Eddie takes last glider tow on 90th birthday

Eddie Room has been the Wolds Glider Club tugmaster for more than 40 years.
Eddie Room has been the Wolds Glider Club tugmaster for more than 40 years.

A Wolds Gliding Club stalwart has taken to the skies for one last time on his 90th birthday.

After more than 25,000 flights aerotowing gliders into the sky Eddie Room stood down as a tugmaster at the club last year.

Pocklington resident Eddie had been the tugmaster at the club’s East Yorkshire airfield for 43 years.

But before finally hanging up his headset Eddie wanted to fly one more aerotow – to celebrate his 90th birthday.

Rain showers had threatened to spoil the day but the weather cleared and Eddie taxied out to the runway with co-pilot and current club tugmaster Mal Gibson.

Waiting for them was a glider piloted by his daughter Sue Room, herself a qualified gliding instructor, and Wolds Gliding Club chief flying instructor John Norman.

Eddie said: “I’ve been flying for 60 years and enjoyed every minute. This final aerotow was the icing on the cake.”

Eddie learned to fly power planes in 1959 when he lived in what was then Southern Rhodesia, now Zimbabwe.

He had his own garage business in East Cottingwith and was one of the first members of Wolds Gliding Club when it was set up at Pocklington in 1970. He is also a glider pilot with more than 11,500 glider flights and was gliding instructor until he was 80.

Eddie has clocked up more than 6,500 hours in the air and still flies regularly. In addition to all this he is also fully qualified as a glider inspector and has maintained the club fleet over many years.

After the flight his daughter Sue said: “I’ve always had a great respect for dad as a pilot and his ability is the same as it always was. This was a wonderful way to celebrate that and his 90th birthday.”

Visit www.wolds-gliding.com to find out more about the gliding club.