Just south of Shaftesbury, Somerset is the nice village of Compton Abbas….we drove down out of Shaftesbury to the hills to the south to check out the view as recommended by a nice local man who saw me, walking around in the middle of the street with camera in hand, as an obvious American tourist nutter. We found the route and drove down and then up, and up some more, and found at the top of the hill, the Compton Abbas Aerodrome. It was supposed to be closed at 4 p.m. and I was about to turn around from the drive when I saw a small crowd of folks at the end – never fearing party crashing, we drove on in. Just as we reached the shed the crowd was massed up around, an old bi-plane came in and landed – well, cool! Getting out of the car, we could see the bystanders all staring up into the sky and sure enough, waaaay up there was another bi-plane. The locals seemed quite excited as the plane cut tight turns, dove down below the brow of the hill, then screaming back up to regain altitude.
Finally, the plane got close enough that we could see something, make that someone, on top of the upper wing. I’ve seen wing walkers before, including a drunken one in Oklahoma who was a bronc rider and had only the single bronc rope to hang onto, so this was exciting, but it was obvious the walker was well secured to the plane. More aerial antics followed and then about five minutes later, the plane made an approach, hit the throttle and roared up again and then went around and landed. Taxiing over, I saw the wing walker was actually a wing-sitter, as there was a chair to support his rather portly frame. Then the plane got close enough to see the below, fairly amazing sight!
I think the only way to out-do this lady would be to double mortgage everything I own, or will own, scrape up a quarter million and book on board either of Mssrs. Musk or Bezo’s spaceships…..playing Sir Elton’s “Rocketman”, as we blast off.