Linda achieves examiners status at Waveney Model Flying Club
- Credit: Archant
When 61-year-old Linda Easter decided to buy her husband a model aircraft as a Christmas present, she wanted to give him a hobby to take up in his retirement.
But when they excitedly started to fly the plane on Boxing Day, it crashed numerous times and ended up in pieces.
Mrs Easter was reluctant to take the controls, even after the couple joined the Waveney Model Flying Club at Aldeby, near Beccles - which has about 70 members.
But now, after nervously picking up the transmitter, things have literally taken off for Mrs Easter as she has now achieved examiners status - the first female flyer to reach the milestone, as far as the British Model Flying Association records show.
The couple from Oulton Broad owned the Soundgear music shop in Great Yarmouth until they closed it eight years ago.
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After deciding to visit The Waveney Model Flying Club, with their battered Christmas present in hand, the club members were soon keen to help Mr Easter get his plane airborne.
His wife was then encouraged to have a go but being the only woman in the club, she was a bit apprehensive.
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'We went over to the club with this battered plane and this guy came over and said we will soon get you airborne', Mrs Easter said.
'He took our plane, did a few bits here and there and the next thing he took it up into the sky and it disappeared into the distance.
'We couldn't believe how he was flying it in circles; we thought 'wow - this is it.'
'Mike asked me to have a go to see if I was any good. I wasn't really interested. But I gave it a go and from then I was hooked.'
Surprisingly for Mrs Easter, flying seemed to be her new vocation as she quickly learnt to control the model with very little help.
Mrs Easter, who owns 15 planes, some with the wingspans of about six feet, then described how the hobby became 'infectious' as during the next three years she excelled in her new venture.
She successfully gained her BMFA 'A' certificate which enables her to fly alone at any club and also the 'B' certificate so she can fly planes at public events.
She has now progressed to examiners status in what Mrs Easter describes as a 'predominantly man's sport'.
'They told me there were other female flyers but afterwards they said that I was the only one,' Mrs Easter added.
'According to the BMFA head office, they don't know of any other female examiners.
'It is brilliant because when we first took that plane out and took off, I never thought in five years this would happen.
'I still get a good adrenaline rush, especially when I am doing all of the acrobatics.'
Mrs Easter also said that now she is an approved instructor, members listen to her advice with her motto: 'If you are willing to listen then you will learn very quickly.'
Mr Easter said: 'It is the best thing we ever did and I am very proud of what she has done. There is something about girl power.'
The couple also encouraged new people to attend the club if they have been inspired, staying 'anyone can give it a go' and they have made 'so many friends who are kind and helpful'.
For more information, visit www.waveneymfc.co.uk or contact John Straw on 01502 475217
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