Pulling power at Norwich Airport

Youngsters were more than pulling their weight on Saturday – and their dedication was plane!

Passengers going through Norwich airport on Saturday might well have got a sight to stop them in their tracks as 25 south Norfolk eight to 11 year olds from the 43rd Saxlingham Nethergate Scout and Guide Group pulled an aeroplane 16 lengths of 600 metres to raise money for the East Anglian Air Ambulance (EAAA).

The Cub Scouts pulled a light aircraft called a Robin, loaned by Premier Flight Training, with a weight of 700kg plus pilot (to put the brakes on to avoid squashed Cub Scouts), for a full two hours; their best time for one 600m length was six minutes, 38 seconds.

Peter Mahoney, from Stoke Holy Cross, the group Akela, and also airflight company KLM UK's engineering finance director., said: 'Twenty-five eight to 11-year-olds pulling a plane, whose crazy idea was that? It was mine. They were very keen and excited by the idea.

'They've been doing their fitness challenge badge and this is the culmination – they might be a bit fitter after this.'

Last year the group raised �650 for the St Martins Housing Trust and �900 for Children in Need.

Mr Mahoney said: 'We chose the EAAA because of how important it is to East Anglia. In lots of cases there are poor roads making reaching an accident hard; the air ambulance cuts down the time dramatically.'

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The night before Mr Mahoney had received a message of support for the group from the Chief Scout – TV survival expert Bear Grylls.

Mr Grylls emailed saying it was a great idea and wishing them luck.