Record-breaking wheelchair team pulls plane at Heathrow to help disabled flying charity
UK charity Aerobility has joined forces with British Airways and Heathrow Airport Ltd to set a new record for the Heaviest aircraft pulled over 100m by a wheelchair team.
On the 23 November 2018, the London airport opened its doors to 98 participants which included volunteers, security officers and operational staff.
All volunteers worked together to achieve one common goal, to pull the 127.6-tonne Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner (281,309.9 lb) over 106 m and therefore beat the previous record by an enormous 67 tonnes.
The successful record attempt was part of a fundraising event named Wheels4Wings which took place to help UK-based charity, Aerobility.
Established in 1993, Aerobility offers individuals with a range of disabilities the opportunity to achieve their dream of learning to fly and even gain a pilot’s license at an affordable price.
London Heathrow is also currently developing its Diversity and Inclusion agenda, ensuring its services are adapted for people with disabilities as well as creating bespoke equipment and new resources for passengers.
The airport also has a new airline process which allows all disabled passengers arriving on flights to be reunited with their personal wheelchairs at the entrance of the aircraft.
Heathrow Aircraft Operations Manager Andy Knight, who was the key organiser of the event, said: “As a wheelchair user myself, a former pilot and an aviation enthusiast, I am committed to supporting Aerobility and I am proud of the role Heathrow has taken to support its diversity and inclusion goals.
“Besides raising funding for Aerobility’s fantastic causes, the Wheels4Wings event also fostered a greater awareness of the unique challenges people with disabilities face in aviation. We will continue to push for improvements for their benefit – whether they choose to be a passenger in an aircraft or at the controls.”
All the money raised will help give terminally ill and disabled people a once-in-a-lifetime chance to trial a flying lesson.
This successful record attempt demonstrates how multiple brands can come together for a great cause, whilst also promoting new services and products with the help of the public.