Brechin High School’s flying janitor, Cliff McKay, is offering a once a term flight to achieving school pupils.
He feels that those who achieve something in life should give something back and he also wants to see pupils who are giving, getting something back too.
He recently undertook flights with deputy head girl, Beth Watson, and Rector, Mr Bathgate. Mr McKay said this is his way of contributing to the wider school life and of supporting the school in building an ethos of success and achievement for all pupils at Brechin High.
Mr McKay, who grew up in Rhodesia in Africa, had always wanted to fly since he was young. After moving to Scotland, he started lessons at Perth Airfield. He said that his first solo flight was nerve wracking and he took a bit of persuading to go solo. When asked what advice he would you give to pupils on following their dreams, Mr McKay responded with: “Persistence and determination gets you your dreams in the end. Hard work can lead to big achievements. It is better to fail having tried than never to have tried at all!”
The flights, which lasted around 45 minutes, took place at Perth aerodrome on June 17. Beth said the experience was surreal, like looking down on a toy scene. She went on to explain that she thought it was a very good flight but, as she is scared of heights, she needed encouragement from her parents.
Beth was given this opportunity in recognition for her work with Unique, a theatre group for P6/7 pupils in the Brechin cluster. The aim of the group is to encourage friendships and introduce primary pupils to the high school gradually.
Alongside Beth, there are four other girls who run Unique so it was a case of picking a name out of a hat to see who would take to the skies. Beth said the best bit of the flight was going through the clouds and seeing them part in front of her as she sat in what felt like “a bubble”. She was delighted with her flying experience and would recommend that anyone.
Mr McKay was asked how Mr Bathgate had coped as he had only turned up to watch and didn’t know he was flying too - apparently he coped very well.