On Saturday 23 September 2023, Moray Flying Club in conjunction with the Douglas Bader Foundation, held a Spirit of Bader Day at RAF Lossiemouth, during which local Moray youngsters who live with a disability were treated to a flight in a light aircraft, along with some of their family members and wider support group.

The last similar event was held in 2019 at Kinloss Barracks, but largely due to the pandemic, this is the first event held since then. Also during those intervening years, the DBF called a halt to the Bader Braves Young Aviators initiative as it was then called. However, thanks to MFC's George Mackenzie and Keith Delderfield of the DBF, The Spirit of Bader Day evolved. George worked with Sharon Aitken of Buckie High School to identify young people to take part in the day and representation came from a number of schools across the Moray area.

After a very unsettled week weatherwise, Saturday dawned as a glorious day and so it proved to remain.

The day got underway with participants receiving a welcome from Station Commander, Group Captain Jim Lee, who is an active member of MFC and from Keith Delderfield. Thereafter, flying commenced with 3 aircraft flying a pre-planned route from Lossie to Kinloss, Forres then Milltown Airfield, before landing back at Lossie. In total, 14 flights were completed during the day.

Whilst waiting for their turn, our guests had the opportunity to fly in our virtual reality Pipistrel aircraft simulator and also experience the realism of the Jet Provost cockpit, kindly brought over from Morayvia Aviation Museum at Kinloss. The Lossie based Defence Fire & Rescue Service also entertained the youngsters with demonstrations of their latest high tech appliances and equipment.

Reflecting on the Charity Flying Day Mrs Sharon Aitken, a teacher at Buckie High School, said:“The experience which Moray Flying Club along with the Spirit of Bader offers our young people and their families is truly amazing. To be able to fly in light aircraft as well as all the other special activities they put on during the day is a wonderful opportunity which otherwise our young people and their families would not be able to experience. The youngsters, families and staff were treated with such dignity and respect during the day and I am immensely grateful to everyone who helped make this happen.”

Our thanks to following people for making the day a tremendous success

    Our Young Pilots, their families and supporters
    Keith Delderfield, Douglas Bader Foundation
    Sharon Aitken, Buckie High School
    Mick Esson, Morayvia
    Defence Fire and Rescue Lossiemouth
    Air Traffic Control (who operated from the Runway Caravan especially so we could fly!)
    George Mackenzie, David Taudevin and all other MFC volunteers
    and everyone else at RAF Lossiemouth who helped make this happen!
Spirit of Bader

Douglas Bader Foundation

RAF pilot and war hero Sir Douglas Bader was knighted for his tireless charity work with people with disabilities. In 1982 the Douglas Bader Foundation was formed to continue that work.

DBF is now a charitable trust assisting charity organisations as well as supporting individuals with either physical or mental challenges.


Royal Air Force

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Photo Credits: Sian Stephens RAF, Lisa Rhodes, Lynne Gray, Joanna Mavromoustakis