One United Airlines flight attendant truly took a walk on the wild side in honor of her 50th birthday, exiting the aircraft of a small private plane for a special wing-walking stunt as the aircraft soared high above the Pacific Northwest.
When planning celebrations for her recent milestone birthday, Frankfurt, Germany-based United staffer Sabrina Swenson knew she wanted to commemorate the occasion in an epic way, as per a blog post from the carrier. Intrigued for many years by the idea of “wing-walking” – an aerial stunt when one moves onto the wings of an airplane as it flies through the high skies – Swenson traveled to Sequim, Washington, to make her dreams come true.
After receiving proper training at the Mason Wing Walking Academy, USA Today reports, Swenson and a pilot took off in a Boeing-Stearman biplane, floating over the Olympic Peninsula and Strait of Juan de Fuca.
“Upon reaching the appropriate altitude and slowing down to just above a stall speed, the pilot wagged the wings, letting me know it was time to get out. I looked back to see him giving me the thumbs up,” the fearless flight attendant wrote in the United blog post. “With that encouragement, I left my seat and grabbed the two handholds above me, fighting the wind the entire time.”
“I carefully made my way up between the cables above me to the pole on top of the plane. I leaned against it and buckled into the four-point harness. After giving the thumbs up, the pilot proceeded to do aerobatics, including loops, barrel rolls and hammerheads,” she continued.