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Scottish pensioner aged 104 becomes world's oldest paraglider

London, Mon, 30 Apr 2012 ANI
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London, April 30 (ANI): A daredevil centenarian from Scotland has set a new record for the oldest person to take part in paragliding after taking to the sky aged 104.

Peggy McAlpine, who has two children, four grandchildren and two great-grandchildren, leapt from a 2,400ft peak in northern Cyprus.

She is now set to enter the Guinness Book of Records for the second time in five years as the oldest person to take part in the sport.

McAlpine only took to the skies because the same record she set five years ago was broken by a 101-year-old American.

"I enjoyed every minute of it. It was better than the last time. I would certainly like to do it again - especially if anyone takes my record," the Daily Mail quoted McAlpine as telling the Sunday Express.

The Stirling-born daredevil's exploit was recorded on video and posted on YouTube. McAlpine celebrated her record-breaking leap with a glass of Champagne.

McAlpine, who uses wheelchair, is now waiting for the record to be confirmed by Guinness Book officials.

The latest record attempt - to reclaim the title taken by 101-year-old Mary Allen Hardison, from Utah, back in September - took place on April 14 on the Kyrenia mountain range next to St Hilarion castle.

McAlpine said she 'loved heights' from a young age and recalled her first time on an aeroplane was as the passenger of aviation pioneer Sir Alan Cobham in the late 1920s.

The pensioner, whose husband Thomas died of cancer in 1980, said she first got a taste for extreme sports at the age of 80 when her grandchildren talked her into trying bungee jumping at the Essex Show.

"I climbed to the top and looked down and saw the people like ants and my heart sank. But I'd gone so far, I couldn't stop. So I stepped on the platform and drew up my courage and leaped from the top," said McAlpine, who now lives in Cyprus having moved in 2004.

Angela Gokasan, of paragliding company Highline Air Tours, told the Sunday Express: "Peggy completed her second flight with pilot Ozgur Gokasan, who was also her pilot the last time.

"They were gliding above the clouds and landed to a crowd of family, friends, and the three witnesses required by the Guinness World Records.

"We are over the moon to have flown her again. The stress was all worth it having seen her and Ozgur's faces after landing. She is such an amazing woman," he stated. (ANI)

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