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Love Retirement

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Take the time to read through our wide range of fun and thought-provoking articles full of helpful ideas and inspiration to help you enjoy a happy retirement.

Tom Lackey's record-breaking wing walk

Thursday, June 12, 2014

As a company we aim to offer extraordinary service to our customers. But the word extraordinary can also be used to describe the kind of customers we have, and in 2010, a 90-year-old named Tom Lackey came to us for an equity release product and in turn has inspired us ever since.

Having lost his wife and other members of his family to cancer, Tom makes use of his RAF-trained flying legs to wing walk for charity, and has raised incredible amounts of money over recent years. Now at the grand age of 94, he is almost wheelchair bound, yet continues to challenge his body and mind to tackle new and exciting adventures to raise money for those in need.

We tagged along with Tom and his family to capture his latest wing walk completed on his 94th birthday – 22 May 2014 – where he travelled on the wings of a plane from Land’s End to the Isles of Scilly in considerable rain and wind. It was an outstanding achievement and incredibly brave, and with this latest journey, Tom set two further world records including that of the world's oldest wing walker.

LV= is delighted to support Tom, and we continue to be inspired by his efforts. He is a man not defined by his age or health, but by his passion.

Video transcript

Tom: I wanted to do it, because they said you can’t do it, and I never like the word impossible. Sometimes we’re coming in so low over the sea I thought ‘uh oh’ we’re going to come down here, I’m getting ready to put my life jacket on.

Air traffic controller: Congratulations sir!

Tom: Well thank you very much.

Air traffic controller: We’re all talking about you!

Tom: Nice I hope!

Air traffic controller: Happy Birthday.

Tom: Thank you.

Heidi: Brilliant, so another wing walk!

Mike Dentith: Another wing walk for the great Tom Lackey, yes absolutely.

Heidi: And what number is this now?

Mike: This is number 3, is it number 3? No it’s number 4! In fact he’s done many many wing walks but this is the 4th record that he’s done. And this, of course, Lands End to the Scilly Isles, St Mary’s nobody has ever done on the wing of an aeroplane. Other ones, people have gone across the channel on the wing but nobody’s ever done this stretch of water and certainly nobody on their 94th birthday*, so he is my hero!

He has the attitude that it would be great if everybody had, which is completely positive, wanting to just go for it, you know whatever the odds I’m going to do it. I think it’s wonderful.

*Mike’s mistake – it was actually Tom’s 94th birthday!

Find out more about Tom and how we've helped

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