AN 83-YEAR-OLD grandad is the oldest helicopter pilot in the world.
Peter Chantler, of Rosebank Farm, Cotebrook, made his attempt to be included in the Guinness Book of World Records exclusively for The Chronicle.
The current record for ‘oldest solo helicopter flight’ is held by Irishman David Tyndall, 82, who died last year.
But once Peter’s application is completed, it is only a matter of time before he goes down in history.
“They have told me that I am the oldest so all I have to do is apply,” he said.
“I just love flying, it’s great when you can just jump in and fly off. I have a few chums in Anglesey so sometimes I just pop over to see them for a bit of lunch.”
His love of flying began in the RAF in 1945 when he trained in a Tiger Moth, later turning his attention towards helicopters.
But after putting off applying for his licence, the retired timber merchant, at the age of 66, decided to get back among the clouds and earned his licence.
“I kept putting it off but my family just kept telling me that I would always regret it so I just decided to do it,” he said.
“Once you’ve learned the skills, your muscles remember. It’s just like riding a bike!”
Peter, who has 11 grandchildren and three sons, undertook the record flight in his Robinson 44 helicopter and is now targeting 1,000 hours of airtime. He also has to pass an annual medical exam.
Peter’s remarkable feat is not the only record held in the family, as 17-year-old grandson Sam Meekins, of Tarporley, is currently the UK’s youngest pilot, confirmed by the Civil Aviation Authority.
Peter’s wife, Sarah, also holds a helicopter licence.
Despite being the oldest high-flyer in the world, Peter has no intention of stopping just yet.
“The hardest part of it is taking off and landing,” he said. “It’s a lot of fun really.”