WingWalking

Well I did it! I went WingWalking.

I completed a Wingwalk at Staverton Airport, on the 12th September 2013.

Below, you can see me standing in front of the plane I flew on.
( you can see here where I sat when the plane was flying - strapped to the harness)

My pilot was Mike Dentith of Tiger Airways. (click here to see Mike testing the equipment - scroll down - might make you laugh about the model they used)

Why did I do it?
My father was in the Navy, Fleet Air Arm for 22 years; as a consequence I have always been interested in aircraft and in particular naval aircraft. Sadly he is no longer with us. I have flown in various planes but decided I would like to fly on one, hence the WingWalking, (which is not walking the wing but standing on the centre of the wing.)

On the morning of my flight I tried to find the watch my father had given me so I could wear it in the air and think of him. I couldn’t find it, so unhappily left without it.
I rang ahead as arranged to check the weather and was told it should be ok. I arrived, however, in the rain, but was assured it would brighten, which it did slowly.

I was shown around the hanger and then I caught my first glimpse of my plane – imagine my delight when I could see the aircraft was a Stearman with “US Navy” emblazoned on it. I took this as a good sign – both from my father and my association with the NTC.

Mike has been given permission to fly in its original livery colours and markings.

The plane is a 1943 Boeing Stearman PT-17 Kaydet, completely rebuilt in 2000, fully restored and painted a striking yellow – original US Navy colours. . This biplane was used as a military trainer aircraft, of which at least 8,584 were built in the United States during the 1930s and 1940s.[1] Stearman Aircraft became a subsidiary of Boeing in 1934. It served as a primary trainer for the USAAF, the USN (as the NS & N2S), and with the RCAF as the Kaydet throughout World War II.

The allotted time of 11am arrived, but Air Traffic Control could not give us clearance as there were craft in the circuit on instruments only. It was not until an hour later were we given the thumbs up. By then there was blue skies and high cloud – perfect. I had a great flight and couldn’t stop grinning afterwards.

Here you can see the US Navy markings