Spitfire flight over North East hospitals postponed due to weather

A flight of a Second World War Spitfire aeroplane over North East hospitals to thank the NHS for its Covid-19 response has had to be rescheduled.

Wednesday, 16th September 2020, 12:21 pm

The blue 1944 Mark 11 Spitfire was due to fly over a number of hospitals in the region including in Hartlepool, Peterlee, Durham and Sunderland on Wednesday, September 16.

The Aircraft Restoration Company is doing the flights all over the country to raise money for NHS Charities Together as people can nominate the name of someone special to be written on the plane to help thank the NHS.

But after taking off from Duxford Airfield at 10am the pilot unfortunately had to turn back due to weather restrictions and poor visibility.

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The NHS Spitfire is due to fly over the North East on Wednesday, September 16.

Organisers say it will be rearranged on another day yet to be decided yet.

The spitfire which has “Thank You NHS” written on the underside of its wings was due to take off from Teesside Airport at 2pm.

From there it was scheduled to fly over James Cook hospital in Middlesbrough at 2.04pm, followed by the University Hospital of Hartlepool at 2.08pm.

It is was due to be seen over Peterlee Community Hospital at 2.10pm, University Hospital of North Durham at 2.14pm, Lanchester Road Hospital Durham a minute later, Chester-le-Street Hospital at 2.17pm, Sunderland Children’s Hospital at 2.20pm and Sunderland Royal Hospital at 2.22pm.

Sunderland Royal Hospital.

John Romain, founder and director of the Aircraft Restoration Company, based at Duxford Airfield in Cambridgeshire, said: “We’d flown her on test over some villages and the response to that was immense.

"There were people who had been in lockdown for many, may weeks, months who just loved seeing the Spitfire fly over.

"With this [colour] blue and the Covid pandemic everything started to line up ready to use this aeroplane in the way we are now.”

A JustGiving page has been set up where people can nominate a name to go on the plane and make a donation.

The University Hospital of Hartlepool.

The page states: “By doing so you will also be helping to raise money for the incredible people within our NHS.”

People will be encouraged to share pictures and videos of the Spitfire on social media using the hashtag #NHSSPITFIRE.

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