Ruth undertakes longest flight yet

A Lurgan woman, who recently gained her pilot’s licence, is looking forward to taking part in an event geared solely towards female pilots.

Ruth Devlin (47), who will take part in a Women In Aviation event in Waterford next weekend said: “Flying from Tandragee to Waterford will be the longest flight I’ve done yet.

“The guy who was my instructor will be flying along with me. He’d seen the women’s flying day on the Internet and told me about it.

“I’ve still quite low hours in the air so I need the instructor with me. There’s not been an awful lot of opportunity to go up recently because if it’s not bucketing rain it’s howling wind.”

She added: “The aim is to do as much as I can, but if I’m feeling drained he can take over as it’s dual controlled.

“It should take two to two and a half hours to get there. Five hours flying would be very intense, particularly if the weather isn’t good.

“It’s an international flight because we’re going over the border so I need to submit a flight plan and let the Gardai know. The night before I’ll get the plane filled up and make sure everything’s ready to go.”

Ruth said: “If we went in a straight line we’d be going through Dublin Airport airspace so we’ll fly to the west to go around it. The maximum height I’m allowed up to is 5,000 feet. We have to stay away from clouds.

“In a light aircraft you can’t go any higher than 10,000 feet because of oxegen levels.”

She added: “I haven’t met any other female pilots so it will be nice to meet up with a few when I get to Waterford.”