Email Jenny!
Your name:
Your email address:
Your phone number:
Comments:
Wingwalker

I was an airshow wingwalker – I stood on top of airplanes while they were
flying and doing acrobatics.  I live in Cleveland, OH.  From the time I was very
young, I have always had dreams of flying, but I never even got to ride on a
commercial airline until I was 15 years old.  I first started going to airshows in
2002 when I was nearly 32 years old.  I helped a wingwalking team with
gruntwork to start with, and then two years later became a wingwalker
myself after the other wingwalker retired.  A light sport aircraft was the first
type of plane I performed on, but then I became involved with other teams
and learned how to perform on Stearman biplanes, as well.   

In order to learn how to wingwalk, I first had to learn how to do everything
while the plane was still on the ground.  It is sort of like learning a dance –
you learn exactly where to step and what to hold onto and you keep
practicing that until you know it well.  Once you know the routine, then you
get to do it all in the air while the plane is flying.  It is very windy up there, so
you have to hold on tight and concentrate on your routine.  Once you are in
place on the plane, then you can take a little time to wave to the crowd below
and even do a little sightseeing while you’re up there.

Some wingwalkers only do the wingwalking (performing) part of the job, but
others, like myself, also learned to be businesswomen.  I took an active role
in promoting and marketing our teams to the various airshows that hire
performers for their events.  This meant I had to be a good writer, good
speaker, and knowledgeable about our aircraft and airshow history.  It also
helps if you know how to use something like a photo editor and are able to
build and/or edit websites. Before I went to my first airshow, I was working
as a scientist; I have degrees in chemistry and geology.  My college education
definitely helped me with the business side of my new airshow career.
Because I adapted well to being able to market my team, I have had other
airshow teams ask me to work as their Public Relations and Marketing
person, like a B-25 bomber group.  Being versatile in working with several
teams at a time is important if you want to earn all your income from
airshows.

One of the best things about working with airshow teams was that I got to
travel a lot.  I mostly traveled in the United States, but also performed in
other countries overseas (like Australia and the United Arab Emirates).  I got
to meet a lot of different kinds of people and that makes life much more
interesting.  I also was featured on TV in my last year as a wingwalker – I
was in the “Speed Stunts” episode of “INTERSECTIONS” on the SPEED
Channel which aired from July through December of 2010 – that was a very
fun project to work on.

I did not know what my passion and mission in life was going to be while I
was growing up and had nearly lost hope on ever finding my special little
place in this world.  But, after being involved as a grunt at airshows, I knew I
would someday fly on the wings of planes.  Having hope and taking
opportunities to do such wonderful things when they present themselves is
very important, so I tried to spread that message of hope while I was
performing as a wingwalker.  Some people find their passion early in life,
others of us bloom a little later, but we all do bloom eventually.  Never lose
hope!  The most ordinary of kids can grow up to do some of the most
extraordinary things.

DREAM IT… LIVE IT…  SHARE IT!

In fact, one of my greatest joys was teaching a new team to wingwalk –
Stewart Family Airshows.  I trained two ladies to walk the wings as I had.  
Being able to share that joy with them was nothing short of amazing.
Using aviation to entertain
and educate girls about
their limitless
opportunities...
Using aviation to entertain
and educate girls about
their limitless
opportunities...
Using aviation to entertain
and educate girls about
their limitless
opportunities...
TM