A KILWINNING pensioner diagnosed with terminal cancer was over the moon last week after flying in a plane for the first time.

Eighty one-year old Elizabeth McNamee, known as Betty, from Benslie, had never been in a plane or even at an airport.

But with the help of family, friends and Prestwick Flying club, a flight was arranged to give her a 20 minutes in the air – where she flew over her own home.

After the flight, Betty said: “I don’t think that was as bad as I thought. It was quite enjoyable. I should have done it years ago.”

Son Andy helped arrange the flight after speaking to friends at Irvine’s Veterans Breakfast Club. Pilot Lewis Anderson agreed to take up a Bulldog plane and make Betty’s dream come true. Lewis is the son of Scottish Airshow director Danny Anderson.

Andy McNamee said: “She absolutely loved it. Obviously it was her first and her last one. She was over the moon, she just couldn’t believe it.

“When we discovered the terminal cancer, we sat down and thought ‘why don’t we do a wish list nanna’, and one of the things she wrote down was going in an aeroplane.

“She was kind of shocked with the diagnosis as you would expect.

“We sat with the doctors and said she wants to know what the bottom line is and the doctor said she had months. We asked how many months we were looking at and he said a minimum of two and maximum of six, which was devastating.

“We’ve already passed the minimum that they gave us so everything after that’s a bonus.

“Years ago she had burst her ear drums and back then the doctors said that she could never fly, but obviously things have gone on since then with pressurised aircraft, so she could have actually flown but never pursued it as she didn’t know.

“I can’t thank everyone enough. She said it couldn’t have happened without me but it couldn’t have happened without everybody.”

To watch pilot Lewis Anderson’s video, click here.