A RETIRED Royal Navy man who once commanded the UK’s largest aircraft carrier is planning to fly his powered paraglider from Wiltshire to Scotland.

Vice Admiral Charles Style, 64, from Shrewton, is hoping to raise funds for Salisbury District Hospital and the Warminster

Athenaeum Singers.

The retired Royal Navy officer, who once commanded HMS Illustrious, is planning the 360-mile long distance flight in May, depending on the weather conditions.

“I am hoping for some benign weather conditions between May 4 and 24,” said Mr Style, who plans to fly for four hours each day.

“A year ago, I received outstanding treatment from the Salisbury Hospital, after having demolished three fingers of my right hand in the propeller of my paramotor machine.”

Mr Style lost half of his thumb, forefinger and part of his middle finger in the accident, but surgeons in Salisbury managed to reconstruct his middle finger.

The Vice Admiral took up powered paragliding as a hobby four years ago. He straps the 28kg two-stroke petrol engine of his £5,000 machine to his back before running to take off.

The powered paraglider can cruise at speeds of 25mph and he has flown it as high as 1,300 feet.

“It’s the most basic form of powered flight in existence. It requires no runway, just a field,” he said.

Mr Style joined the Royal Navy in 1974 after graduating from Cambridge University, and commanded the frigates HMS Andromeda and HMS Campbelltown.

He then became the commanding officer on HMS Illustrious, then the UK’s largest aircraft carrier.

He was later appointed commandant of the Royal College of Defence Studies in London for four years before leaving the MoD in 2012.

Mr Style plans to fly from Warminster to the Scottish borders just north of Berwick on Tweed. He will take off and land from fields and disused airfields along the way.

“My wife Charlotte thinks I’m a nutter but my three daughters and five grandchildren all think it’s quite fun,” he said.

Mr Style practised on Christmas Eve by dressing up as Santa and flying his machine over his home in Shrewton.

For the trip north, he plans to fly in two two-hour sessions and skirt the eastern side of the Pennines to avoid the hills.