Thrill-seeking pensioner, both blind and deaf, completes wing walk at 600 feet

Video report by ITV News Meridian's Mel Bloor

A thrill-seeking pensioner from Berkshire, who is both deaf and blind, has completed what he describes as one his scariest challenges yet, a wing walk on a bi-plane at 600 feet. 

Having been shut off from the world during the pandemic, 74-year-old Tony Lawton has been desperate to get out of his house and get back to raising money for a charity close to his heart.

Speaking after the wing walk he said: "It was very, very, very bumpy. It shakes and it bumps and I thought crikey is that normal?".

"You know is that plane going to fall to bits? Although you can't see anything that was down there you can feel it all and the noise of the engine roared and ease off and I suppose after a couple of minutes I started to relax. I smiled at the end of it ok."

  • Tony describes what he felt as the plane took to the skies

Tony has been deaf since birth and went blind gradually.

Following the death of his wife in 2012 leaving Tony to rely on his guide dog Hesta for company, the 74-year-old has completed a different challenge every year.

So far he has sailed across the Southern Indian Ocean, cycled Coast to Coast on a tandem bike, and abseiled off a bridge.

The wing walk was in aid of Reading Association for the Blind, which has helped and supported Tony over the years.

The charity's Chair of Trustees, who's also blind, took part in the challenge to offer moral support.

  • Bob explains how Tony persuaded him to take part in the challenge

Bob Bristow said: "Well Tony was talking about it and I said 'oh that sounds like a good idea' and something I would like to try and then we said well we're raising funds so it went from that point onwards."

Having completed his wing walk, Tony is already thinking ahead to his next challenge and is currently writing a book about his life.

When our reporter asked Tony if he plans on slowing down at some point, his answer came as no surprise.

"Crickey, no. No Mel. No I've still got the drive, I've still got the passion. Thank goodness."