Mass participation sports such as marathons and triathlons and adrenaline sports such as skydiving and bungee-jumping have been the activities of choice for adventurous fundraisers for many years, providing memorable and fun ways to raise money for their chosen charities. Wing walking can now be added to that list of experiences available to fundraisers thanks to a new and recently-approved regulation from the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA). This new regulation permits aerobatic experience company Aerobatic Tactics to operate wing walking experiences for the general public including fundraising activities.
Prior to October 2013 wing walking was considered a display activity and not a sport by the CAA therefore fundraising or sponsorship through the activity was not permitted. Wing walking was only possible for members of the public as part of professional wing walker training through an approved aviation training organisation.
Richard Pickin and Tony Richards, business partners and pilots for aerobatics experience company Aerobatic Tactics saw a gap in the market as enquiries to wing walk for fundraising purposes increased, as Richard explains: “Over the last couple of years we noticed a marked increase in enquiries at air shows from the general public and charitable organisations about the possibility of wing walking for fundraising.
“Throughout our aviation careers we have both been involved in sponsorship projects for aerobatics in various forms and we wanted to pursue the opportunity to be able to provide wing walking experiences to the general public for fundraising to further raise the profile of our sport in the way that skydiving has benefitted from charity parachute jumps.
“We worked closely with the Civil Aviation Authority to meet operational requirements and procedures to allow our organisation to operate wing walking experiences for the general public and fundraising activities. Aerobatic Tactics is currently the only company in the UK with permission from the CAA to legally offer this service.
“The requirements dictate that our aircraft are UK registered, our pilots hold full commercial pilot’s licences with Display Authorisations and we undertake regular training of all staff. Our facilities and aircraft adhere to strict safety standards, our customers are briefed in an official greeting area at our office and our team wear corporate uniform.”
Aerobatic Tactics operates wing walking in a 1940s Boeing Stearman Biplane from Damyns Hall Aerodrome in Essex from April to October (subject to weather conditions) as well as occasional operation from Headcorn Aerodrome in Kent and other parts of the country by arrangement.
The cost of one wing walk is £435 with two to four bookings reducing the cost to £400 per experience. Larger discounts are offered to multiple same day bookings for groups or corporates appealing to larger charities and organisations for daytime or evening events.
All individual wing walking experiences – up to four bookings - can be made via the Aerobatic Tactics website www.aerobatictactics.com and bookings are independent of monies raised for charity. For group or corporate bookings please contact one of the team.
Aerobatic Tactics is now taking bookings for the 2014 season from individuals and charitable organisations for both one-off experiences and corporate events. For more information please visit www.aerobatictactics.com or contact Richard Pickin on email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 07540 192 551 or Tony Richards on email email@example.com or call 07814 641 356.
Taking to the air...
On arrival at the aerodrome of choice, wing walkers are met in the Aerobatic Tactics greeting room. Friends and family can relax in the cafeteria or viewing areas. Before the wing walking flight Aerobatic Tactics provides a comprehensive ground and safety briefing. Then before the flight a fitness/waiver declaration must be signed. Once strapped into the five-point harness the wing walker will take off for a 10 minute ultimate experience that will include zooms and climbs at speeds up to 130mph and passes near to friends and family.
Two high resolution cameras are fitted to the aircraft making it possible to record the wing walking flight to enjoy with friends and family. The recording includes cockpit and engine sounds and is edited and returned by post within 28 days in DVD format. The cost of this lasting reminder is just £50 and can be paid for on the day. After the wing walking experience each customer receives a certificate confirming that they have participated in a wing walk.
Please note that to wing walk you must be no heavier than 12 stone 2 pounds (77kg) and between 18-65 years of age. All fundraising must be undertaken by the individual or via an approved fundraising organisation and Aerobatic Tactics accepts no responsibility for fundraising or payments to charitable organisations.
For bookings enquiries for charities and individuals please contact:
Richard Pickin via email firstname.lastname@example.org or Tel: 07540 192 551 or Tony Richards via email email@example.com or Tel: 07814 641 356.
For marketing or press enquiries please contact:
Samantha Williams via email: firstname.lastname@example.org or Tel: 07972 888 174.