Thursday 28th November 2019

A 76-year-old RAF veteran from St. Austell, Cornwall, took part in a daring fundraising challenge on Saturday 16 November, raising more than £3,000 for the RAF Benevolent Fund and Cornwall Air Ambulance Trust.

David ‘Terry’ Earl raised money for the two charities by wing-walking a stunt that involves standing on the wings of a plane during flight – at Bodmin Airfield in Cardinham, Cornwall.

David spent 27 years in the RAF, starting out as a cadet at in 1961 and retiring as a Wing Commander in 1988. Clocking up a total of 9,000 flying hours while serving, he flew Shackletons and Nimrods and commanded No. 201 Squadron 1983-1985. He has also been a civilian flying instructor for some 20 years.

RAF veteran David ‘Terry’ Earl said:

“I wanted to do something a little different to celebrate my 60th year as a qualified pilot. Having spent the best part of three decades in the Royal Air Force, the RAF Benevolent Fund was a natural fit for my fundraising efforts.” 

In 2018, the RAF Benevolent Fund spent almost £800,000 supporting beneficiaries across Cornwall and Devon alone.

76-year-old RAF veteran completes wing-walk for charity. Photo of David ‘Terry’ Earl in his flying suit.
David ‘Terry’ Earl in his flying suit. Photo: RAF Benevolent Fund

Heather Kemp, Regional Fundraiser at the RAF Benevolent Fund, commented:

“We’re always humbled and impressed by the great lengths – or in this case, heights – that our fundraisers go to raise money for us. David’s generosity goes a long way in helping us reach and support members of the RAF Family, so on behalf of everyone here at the Fund – thank you.”

This year the RAF Benevolent Fund celebrates its 100th anniversary and to mark the milestone, it launched a major campaign in June to double the number of people it helps.

The Join the Search. Change a Life campaign encourages the public to get thousands of RAF veterans and their families ‘back on the radar’ and, if they need it, accessing support that is rightfully theirs.

See also Military charities

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