Rolling squadron pulls Boeing down runway for charity

A squadron of 50 disabled volunteers from the British Disabled Flying Association defied the foul weather and pulled a 65-tonne Boeing 757 for 100 metres along the runway at Lasham Airfield in Hampshire on Saturday.

The volunteers, who have broken the weight record for plane-pulling by a wheelchair team, were arranged in three lines along cables tied to one of the DHL cargo plane's wheels. The cable was also attached to the underside of the wheelchairs.

About 2,000 spectators braved the rain to watch the attempt, which raised between £15,000 and £20,000 to help fund the association's work.

The association offers free trial flying lessons for terminally ill and disabled people, and subsidised flying and training for other disability charities across the UK.

Mike Miller-Smith, chair of the association, said: "This world record attempt was a great way to show that, when given the opportunity, people living with a disability can achieve the seemingly impossible."

Paul Bishop, managing director of DHL Air, said: "The sight of a 65-tonne cargo plane being towed down a runway by manual wheelchair users is certainly an amazing sight."

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