Officers take to the sky

IS IT is a bird? A plane? Superman? No – it’s a pair of flying police officers from Harrogate.

PC Graham Wilson, 44, and PCSO Natalie Bridson, 30, of Harrogate Police, took the plunge from 15,000ft to raise money for Saint Michael’s Hospice and the MS Society.

After months of planning and a fundraising drive, the daring and brave – or foolhardy – pair took flight on Saturday.

“It’s a real feeling of flying – words don’t do it justice,” said PC Wilson, 44, who covers Starbeck. “It was brilliant. I can’t wait to do it again, I want to try wing-walking next.”

He was joined by colleague PCSO Bridson, 30, who covers Rossett and Pannal. Having lost her mum to an MS-related illness some years ago, she was determined to conquer her fear of heights and her terror of flying.

“It was the best thing I’ve ever done,” she said. “I kept telling them, about five times, that I was afraid of flying, so they really took care of me. It’s an unforgettable experience.”

The weather stayed fine for their five-minute flight, and dressed in boiler suits with complementary hats, gloves, and goggles, they were decked out against the cold.

“Once we were in the plane, there was such an atmosphere, with everyone having a laugh and a joke, you don’t think about being scared,” said PC Wilson.

PCSO Bridson said the experience has helped her overcome her vertigo. “If I can do that then I can get on a plane to go on holiday,” she said.

“Back at work, a few people didn’t think we would do it, certainly my dad didn’t. I cleared my desk and sorted my emails out before I left, just in case.

“I definitely want to do it again. You get such a good buzz, you forget everything when you’re up there. It’s so peaceful.”

Sponsorship is still coming in after the jump, but the pair say they have raised hundreds of pounds for each of the charities.

“Thank you to everybody who helped us,” said PC Wilson. “Friends, family, everybody at work and to those in the community who have sponsored us, the MS Society, Saint Michael’s Hospice and all the skydiving team at Hibaldstow.”

“We’ve been putting ourselves through all this stress for weeks,” said PCSO Bridson, “but it was worth it.”