Wing-Walk thrills pensioner

Plucky Jean HumphreysPlucky Jean Humphreys
Plucky Jean Humphreys
A THRILL-SEEKING pensioner was strapped to the top of a plane and went whizzing through the sky for a charity close to her heart on Saturday.

At a time in life when most are slowing down, 81-year-old Jean Humphreys defied convention and carried out a death-defying wing walk.

The Littlehampton Golf Club ladies’ captain did the challenge in aid of the British Heart Foundation’s Mending Broken Hearts appeal.

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Brian, Jean’s husband of 32 years, died four years ago from heart failure following a stroke.

Jean, of Lavinia Way, East Preston, reached speeds of around 90 mph while atop the Boeing-Stearman craft at the Goodwood Aerodrome.

She said: “It was very exhilarating. I loved it.

“The wind was unbelievable. I don’t think I have ever been in such strong winds. I could barely lift my arms.”

In order to do the walk Jean waived her right to insurance and had to produce a doctors note declaring her fit.

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The flight lasted 15 minutes and Jean was cheered on by her sister and members of her golf club.

No stranger to the skies, Jean learned to fly in the mid-sixties but a combination of cost and lack of time meant she did not keep it up.

Her next goal is to fly as passenger in a Spitfire.

She said: “Being the age I am I remember standing in the garden at Epsom watching them fighting in the sky. I have always had an enormous love for Spitfires.”

Jean has yet to count up all the funds raised but said the total was more than £1,000.