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The Name is Bond, Claire Bond: Fresh Start for Woman who defied gravity for RAF charity

A Gloucestershire thrillseeker has defied gravity to raise vital funds for the Royal Air Forces Association (RAF Association) and start a new chapter in her life.

Claire Bond (44) of Cheltenham was strapped to the wing of an aircraft and flown above the English countryside to raise almost £400 for the charity. She was exposed to an exciting series of flypasts; zoom climbs, dives and banking turns, all while balancing on the wing of a 1940s Boeing Stearman biplane.

Claire Bond

Claire was keen to do something challenging following a period of mental illness, which resulted in her leaving her job.

She explained:

“I was off work for nine months and had to quit work. I’m now attending college and looking to the future. What better way to start a new chapter in life than on the wing of an aeroplane?

“I had never done anything like this before, and strangely I was most nervous about taking-off as I don’t like the bumpiness. I was just so excited, and I can’t wait to do something else!”

The wing walk was organised in support of the RAF Association’s Wings Appeal which offers support, help and friendship to serving and veteran RAF personnel and their families.

Helen Tempest, Challenge Events Manager at the RAF Association, said:

“We would like to say a huge thank you to Claire and everyone brave enough to take part. Wing walking can be a once in a lifetime experience. To be in the air with views of the ground below is very special.”

The RAF Association will be staging other wing walking experiences at RFC Rendcomb Airfield in Gloucestershire. If you would like to find out about taking part while supporting a good cause, please visit www.rafa.org.uk/get-involved/challenge-events-challenge-yourself/