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Fearless grandfather Tom Lackey made history this week yet again (May 22) when he became the first person to wingwalk from Land’s End to the Isles of Scilly – and all on his 94th birthday.
Wonderful Grand fathers everywhere are all legendary and worthy of celebration, but when you retain the passion and love for something well into your 90’s like Tom has… that inspires young and old everywhere who may or may not even be as brave as Tom, and well thats GUAVO in every way!
Mr Lackey took to the skies from Land’s End Airport at 12pm on Thursday, May 22 after receiving a birthday send-off from the local Sennen Primary School. Tom also beautifully dedicated his latest stunt to Stephen Sutton, the teenage cancer sufferer who sadly lost his battle with the illness last week.
Tom touched down on St Mary’s at 13:25pm, after a 20 minutes crossing in moderate weather and now becomes the first – and oldest – person to wingwalk the 26 miles to St Mary’s.
After setting the record, Mr Lackey said:
“It was a rather refreshing flight I have to say. The weather was against us a little bit, so it was really really cold up there. But I survived and I have to say thanks to the pilot Mike Dentith who got me over in one piece. The views were amazing from up there, but I’m tired out now so looking forward to getting warm and taking the trip back to the mainland by sea this time on the Scillonian ferry.”
Rob Goldsmith, Chief Executive of the Isles of Scilly Steamship Company, which owns Land’s End Airport, said:
“We have operated both an air and sea service to and from the islands for 30 years and this is certainly the most amazing sight we have ever seen leaving the mainland. What an inspirational man and a fantastic event for the children who came along to send Tom off.”
This is Tom’s fourth adrenalin-fuelled action world record now as he already holds the official titles for being the oldest man to do a loop-the-loop on the wing of an aircraft, when he was 86; the oldest man to cross from Dover to Calais and back on the wing of an aircraft, aged 93 and the oldest man to cross the Irish Sea, aged 94. When setting his first record at the age of 86, he poignantly reflects on it as being “much younger” but still ‘young at heart’ in every way.
The Pride of Britain award winner, who is now wheelchair bound, was hoisted on top of the plane by a cherry picker for the 40 minute crossing, flying at 1,500ft and reaching speeds of 90mph. We saluted you at 86 Tom, and we truly salute you again at 94! Thanks for the inspiration once again!
Tom also dedicates every adrenalin fuelled adventure to his late wife who he cites as an inspiration for him always.
This is another short video produced by D. Richards a few years ago (not for TIG) and is a great interview with Tom and a perfect insight into his motivations:
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