Jenny Holland's Wingwalk - 5th August 2017
I am pleased to say Jenny undertook her wingwalk on the 5th August, a slight weather delay from the 23rd July, but a bright sunny day in early August saw her take to the skies, atop a bi-plane.
Below we have the photos taken that day and Jenny's account of her wing walk.
Jenny joined BUA Reservations in the late 1960's and went on to work with Traffic at LGW followed by a stint in Amsterdam Sales from 1976-1978. Jenny returned to UK and joined London Sales at Victoria; working for Ray Jackson.
After leaving London Jenny moved to Norfolk, undertaking fund raising work for the Royal National Institute for the Blind (RNIB). Jenny's own eyesight has been saved by the ongoing work of the Eye department at the Norfolk & Norwich University Hospitals Trust.
The Fund Raising idea
I decided a year ago to celebrate my 70th birthday by doing something out of the ordinary for me. Most people have a cake - I decided on a wing walk to raise money for the Norfolk and Norwich Hospital eye department where they have saved my sight for the past 9 years. I am a sufferer of diabetic macular edema for which I have eye injections on a regular basis, 30+ so far. Without them I would be either blind or partially sighted which would be life changing as you would imagine. I wanted to give something back in my lifetime to say thank you to my long suffering consultant.
Getting out of my comfort zone was the answer and as I hate climbing on a step to change a light bulb the natural thing was to challenge a wing walk!
I should have completed this on July 23rd when 20 people were planning to attend and laugh at me. Unfortunately the weather was too windy to do this and on Saturday August 5th the weather was perfect; lots of sun and clear visibility. Most of my friends couldn't make it but I was supported by Ann Breeze, formerly on the ticket desk at CLAT, Roy Shaw, formerly Chief Steward at BCAL and Jane Edwards a non-airline friend.
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After a struggle to climb 12 feet onto the top wing I took off and was amazed how calm I was and I intended to savour every minute- and I did! From the airfield in Upminster I could see 6 miles to Canary Wharf (even with my dodgy sight) and people on the ground looked like pin heads.
The force of gravity was enormous and it was difficult to move arms and legs but I had to. The flight did a 500 feet drop over the aerodrome and lots of dips towards the end of the 10 minute flight.
I wasn't scared up there although the press had said I have an extreme fear of heights. If I did then I don't have now. In fact I didn't want to come down.
Jane Edwards, Ann Breeze (BCal) and Jenny
Jenny with Roy Shaw
Airfield support vehicle
To anyone thinking of doing a wing walk go for it. It is something off my bucket list. What next? Not sure but something else crazy. I have run a marathon and done a sky dive for my charity and to date raised £10,700 for the special operating chair for eye injection patients.
I need £12,000 for one chair so if anyone is thinking of donating I would be so grateful.
Donations can be made directly to Jenny's fund raising page here or go to www.justgiving.com/Jenny-Holland
Thank you to those who have done so already. Every penny is appreciated. I am thinking I may do another WW next year just for fun and want to thank Aerobatic Tactics for their patience support and professionalism.
We only have one life so it's worth going for. Well said Jenny and huge congratulations for this one.
.......and there is a video of Jenny's wingwalk, Please click here Jenny's video
It is 4 minutes long and a great chance to see what it was like, with footage from the ground and lots of in-air footage too.
Jenny, back on terra-firma, with her certificate