Award for high flier presented by royalty

A high-flying light aircraft enthusiast has been awarded for his long-running voluntary work.

Barry Plumb, of Leighton Buzzard, received a Royal Aero Club Silver Medal from HRH the Duke of York at a prestigious awards ceremony in London.

The 63-year-old amateur pilot, of Copper Beech Way, was honoured after spending seven years on the board of directors at the Light Aircraft Association (LAA).

Semi-retired engineer Barry is a lifelong enthusiast, having designed and built his own light aircraft from scratch some 28 years ago.

It was his dedication to the LAA and its work that earned him the accolade from the Royal Aero Club though.

He said: “It was a lovely surprise to receive the invitation to the ceremony in the post – it certainly wasn’t something I was expecting.

“I would usually spend two days a week in my role on the board of directors.”

The role saw married Barry help with the varied functions of the LAA.

He added: “The LAA has an important role in assisting owners of light aircraft and overseeing areas like the aeroplane equivalent of a car’s MOT. It currently has around 8,000 members.

“I was also closely involved with the LAA’s discussions and negotations with the European Aviation Safety Agency, which implements rules and regulations across the EU.”

Barry has been a member of the LAA for 40 years and when not volunteering with the organisation he has spent much of his time flying his own aircraft.

He said: “It’s a small wooden bi-plane which I very much enjoy flying almost 30 years after I first built it.”

Barry’s passion for enginereing is not just restricted to aircraft though. He is also a keen motorcyclist, owning two classic 1950s bikes.

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