Page last updated at 14:56 GMT, Wednesday, 8 July 2009 15:56 UK

Heroine pilot's food for thought

Flt Lt Michelle Goodman
Flt Lt Goodman is the first woman to be awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross

A decorated RAF pilot is helping to raise thousands of pounds for charity through sales of a new cook book.

Flt Lt Michelle Goodman, 32, a helicopter pilot from RAF Benson, has written a recipe for the Food For Heroes publication.

She became the first woman to be awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC) after rescuing a badly wounded soldier in Iraq in June 2007.

Flt Lt Goodman hopes to raise £10,000 for the Help for Heroes charity.

The Merlin pilot has included her recipe for lasagne in a new cook book, which has over 100 recipes including offerings from the prime minister and actor Sir David Jason.

She and her boyfriend Sgt Justin Churchill have already raised £2,000 towards the £10,000 target by selling the book at RAF events and air shows across the UK.

The 32 year old is currently waiting to deploy to Afghanistan with 78 Squadron.

Night-vision goggles

It was during her tour of duty in Iraq that Flt Lt Goodman was called to help save a soldier's life.

Wearing night-vision goggles, she flew her Merlin helicopter at speeds of 150mph to rescue rifleman Stephen Vause who had been seriously injured in a mortar attack and had 15 minutes to live unless he could be airlifted to hospital.

Flt Lt Goodman and Sgt Churchill
Flt Lt Goodman and Sgt Churchill have already raised 2,000

"On that night in Basra when I won the DFC I didn't think of the danger, my only thought was for my crew and the solider lying injured on the ground. I would like to think that if I was in that position someone would come to rescue me.

"Selling cookbooks may seem safe in comparison, but it's my way of doing my bit for such a worthy charity."

Flt Lt Goodman's next major charity fundraiser will be at the Royal International Air Tattoo at RAF Fairford, Gloucestershire on Saturday July 18 and Sunday July 19.



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