‘World’s Bravest Granny’ strapped to plane for wing walk stunt
- Credit: INESE STELMAKA
Daredevil Suffolk grandmother Hilary Mills was strapped to a plane for a wing walk in memory of her late friend.
Hilary, from Aldeburgh, had already taken part in a skydive in July 2018 at the age of 79, but decided to up the ante for this year's charity stunt to honour Gilly Beddard, who died after battling an aggressive case of cancer.
Heading with members of her family to an airfield near London, Mrs Mills was strapped to the top of a 1940s Boeing Stearman biplane.
Whizzing through the air 1,000ft above the ground, Mrs Mills said the stunt was "amazing but terrifying".
"It's when they strap you onto the top of the plane you realise it's too late to back out.
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"They put the straps on you and the hat and googles and you're off.
"I had a signal if it was too scary in the air but I didn't use it, even when the pilot started dipping and diving.
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"He hadn't told me they were going to do a few swoops while I was up there, so when he first dropped I though we were heading straight for the ditch but he swerved at the last minute.
"When I was up there it was so windy and very cold, but you could see all of London and the skyline which was so impressive."
As well as a participation certificate from the wing walking team, her nine-year-old grandson presented her with a handmade award telling everyone she was the "world's bravest granny".
The stunt was in aid of St Elizabeth Hospice, who cared for Gilly in her final days. She has raised more than £2,000 with her daring exploits on the plane.
Mrs Hills added: "The staff were just incredible for Gilly. They took brilliant 24/7 care of her.
"That's what inspired me to do something to raise money for the hospice last year and that's when the parachute jump happened - and thankfully Gilly was alive long enough to know we had done that for her.
"I thought it would be nice to do the wing walk this time because while I was in the air I could wave to her."
Mrs Mills said that after two years of adrenaline-pumping escapades she was old enough to take a break.
But she added: "I have promised the family that I've done enough dangerous things for now - but we'll see how I feel when I reach 90."