Stunt-loving 91-year-old Is the Oldest Woman to Wing Walk Across a Plane (Video)
A 91-year-old woman strapped herself to the wings of a vintage biplane last week and took off, reportedly becoming the oldest woman in the world to “wing walk.”
Norma Howard was strapped to the plane with a safety harness and stayed upright through a series of climbs, dives and banks, walking across the wings while the plane was in flight above an airfield in Gloucestershire, U.K.
She insists it was more thrilling than frightening.
“It was cold up there and I had so many layers on me I looked like the Michelin Man,” she told ITV News. “The hardest bit was actually getting up onto the plane wrapped in so many clothes.”
Howard is a retired physiotherapist and former pilot who is no stranger to death-defying stunts. At the age of 80, she swam the equivalent of the length of the English channel doing laps in a pool. Twice. Eight years ago, at the age of 83, she sat on the handlebars of an Indian motorcycle as it looped around the “Wall of Death.”
Her husband, who passed away in 2007, was the first person to test a rocket-powered ejector seat, according to local news Wilts and Gloucester Standard.
But this time around, she wanted to raise money and awareness for a charity. She chose dementia and, through a fundraiser online, collected more than $2,800 for Dementia U.K. with her wing-walk.
The previous record was reportedly held by an 88-year-old woman. Howard said she was watching the record-breaker on television when she facetiously said “88, is that all?” to which her son replied “Why, are you up for it?”
Howard is not, however, the oldest person to wing walk. Tom Lackey, who wing-walked in 2013 at 93 years old, holds that official record with Guinness. And he may hold on to it.
Howard does not have any further adventurous plans, telling local news, “I think I am done for now.”