Walking in air
DESPITE it snowing during her audition and having never wing-walked before, Takeley woman Lorraine Sadler will soon become a professional wing-walker – taking part in air displays across the UK and Europe. The 33-year-old trained dancer and circus perfor
DESPITE it snowing during her audition and having never wing-walked before, Takeley woman Lorraine Sadler will soon become a professional wing-walker - taking part in air displays across the UK and Europe.
The 33-year-old trained dancer and circus performer said she was "stunned and thrilled" to have been chosen from hundreds of daredevils to join Team Guinot - the world's only formation wing-walking team.
Lorraine, who works at Stansted Airport, auditioned for the chance last Tuesday.
She was strapped to the top wing of a 1940s biplane at an airfield in Gloucestershire where she reached heights of 1000ft waving to those below against strong winds and even snow.
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On the ground Lorraine impressed a panel of judges made up of pilots and current wing-walkers who interviewed a shortlist of 13 candidates before settling on Lorraine and just one other daredevil Danielle Hughes.
Lorraine said: "I was on cloud nine when they announced my name. I was absolutely gob-smacked - all of the others could easily have been chosen."
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"I had never wing-walked before but I was really eager to do it. To be honest it was so cold last Tuesday that I was thinking more about being cold than being nervous. But it was great - I really loved it. "
She will now have to undertake an intensive wing-walking course.
The thrill seeker, who has lived in Takeley for two and a half years, will now work part-time as a professional wing-walker - the rest of the time will be spent doing her unusual day job.
She works as a 'wine angel' at the Raddison SAS hotel at Stansted Airport. This means when someone orders a bottle of wine from a 13- metre tall wine tower which holds 4000 bottles she retrieves it while on a harness performing acrobatic routines.
Lorraine said her family has always thought she is mad. She completed a degree in dance and art and after that went on to work as a show girl, then as a magician's assistant and then she trained as a circus performer.
"Most people don't believe me when I tell them the type of work I do," she said. "But I love the adrenaline rush and it is quite hard work. I love keeping fit and my work means I kill two birds with one stone. I also love the fact my jobs allow me to be creative."
Wing-walking team leader Vic Norman said: "There have been fewer than 20 professional wing-walkers in history. It is about great performance and Lorraine will be trained to climb around the aircraft in mid flight and will choreography dance routines to dazzle spectators on the ground."
He added: "Wing-walkers need fantastic fitness and agility and of course a head for heights and nerves of steel."