Meet Tom, the 94-year-old wingwalker who’s kicking off this year’s Air Festival

94-year-old Tom Lackey

94-year-old Tom Lackey

First published in News
Last updated
by , Chief Reporter

A 94-YEAR-OLD wingwalker will kick off this year’s Bournemouth Air Festival.

You did read that correctly – nonagenarian Tom Lackey will soar between the piers on the Thursday afternoon of the event, August 28, to signal the start of the displays.

Tom took up wingwalking at the tender age of 80, when he lost his wife.

He decided that sitting at home and moping wasn’t for him and in the past 15 years he has set a series of world records for his exploits.

Tom, who now holds 11 world records, said: “I’ve always been mad on flying and doing mad things all of my life and I’m still doing them.

“Since the age of 16 I wanted to fly, but whatever I wanted to do was thwarted somehow.

“I’ve been wingwalking for 15 years and I’ve also done aerobatics.”

Among his record haul, Tom is the oldest person to do a loop-the-loop on a wing – a record he set at the age of 85 – and in 2009 and 2011 he crossed the Channel.

In 2013, he went from Castle Kennedy in Scotland to Londonderry in Northern Ireland – a total flight time on the wing of one hour and 21 minutes.

In May this year, he went from Land’s End to the Scilly Isles across 30 miles of water to celebrate his 94th birthday.

Tom, whose appearance is being backed by Bournemouth firm LV=, added: “I’ve been to Bournemouth before and it was the most wonderful experience of my life, as I met the Red Arrows there.

“I’m really looking forward to meeting them again.

“I can’t sleep at night thinking about it. I like a goal in life to live for; I’m not ready for bowls or bingo.”

Comments (4)

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7:35am Fri 1 Aug 14

FerryFan says...

Enjoy it, Tom!!
Enjoy it, Tom!! FerryFan
  • Score: 12

9:59am Fri 1 Aug 14

speedy231278 says...

And to think that a few years ago some jobsworths wouldn't let a WWII Spitfire pilot back into the cockpit (purely to sit in it) because they thought he'd injure himself! Good to see common sense prevailing!
And to think that a few years ago some jobsworths wouldn't let a WWII Spitfire pilot back into the cockpit (purely to sit in it) because they thought he'd injure himself! Good to see common sense prevailing! speedy231278
  • Score: 7

11:06am Fri 1 Aug 14

hamworthygirl says...

Good for him wish i was that brave may he have many more trips
Good for him wish i was that brave may he have many more trips hamworthygirl
  • Score: 6

11:40am Fri 1 Aug 14

Hessenford says...

Who care's about age, if you feel young enough to do it then why not, well done to you and hope you have many more wing walks.
Who care's about age, if you feel young enough to do it then why not, well done to you and hope you have many more wing walks. Hessenford
  • Score: 5

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