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Monday, August 16, 1999 Published at 18:13 GMT 19:13 UK


Pensioner conquers wing-walking record

'Dizzy' and goddaughter Amber fly wing to wing

An 85-year-old war veteran has hit new heights after becoming the oldest person to wing-walk on a plane.

Leslie "Dizzy" Seales - a former wartime air gunner who has a wooden leg - completed the stunt at Goodwood Airfield, near Chichester in West Sussex. He was strapped to the wing of a Boeing Stearman biplane flying at 100mph.

It is the third time he has broken the record. "I wasn't frightened - it was very enjoyable," he said afterwards.

The BBC's Sean Killick: "You're never too old to wing walk"
Mr Seales, who did the wingwalk with his god-daughter Amber Rimell, 16, added: "We waved at one another as we flew and it was great fun. It blows away all the cobwebs."

Loop-the-loop record fails

Amber, a student whose father runs the D-Day aviation museum at Shoreham Airport, added: "My dad's really proud of me because he's organised this whole day."

But there was slight disappointment for them, as they had hoped to break another record by becoming the oldest and youngest pair to undertake a formation loop-the-loop. They were unable to make the attempt.

[ image: 'Dizzy' Seales:
'Dizzy' Seales: "It blows away the cobwebs"
Mr Seales admitted it was a strange pastime for a pensioner, but added: "I don't consider myself to be a daredevil - I am just a normal person with an unusual hobby."

Mr Seales first ventured onto an airplane wing during World War II, when he rescued his pilot from the cockpit after it crashed in Wales.

In an heroic rescue, which earned him his nickname, Dizzy edged along the wing of the plane to release his pilot and friend, Pat Phoenix, from his harness.

But the he did not receive a medal for his bravery - he said he was just doing his duty.

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