A Tulsa, Okla., woman set a new world endurance record by wing walking four hours above San Francisco on a World War II-era biplane, observers say.
Wearing an iPod, Ashley Battles stood, walked, stretched and danced to Christian music from noon to 4 p.m. on the 33-foot wing of a Super 450 Boeing Stearman, breaking the previous wing-walking record of 3 hours, 23 minutes set by a Frenchman in 1990, the San Francisco Chronicle reported Sunday.
“Just knowing I am now the world’s greatest wing-walker, it was so overwhelming I started crying,” Battles, 27, said after disembarking at Gnoss Field Airport Saturday, in Novato. “But I’ll tell you, every part of my body aches. Even my eyes are swollen,”
Battles reportedly endured hurricane-force winds, frigid temperatures and bugs, but she said her biggest worry was birds.
“One bird is all it takes to kill me,” she said. “The force would just crush everything in my body. I get covered with millions of bugs, but I hold my breath every time I see a bird.”
Battles studied at Oklahoma State University to be a pilot but became bored and turned to wing-walking, the newspaper said.
“It was like a light went on. I knew I was meant to do this,” she said. “But it’s so hard up there. I hope I make it look easy. And now I’m fortunate to be the very best at what I do.”