Angela's an airborne winner with stunt that hits heights for Hospiscare
- Credit: Martin Stokke
Daredevil fundraiser Angela Atkins Phillips took to the skies at the weekend and bravely stepped out onto the wings of a bi-plane, all in the name of charity.
The intrepid 55-year-old, from Ottery St Mary, completed an adrenaline-fuelled wing walk on Sunday high above Dunkeswell airfield – and described it as an amazing experience – raising £800 for Hospiscare.
After climbing onto the top wing of the plane, Angela was then securely strapped to a frame. The plane took off and flew around, performing aerobatic manoeuvres, for around 10 to 15 minutes.
Angela, who is married to Graham and has two adult stepchildren, said: “Wow! What an amazing experience. Exciting, exhilarating, thrilling!”
She told the Herald: “After checking in at Dunkeswell airfield with WingWalk Buzz and watching a short information video with the other two ladies who were also going up, it was my turn to climb aboard. This was the bit I was most worried about; how clumsy would I look clambering up to the rig on the top wing?
“No need for concern, just two or three easy manoeuvres and I was being secured, very tightly, to the frame attached to the wing.”
Angela added: “Martin, the very experienced pilot, checked how much of a daredevil I was so he knew just how many moves he could perform during the flight. So, goggles on, we taxied to the runway, waited for a planeload of parachutists to land and we were off!
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“The acceleration was amazing and before I knew it I was airborne on the wing of a Second World War bi-plane! At first it was very blustery, as we circled out over the countryside, but I soon got used to it as we returned closer to the airfield and we began to perform some fancy flying, circling around, banking left and right, climbing and dropping like a windy but remarkably sedate roller coaster.
“All too soon we came back onto the airfield, landed and taxied back to the front of the WingWalk Buzz office, where my very relieved husband and my friends were waiting for me, busy clicking away taking photos and videos.
“My reaction, when they asked what it was like? Amazing, fantastic!”
Angela put photographs and videos on her social media account and was “overwhelmed by the reactions” she got.
She said: “I am very proud that I have now raised over £800 for Hospiscare. My fundraising page is still open should anyone else like to donate to this wonderful local charity.
“Would I do it again? Yes! In a heartbeat! I would urge anyone to have a go. If you have an ounce of daring in you, go for it! Any negatives? It was cold, I layered up with T-shirts, sweatshirts and a jacket but only wore leggings, should have had another layer on, and wear gloves. And it messes your hair up too.”
The walk had been postponed several times due to mechanical problems and the lockdowns but Angela had her fingers crossed that it would finally be chocks away on Sunday – and so it was!
“I enjoy take off when on holiday flights and I love the acceleration,” Angela added. “I was getting nervous as Sunday approached because I had no real idea what to expect.
“I imagined it would be something like the two tandem parachute jumps I had completed in the past but a lot faster and more fun.”
Toni Hiscocks, Hospiscare local fundraiser for East Devon, said: “Angela is a phenomenal supporter. She took part in an abseil at Canonteign Falls in 2019, which is England’s highest waterfall – more than 220ft high – such a terrifying challenge, she is a real thrill seeker and happy to challenge herself. After a difficult year we’re all absolutely thrilled with what Angela has achieved so far. This is not easily done, especially during a pandemic.”
To support Angela’s wing walk for Hospiscare, go to: https://justgiving.com/fundraising/angela-atkins-phillips1