Lifelong dream of being a pilot comes true for 88-year-old from Bognor Regis

​Martin Toler of Felpham was on cloud nine when he had the once-in-a-lifetime experience of taking the controls of a small Cessna aircraft for part of a 40-minute flight from Goodwood along the coast to Portsmouth and back over the South Downs and Chichester harbour.
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Martin’s lifelong ambition had been to pilot an aircraft and this became a reality thanks to Home Instead of Chichester and Bognor Regis, a leading provider of outstanding home care services to older adults, and the generosity of Goodwood Aerodrome.

Home Instead has just launched its ‘CloudNine’ initiative, which aims to make the dreams of its clients come true, and Martin was the first to benefit.

88 year old Martin Toler from Felpham realised a dream at Goodwood Aerodrome where he flew a cesna aircraft after winning the experience with Home Instead. Pic S Robards SR230510188 year old Martin Toler from Felpham realised a dream at Goodwood Aerodrome where he flew a cesna aircraft after winning the experience with Home Instead. Pic S Robards SR2305101
88 year old Martin Toler from Felpham realised a dream at Goodwood Aerodrome where he flew a cesna aircraft after winning the experience with Home Instead. Pic S Robards SR2305101
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On Wednesday, May 10, his day started with a chauffeured lift to Goodwood in a vintage red Bentley with his daughter Emma, arriving at the aerodrome ready for a briefing from pilot Matt and a quick cup of tea.

Asked before the flight how he felt, Martin said: “I’m most looking forward to the views, I’ve lived in Sussex for years, but have never seen it from the sky.”

The weather was perfect and Martin took control of the aircraft himself between Pagham and Portsmouth, proving to be a natural.

His passengers commented on how they couldn’t tell the difference between him and the pilot, to which Martin replied: “Well there you go. Natural pilot, I should carry on with it but don’t think I’m going to.”

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Simon McGee, director of Home Instead Chichester & Bognor Regis, said: "We believe that everyone deserves to live life to the fullest, and we are delighted to make Martin's dream come true.

“Our ‘CloudNine’ initiative is all about delivering joy and happiness to our clients and their families, and we were thrilled to be able to offer this amazing experience to Martin."

Martin's family and friends were there to watch him take to the blue skies, an experience to create lasting memories for Martin and his loved ones.

Home Instead Chichester & Bognor Regis is committed to providing outstanding home care services that enable older adults to live independently and with dignity in their own homes. The ‘CloudNine’ initiative is just one way that the company is going above and beyond to support its clients and make a positive impact in their lives.

For further information on Home Instead Chichester & Bognor Regis please call 01243 884111 or visit www.homeinstead.co.uk/chichester