Gyll Mauchline took to the skies above Lincoln as part of a wing walk earlier this month and says she didn’t feel an ounce of fear as she was strapped to the Boeing Stearman biplane, describing it as “an experience I’ll never forget”.
“I loved every single minute,” Gyll said. “I’ve always been fascinated by flying and being in the sky so it was just amazing.
“It was even fascinating learning that you couldn’t step on some parts of the wing because it could break.”
Wing walking has been on Gyll’s bucket list for well over two decades but it is just something she’s never got round to doing.
But when husband Max asked her if she was still intent on taking on the challenge, she was adamant and he bought the experience as a gift to mark both their golden wedding anniversary, which the pair marked on September 2, and her upcoming 70th birthday in November.
She had no hesitations in using it as an opportunity to fundraise for the dog rescue centre in Spalding Road, which needs about £100,000 every year to keep going - entirely funded by donations. This year the centre, which also takes in cats, has faced some big veterinary bills after taking on lots of injured animals and the money raised will go there.
Some of Gyll’s four-legged friends, including staffies Billy and Ella, accompanied about 20 charity supporters and Max watched Gyll take to the sky - and they were more nervous than Gyll, who scoffed scrambled eggs on toast just before the flight which included acrobatics and plummeting drops and steep climbs.
“I was joking with them all that I was going to pepper them,” Gyll, who lives in Kirkby Underwood, said. “But it was great to have so much support, especially to have some of the dogs there.”
Gyll insisted she wasn’t nervous beforehand despite having the flight from Wickenby Aerodrome put back twice. Gyll and her supporters were left disappointed when her original flight on Saturday, September 16, was cancelled thanks to rain and when she arrived the following day, it was delayed thanks to fog.
But when she finally took to the air a few hours later, it was perfect blue skies and Gyll could clearly see her team of supporters on the ground. She was the first to fly that day and other people due to take on the challenge had the daunting task of watching on.
“I saw a Cadbury’s Crunchie advert once with them standing on a wing and I just thought it was amazing. I’ve wanted to do it ever since and we thought it would be a great way to raise money for the centre as well.”
And despite her milestone birthday approaching, Gyll’s decided a skydive will be her next adrenaline-fuelled challenge. Husband Max watched proudly from the ground and Gyll said that even though the couple have had their “ups and downs” over their 50-year marriage, she was grateful for his support.
“When we first met, my brother warned him that I was mad and I guess 50 years later, that’s still the case with wing walking for my wedding anniversary,” Gyll laughed.
Gyll’s sponsorship page is still open at www.justgiving.com/fundraising/3CDR