VETERAN daredevil Tom Lackey looks set to get himself into the record books again by becoming the first person to wing-walk across the English Channel.
The 89-year-old from Shirley, who has completed 19 wing-walks for a host of charitable causes, caused quite a stir on both sides of the Channel with his latest endeavour.
He was given a special send-off by the French version of the Red Arrows in Calais and landed at an air show in England around an hour later to be greeted by more than 90,000 people.
Tom’s adventure started at Rainham on Saturday July 25 when he was flown to France in a Boeing Steerman by pilot Mike Dentith.
On the outward journey they even found time to swoop down to take a closer look at a basking shark feeding on plankton.
Before Tom set off from Calais strapped to the top of a plane, the Patrouille de France aerobatic display team did a special tricolor fly-past.
Tom said: “They were all lined up and said they wanted to see this Englishman who was walking across the Channel.
“After telling me they wouldn’t do it themselves, they said we are going to give you a special salute and they did a special tricolor red white and blue.
“It was a tremendous gesture and I really appreciated it.
“Just before we set off, Mike the pilot said ‘are you sure you want to do it’ and I said ‘yes, I’ve come all this way and there’s no way I’m backing out now’.”
Tom said it was very cold but despite that he enjoyed the wing-walk more than being a passenger on the plane on the way over.
“I was certainly glad to see the White Cliffs of Dover - what I call Vera Lynn country,” added Tom.
Tom landed at the Duke of York Military School near Dover where a special air show was taking place attended by 94,000 people.
All the events were part of the centenary celebrations of the first cross Channel flight by Louis Bleriot on July 25, 1909.
Tom’s latest wing-walk is set to raise funds for Breakthrough Breast Cancer and again Tom will be boosting funds by giving talks to local groups and societies about his daring exploits.
Anyone who would like to contribute or invite him to give a talk can contact him on 0121 744 1719. Alternatively visit www.justgiving.com/wingwalking.