Have you ever wondered what it feels like for those people who attach themselves to the wing of a plane and perform acrobatics in the sky? Wonder no more! Our awesome supporter, Wayne, strapped himself to the wing of a 1940’s bi-plane to find out for us and raised money for SARSAS at the same time. Here’s what he had to say about his experience:
“Last week I took on one of the scariest challenges of my life. Without a doubt the most intense adrenaline rush I have ever experienced! Completely surpassed, however, by the events of today, for which I was completely unprepared. This aerobatic flight made the first one seem like a leisurely country drive in a convertible Morris Minor. The first one was mostly excitement with some terror, the second was the other way round. Professional Wing Walker Emma pulled the straps on me VERY tight before take-off and I did wonder if that was a bad sign. I have to admit it was a little too much for me. We were much higher (about 2000ft), much faster (135mph) and the G forces much more extreme.
During the negative G dives, I had difficulty keeping my feet on the wing. Although much further away, the ground came rushing up to meet us much faster and the wind almost tore my goggles off with a terrifying roar. As we approached the top of the loop it felt like I was falling over backward as the earth rotated to a position above my head. “No. NO! This feels so wrong!” I thought to myself. The violent G forces were juxtaposed with the weightlessness of the stall turns. (This is where the aeroplane climbs vertically until all momentum is lost, and then flips over sideways and dives back towards the ground.)
After all this, I felt like throwing in the towel and giving Brian the thumbs-down to land. But I decided to stick it out. Next came the same manoeuvres as on the first flight, but much harder and faster. Aggressive, vertical turns and roller-coaster dips and dives. Just as I was thinking “I really can’t take any more of this” the landing strip came into view, the engine throttled back to idle and the wheels touched the ground. I said to Emma “How you manage to do this for a job I will never know!” I think I will stick to drinking beer from the safety of my sofa.
I think I must be crazy but then I remember why I am doing this – this is for all the victim-survivors who make the incredibly difficult and brave decision to pick up the phone to SARSAS – and ask for the help they need and deserve. Nothing can ever undo sexual violence, but SARSAS can help enormously in the process so that all victim-survivors can recover, heal and move on with their lives.”
Such an incredible achievement, Wayne. All of us, at SARSAS, are in awe!
If you would like to support our work with a fundraising challenge but don’t know where to start, contact our fundraising team who can give you some ideas.