Widower, 93, sets wing walk record
Published 29/08/2013 | 12:03
A 93-year-old widower has broken his own record to become the world's oldest wing walker.
Daredevil Tom Lackey, who was first strapped to a plane's wing when he was in his 80s, landed safely at City of Derry Airport after a one-hour-21-minute journey across the Irish Sea this morning.
"I am glad to be down. It was rather refreshing - very, very cold and very, very noisy," he said.
The former builder from the West Midlands was tied to the top of a 1943 Boeing Stearman biplane which flew at around 1,000ft from Castle Kennedy, near Stranraer, in Scotland to Londonderry.
He touched down in Derry at about 11am.
A clearly relieved Mr Lackey said: "It was a very powerful aircraft and the noise was quite terrific because of the engine and the wind.
"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."
Mr Lackey, from Shirley near Solihull, completed his first wing walk 13 years ago after the death of his wife, Isobel who had served in the Royal Air Force.
He entered 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 this latest feat was the most challenging yet, he said.
Mr Lackey added: "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 stuntman always carries a photograph of his late wife with him.
He said: "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."
Since his wife's death Mr Lackey, who was greeted by his daughter and granddaughter in Derry, has raised over £1 million for charity.
The plane on which the record was won will be on display at the Northern Ireland International Airshow being held this weekend in Portrush, Co Antrim.