controls on her own she had been practising with instructor Debra Ford, who said: “She’s been so enthusiastic and when you’re enthusiastic and you’re calm, it’s very easy to learn.”
Vorderman, who is 52, aims to fly 29,000 miles around the world single-handed next year and wants to set a world record for the fastest progress from solo debut to global flight.