A daring 89-year-old will be doing the incredible and will be taking to the skies and raising money this summer.

Pensioner Chris Jones, from Knighton in Powys, has only ever flown once before in his life, that was way back in 1971. For his second flight, he will be flown some 600ft into the air atop a 1940s Boeing Stearman, which will reach speeds of up to 140mph.

Chris is Knighton's own 'Lance Corporal Jones'

Chris has become his hometown’s very own ‘Lance Corporal Jones,’ the Dad’s Army character who was famous for the catchphrase “Don’t Panic!”.

Chris said: “You’d think I’d be nervous, wouldn’t you? I’m not at the moment, who knows I might be on the day, but I’ll just have to say, ‘don’t panic’ won’t I?”

Raising money

He has been hitting the streets of Knighton to raise sponsorship money dressed in a special wing walking outfit, modelled on Lance Corporal Jones. Organisers Anthony and Vanessa Watts, who are neighbours and friends of Chris, have helped him with this amazing outfit and have added some local touches such as the Radnor Home Guard signature badge.

Chris has been fundraising in Knighton in shops such as the local butcher's

The couple raised more than £10,000 at their wing walk event last year. In January of this year, they organised a concert held at the Shrewsbury’s Theatre Severn, where Chris decided to sign up for the flight.

Sponsor Chris

“I really loved the concert,” said Chris. “But what really hit me was when there was a video played from a young girl and her mum who were cared for at Hope House. I knew then that I wanted to do something to raise money and I turned to the chap next to me and said, ‘I’m going to wing walk’.”

Chris wanted to raise money to support local children and families

Second flight

Chris has only flown once before in the 70s, from Cardiff to Dublin to compete for Wales in clay shooting.

“It was only a short flight really, I’ve not spent much time in the air,” he said. “I suppose in some ways I don’t quite know what to expect by wing walking, but all I can say is that right now I’m really looking forward to doing it and raising lots of money for children and families.”

Chris with wing walk organisers Anthony and Vanessa Watts

Anthony Watts said: “Chris is a remarkable man for putting himself forward to do this. When he came out to see us after the charity concert in January, he was really moved by how important Hope House and Tŷ Gobaith are for children and families. He said to me right away that he wanted to do the wing walk and raise money. He’s been getting around Knighton and turning plenty of heads, speaking to people about his amazing challenge and getting them to sponsor him.”

If you see Chris, then ask him to show you his QR code which is on his phone this will take you straight to his fundraising page where you can donate.

This year's wing walking group has already raised an incredible £10,000, which surpasses last year’s total. 

Our fundraiser Dawn Ball, said: “What Chris is doing to support seriously ill local children and their families is truly brave and amazing, and we are so grateful to him for taking on this challenge to raise money, and to Anthony and Vanessa for holding another wing walk this year.

“Good luck with the wing walk and the fundraising, Chris.”

The Wing Walking event will be held on the 25th of July at RFC Rendcomb with the AeroSuperBatics Professional Wing Walking Team.

Sponsor Chris

Pictures generously taken by Matt Price