STRONG men and women got rid of the standard taxi and pulled a plane at Southend Airport themselves - in aid of charity.

The team of 20, including staff from the airport, grabbed hold of the large ropes attached to plane which weighs 42,185kg, the equivalent of six adult African male elephants, and tugged it 100m along the tarmac.

Their daring pull was completed to fundraise for Nottingham University’s Children’s Brain Tumour Research Centre with more than £2,500 being raised on the day.

Money is being raised for the charity in honour of four-year-old Alfi Mjeshtri who died of a rare brain tumour.

His father Halim works at a warehouse in Leicestershire owned by Eddie Stobart, who also own the airport.

Along with a group of his colleagues and friends, the team decided to pull a plane, train and truck 100 metres each as they looked to raise £10,000 for the charity.

David Lister, operations director at the airport, said: “When the project in Alfi’s memory was first mooted, we were all really keen to take part and support Halim, his wife Suzanne and the research Nottingham University is conducting.

“I’m not sure the enormity of pulling a plane without one of our two-trucks really sank in until the guys were looking up at it from the tarmac.

“Suffice to say, I’m really proud of them and they performed heroics and in the process.”

The next challenge for the fundraisers will see them pull a train along track at Coalville in Leicestershire on June 28.

They will then haul a truck by hand at Bardon, Leicestershire, on July 5.

To donate to the cause, visit