Ninety-year-old wing-walker takes to the sky

Great-grandmother Lyn Mitchell, 90, decided to turn daredevil after her recent birthday and a brush with cancer.

Lyn Mitchell, 90, gets ready to take part in her charity wing-walk challenge (Macmillan Cancer Support/PA).
Lyn Mitchell, 90, gets ready to take part in her charity wing-walk challenge (Macmillan Cancer Support/PA).

A nonagenarian has joined the ranks of the UK’s oldest female wing-walkers when she took to the skies for charity.

Great-grandmother Lyn Mitchell, 90, from Chedworth, near Cirencester, Gloucestershire decided to turn daredevil after her recent birthday and a brush with cancer.

Mrs Mitchell lost her mother and two aunts to cancer and was then diagnosed with breast cancer herself in 2018.

Lyn Mitchell, 90, is fundraising for Macmillan Cancer Support after her own experience with the disease (Macmillan Cancer Support/PA).
Lyn Mitchell, 90, is fundraising for Macmillan Cancer Support after her own experience with the disease (Macmillan Cancer Support/PA).

Having made a full recovery she has decided to raise money for Macmillan Cancer Support and hopes to reach £2,000 in donations.

On Wednesday Mrs Mitchell was on top of a biplane to fly up to 700ft in the air at Rendcomb Airfield.

Speaking after the flight, which lasted around eight minutes, Mrs Mitchell told the PA news agency: “It was great, lovely day for it, beautiful and now I know what it was like to fly like a kite.

“I was a little bit nervous, it was a little bumpy. I was hanging on and strapped in.

“The worst bit was driving along to take off – that was really bumpy.

“The best bit was when we came into land, it was beautifully smooth, and the other best bit was going over my local area and all the school children were out on the field and people from the village were all waving.

“The views were wonderful over this lovely countryside.”

Mrs Mitchell said she decided to do the wing-walk last year but had to wait for better weather.

“We have been sitting at home doing nothing during lockdown and what should we do?” she said.

“I knew this place was here because I had been here to watch someone else do it some years ago and I thought that sounds fun.

“I couldn’t do it at my birthday, which was the end of November and I had to wait until the better weather came.

“Once it got to summertime, we were away.”

Mrs Mitchell said she was not planning any further daredevil adventures.

“I think this will do for the moment,” she added.

The mother of three has seven grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren who were supporting her from the ground and across the country.

Daughter Sue Robertson said: “When Mum told us this is what she wanted to do, we all thought she was joking. But then she kept talking about it.

“I actually made her a 90th birthday cake with a model biplane and wing-walker on top and I think that ended up sealing the deal – she was determined to do it.”

Mrs Mitchell was taken on the wing-walk by AeroSuperBatics, who waved its usual fees to aid her charity appeal.

Macmillan Cancer Support fundraising manager Jemma Luker said: “We’re in awe of Lyn’s indomitable spirit to raise money for people affected by cancer, particularly when Lyn has experienced it herself.

“It’s not every day you hear about a 90-year-old going wing-walking, so we can’t thank Lyn enough for her support.

“It will make a real difference by helping Macmillan be right there for more people with cancer, here in Gloucestershire and across the UK.”

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