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Tuesday, 20 August, 2002, 13:34 GMT 14:34 UK
Pensioner breaks high-flying record
Les Seales, 88
Les Seales hopes to keep going until he reaches 100
An 88-year-old man has become the oldest daredevil to "wingwalk" on a plane flying at 100mph.

Les Seales, an air-gunner during the Second World War, spent 45 minutes on the wing of a 1940s Boeing Stearman over West Sussex.

Mr Seales, from Shoreham in West Sussex, broke the record previously held by an 87-year-old South African woman.

The pensioner, who has a wooden leg, is no stranger to high flying - he rescued a trapped pilot in mid-air during the war.


I plan to come back every year until I am 100

Les Seales

The plane used in the stunt was flown from the Goodwood airfield in West Sussex.

It was piloted by Europe's only professional wingwalking team, the Utterly Butterlys.

Mr Seales was nicknamed "Dizzy" after his pilot rescue as a young man.

He walked from his gun turret, along the wing of a damaged Defiant to rescue the pilot who was trapped in his harness.

He later refused a bravery award, saying he was only doing his duty.

Wooden leg

Mr Seales has also completed other wingwalks, despite having a wooden leg.

After his record-breaking performance, he said he had wanted to stay in the air for longer.

"We flew for three quarters of an hour and I was on the aircraft for an hour and 15 minutes in all.

"I would not have minded staying up longer, but my pilot Mike said we had already been up a long time.

"I plan to come back every year until I am 100, but am very laid back about the record. It is just another cross in my diary."


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See also:

11 Aug 02 | England
22 Jan 02 | England
01 Feb 01 | Asia-Pacific
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