Couple to attempt world-record flight over 48 US states in aid of Portsmouth charity for injured veterans

Mark Radcliffe, helicopter pilot and founder of the Portsmouth charity Wings for Warriors, which helps injured veterans find new futures as professional pilots.
Mark Radcliffe, helicopter pilot and founder of the Portsmouth charity Wings for Warriors, which helps injured veterans find new futures as professional pilots.
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AN INSPIRING couple will attempt to fly a light aircraft over all US states which share a border in a sponsored world record bid for a Portsmouth charity.

Tess and Morag Morris-Paterson will embark on the challenge in a Cessna 150 on Tuesday in aid of Wings for Warriors. 

Tess and Morag Morris-Paterson, who are embarking on a challenge to fly over all 48 of the US' contiguous states (states which border each other) in a bid to raise cash for Portsmouth Charity Wings for Warriors. The good cause helps injured servicemen and women find meaningful, long-term futures in aviation.

Tess and Morag Morris-Paterson, who are embarking on a challenge to fly over all 48 of the US' contiguous states (states which border each other) in a bid to raise cash for Portsmouth Charity Wings for Warriors. The good cause helps injured servicemen and women find meaningful, long-term futures in aviation.

Mark Radcliffe launched the good cause in Milton in 2011 and it helps injured veterans find new futures as professional pilots. 

The wives' feat will see them fly 10,000 nautical miles over three weeks, camping overnight. 

It is hoped it will be the fastest journey by plane to all 48 contiguous US states ever made. 

British Army reserve Tess, who is on the Space Studies Program at the International Space University in Strasbourg, said: ‘Morag and I both believe in living a life of purpose, challenging yourself and setting an example for others to follow – all core values of the charity and their work transforming wounded veterans into professional pilots.

‘We felt a strong sense of crossover with the work Wings for Warriors does, so we wanted to pull out all the stops and do something really special to help the men and women they serve.’ 

The journey will start in New York and end in Pennsylvania, with overlaps in both states and Florida, Oklahoma and Texas. 

And though Tess and Morag could face sub-tropical storms, mountains and deserts, these are not their biggest fears. 

‘The most difficult part may be a potential encounter with bears,' Morag said. 

‘We are sleeping in tents, so there are careful guidelines that we need to adhere to in the parks and forest to keep safe.

‘Aside from wildlife, the difficult part will undoubtedly be decision-making and maintaining concentration.’

More than £540 has been raised for Wings for Warriors before the challenge, dubbed Project 48. 

Founder Mark Radcliffe said: ‘As a single father to a three-year-old girl I spend a lot of time thinking about her role models, her future and her potential.

‘Meeting two women with the character, determination and courage of Tess and Morag fills me with optimism for the future of my daughter and others everywhere.

‘I’m absolutely overjoyed they’ve chosen our little charity to support.’ 

Donate at justgiving.com/fundraising/thisgirlflies