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Great-Grandfather Becomes The World’s Oldest Wing Walker

Daisy Phillipson

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Great-Grandfather Becomes The World’s Oldest Wing Walker

Featured Image Credit: SWNS

You’re only as young as you feel, and one man who knows this well is the 95-year-old great-grandfather who’s become the world's oldest wing walker.

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For those not in the know, wing walking is the act of moving along the wings of a plane mid-flight – safe to say it’s not for the faint-hearted. 

Ivor Button was up to the challenge, taking to the skies yesterday (9 April) strapped to the top of a plane as it took off from Staverton Airport in Gloucestershire.

The brave Brit has officially beaten the previous Guinness World Record set by the late Tom Lackey, who was 93 when he performed the stunt in 2013.

Ivor Button is the world's oldest wing walker. Credit: SWNS
Ivor Button is the world's oldest wing walker. Credit: SWNS

Speaking about his feat, Ivor said: ''I’m of sound mind! I was not scared. I was more concerned about getting cold.”

The widower, who has 17 grandchildren and step grandchildren and five great-grandchildren, is not new to adrenaline-fuelled activities.

Having already enjoyed gliding, ballooning and micro-lighting, his interest for skyward stunts started all the way back in 1932 when his parents took him to Sir Alan Cobham’s Flying Circus.

The 95-year-old is a great-grandfather of five. Credit: SWNS
The 95-year-old is a great-grandfather of five. Credit: SWNS

Generally known as ‘Cobham's Flying Circus’, the attraction toured around the UK giving thousands of people their first-ever flying experience at a time when flying was not commonly available for most people. 

The dad-of-four from Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, added: “They paid 10 shillings for all of us to go up in an open cockpit aircraft.

''I was so small I couldn’t see over the cockpit, but I must have been strapped in.

“I was most disappointed when I went back to school the next day. They didn’t believe me, but I just loved it.”

Ivor first became interested in flying back in 1932. Credit: SWNS
Ivor first became interested in flying back in 1932. Credit: SWNS

Ivor, who worked as a design engineer, left school at 14 and a half and joined the ground crew at Staverton Airport during wartime.

He said: “It was the best job in the world and I was lucky to enjoy the odd flight from Staverton.

"There was a navigational training school there then and I asked the pilot if I could come on one of their practice runs.

“He said 'hop in' and I was put up in the gun turret, but there were no guns there of course.

''It was a practice bombing raid and we flew down the Severn Estuary dropping smoke bombs. It was a wonderful time.”

The brave Brit raised money for charity through his stunt. Credit: SWNS
The brave Brit raised money for charity through his stunt. Credit: SWNS

Ivor's latest stunt raised money for non-profit Ataxia UK, a condition that affects coordination, balance and speech, and is suffered by some of his family.

If you want to contribute, Ivor is accepting donations on his JustGiving page here

Topics: Guinness World Record, Travel, UK News

Daisy Phillipson
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