93-year-old breaks world record as oldest wingwalker above the Irish Sea
Daredevil feat made in his ninth decade a tribute to his late wife
Walking on the wing of a plane in mid-flight is not something most people in their 90s have on their To-Do lists.
But most people are not 93-year-old widower Tom Lackey, who has just broken his own record to become the world’s oldest wing-walker.
The daredevil senior, who was first strapped to a plane's wing in his 80s, performed the stunt and landed safely at City of Derry Airport after a one-hour-21-minute journey across the Irish Sea yesterday.
'I am glad to be down. It was rather refreshing - very, very cold and very, very noisy,' he told the Irish Times.
A former builder from the West Midlands, Lackey was reportedly tied to the top of a 1943 Boeing Stearman biplane flying at 1,000 feet from Stranraer in Scotland to Derry. He touched down in Derry at about 11 AM yesterday.
'It was a very powerful aircraft and the noise was quite terrific because of the engine and the wind,' Lackey told the press.
'I could see lots of sheep, lots of cows and little vehicles moving about like toys. It was scary at times but it’s over with now and I have broken my own record.
'I have been doing it for a long time and the pilot was quite prepared to bring me down at any stage but thankfully he didn’t have to.'
Lackey reportedly completed his first wing walk 13 years ago after the death of his wife Isobel, who had served in the Royal Air Force.
His daring late in life walk saw him enter the Guinness Book of World Records in 2005 at the age of 85 as the oldest person on top of an aircraft that looped the loop. But his latest feat was the most challenging yet, he said.
'I have done quite a number of wing walks. I do like doing it. I like the adrenaline and I see it as a challenge but this was definitely the toughest yet.'
The unlikely daredevil always reportedly carries a photograph of his late wife with him.
'She comes with me every time I go up in the air. I mainly think of her and what she would think of me. I do think she would have been very proud. I have been doing all these stunts to keep her memory alive. She was a wonderful person,' he said.
Lackey was greeted by his daughter and granddaughter in Derry, who told the press he has raised over $1 and half million for charity.
'He's absolutely mad, but I've grown up with it my whole life so I'm just used to having a mad granddad now,' Verity Joynson, Lackey's granddaughter, told the press.
The plane on which the record was created will reportedly be on display at the Northern Ireland International Airshow being held this weekend in Portrush, County Antrim.
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