Bournemouth International Air Festival on August 28th will have an added attraction, that of 94 year old Tom Lackey, who will take to the skies to open the four day event by wing walking.
Tom. A former builder from Solihull in the West Midlands took up the death defying hobby at the aged of 80 after the death of his wife Isobel who served in the R.A.F. Tom says "I always carry her photograph with me every time I go in the air. When setting his first record at the age of 86, He reflected "I was much younger then". "He is absolutely mad, but I've grown up with it my whole life so I'm just used to having a mad granddad now" said Verity Joynson, Tom's granddaughter
The pensioner has taken to the skies before and holds the Guinness world record for the oldest person to do a loop-the-loop on a wing; a record that he set at the age of 84. He then again regained the title in 2009. In 2011 Tom wing walked across the English Channel from Dover to Calais and back again. In 2013 he went from Castle Kennedy, near Stranraer, in Scotland to Londonderry in Northern Ireland, a total flight time of one hour twenty one minuets on the wing of a vintage Boeing Stearman Bi plane.
On landing he said "It was very, very cold and very noisy, although it was rather refreshing but I'm glad to be down." More recently Tom took on his 30th wing walking challenge, a wing walk from Lands' End to the Scilly Isles across thirty miles of open sea, which he completed on his 94th birthday, Tom who is Wheelchair bound was lifted onto the plain by a cherry picker for his forty minutes fund raising flight, in memory of teenager Stephen Sutton who lost his battle with cancer in May of this year.
Fearless Tom said that he was honoured to open the seventh Bournemouth Air Show and could not wait to meet up with the Red Arrows display team again, having previously meet them on one of his many charity wing walks. Tom a father of three has so far raised over one million pounds for charity and was named fund raiser of the year at the Daily Mirror's Pride of Britain Awards.