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Dorset House Resident’s Flying Start To His 80th Birthday Year Sitting In The Cockpit Of A Plane

A retired pilot who lives at a Dorset care home had his birthday wish come true when he sat in the captain’s seat of an aeroplane.

David Turner was joined by his daughter, Kirsteen, and Sam Baker, Activities Lead for Dorset House care home based in Hamworthy, for the special experience ahead of his 80th birthday later this year. David got to sit in the cockpit of one of TUI’s Boeing 747s parked outside the terminal at Bournemouth Airport.

He said: “I had a fabulous day with fantastic people. I couldn’t have had a better experience. It was wonderful to sit in the captain’s seat once again and have a look around all the controls and switches, which brought back many happy memories of my flying career.”

David chatted to TUI pilot, Captain Richard Griffin, about his career in aviation which included 20 years in the RAF, 15 years as a captain for a commercial airline, and 19 years training the next generation of pilots, before retiring at 75.

Captain Richard Griffin said: “It was a pleasure to meet David who was beaming from ear to ear as he stepped on the plane. He had lots of interesting stories to tell me about his flying career, including his time flying a Boeing 747, which is a lot larger than the plane we were in for this experience, but it has a lot of similarities, and his work taking him overseas. I’m pleased that I could play a part in his birthday wish.”

At the end of the special event, David was presented with a personalised cake shaped like a TUI plane to take back to enjoy with his friends at Dorset House care home.

Sam Baker, Activities Lead at Dorset House, said: “David had a wonderful experience sitting in the cockpit of the plane, where he felt right at home. At Care South, we get to know the individual likes and dislikes of the residents in our care, and where possible, their dreams and wishes, so that we can help them to continue to lead rich and fulfilling lives… just like this. It was lovely to make this happen for David.”





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