The baron against snow topped mountains

Flying With Diabetes (FWD) aims to inspire and advocate positive messages about living and flying with diabetes. We do this by carrying out exciting aviation speed records, and organizing FWD Days at aviation museums and airfields for children, adults and families, and local communities with diabetes. Our activities raise funds for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.

2017 Events

  1. February 8 - Speed record from San Luis Obispo, CA to Las Vegas (Douglas and Chris Isler)
  2. March 4 - Talk to Scottish Association Of Aviation Medical Examiners
  3. April 29 - Flypast; Children With Diabetes Camp, Cotswolds
  4. June 22 - National Aeronautic Association Awards Ceremony, Washington DC (Douglas and Chris)
  5. August 10 - London to Glasgow Speed Record (Karl and Douglas)
  6. September 17 - Flypast; One Walk Lincoln
  7. September 24 - Flypast; One Walk Midlands
  8. October 8 - Flypast; One Walk Strathclyde
  9. October 12-14 - Flying With Diabetes USA Tour and Speed record (East Coast)

London to Glasgow Speed Record – 10 August 2017

Another great flying day, setting a simultaneous speed record from London to Glasgow - subject to ratification by the Federation Aeronautique Internationale!

We had originally planned a London-to-Bodo, Norway speed record, and meeting the local diabetes community at Sandefjord on the way. However weather conditions prevented this route, and instead we took advantage of a day’s clear weather on the 10th August to attempt a new world speed record in the UK, from London to Glasgow over 280 nautical miles to the north.

That morning Karl and Layla flew together in the Vans RV4 (G-RVNS) from Northampton to Denham, and shortly before midday, both Douglas, flying in the Vans RV8 (G-ZUMI), and Karl with Layla, flew in close formation to start the clock overhead Denham Airfield.

After a sunny start, 3,500-foot broken clouds prevailed for the majority of the route which passed by Derby and over the Pennine Mountains to the East of Manchester, then Penrith and Carlisle before reaching Cumbernauld Airport, close to Glasgow. As we flew over Scotland’s Southern Uplands where mountains reach over 2,000 feet, the cloud base lowered temporarily, but we squeezed through fine, quite close to an impressive set of wind turbines. After speaking with Glasgow Approach we flew overhead Cumbernauld in close formation to stop the clock.

A very enjoyable flight over 2 hours and 4 minutes!! A huge thank you to Tim at Denham Airfield for clocking the start of the speed record, and Air Traffic Control at Cumbernauld for clocking the finish.

The rest of the day’s flying heralded some truly memorable flying over the Scottish Highlands! We flew in loose formation by Loch Lomond and through Glencoe, one of Scotland’s most spectacular glens. However, it was a bumpy ride through Glencoe, with a moderate westerly breeze tumbling off the mountain tops, and at one stage throwing the RV8’s maps and airport guide book around the cockpit, while both Karl and Layla were thrown around their cockpit with at least one head knocking the canopy! We beat a retreat across to the eastern side of the valley for calmer air, and once over Loch Linnhe the air was thankfully smooth once again. We flew south west from there and landed at Glen Forsa on the Isle of Mull which has a beautiful beachside grass runway with stunning views across the Sound of Mull to the Scottish mainland.

After a relaxing late lunch, we took off for Inverness, flying by Fort William, Ben Nevis and Speyside in the Grampian Highlands – stunningly beautiful scenery – before landing at Inverness with a sporting wind (thankfully) blowing directly down the runway.

A truly great day’s flying!

Plans are now afoot to fly the London to Norway speed record in late May/June 2018 – fingers crossed weather will "comply" next year.