At around 1.10 pm on 2 September 2017, Lesley Williams touched back down after completing a 10 minute ‘wingwalk’. It was actually a ‘wingsit’ but that doesn’t sound quite so challenging!
She was strapped in a rig on the top of a 1945 Boeing Stearman biplane at Chiltern Air Park, Ipsden near Wallingford. It was surreal, stimulating, exciting and at times, quite terrifying.
It was a sunny day so the view from 500 feet was beautiful. No looping the loop but the biplane banked quite steeply several times and there was one dive - increasing the speed from 80mph to 130mph.
At that speed, it’s very windy, so waving is difficult and the worst problem was a runny nose. Thus the video taken by the wing-mounted camera shows several, inelegant sleeve wipes!
Lesley won the flight in a Dorchester Festival online charity auction, which benefitted the Sue Ryder hospice, Nettlebed.
She then used it as an opportunity to raise funds for Christian Aid and for Oxfordshire Outdoor Learning Trust. As of 11 September, she has raised more than £500 in Christian Aid sponsorship and over £1,000 for Oxfordshire Outdoor Learning.There is still time to add more!
Would you like to sponsor Lesley's daring wingwalk in retrospect? Simply email the oxford office or call 01865 246818.