Wing walking is a family tradition in Sequim

Wing walking is a family tradition in Sequim

SEQUIM, Wash. - A family from Sequim is carrying on a death-defying tradition, with help from a vintage airplane.

They're "wing walkers," who practice the art of climbing outside a biplane and hanging on as the pilot performs aerobatic maneuvers.

"It's freeing, you're up there in the wind, enjoying the beautiful view," Marilyn Mason said. "It really is an amazing feeling. It's hard to describe unless you've done it."

She and her husband aren't the only family members doing it. Two of their six children are also experienced wing walkers.

"(I) get mixed reactions," said 14-year-old Weston Mason. "Some are like, 'that is crazy, I would die.' Others are like, 'ooh that's cool, can I go?' I think it's great. I love doing it."

So does his little sister Allison. She may be the youngest person to wing walk, ever - just 10-years-old when she first went up.

"The first step out of the cockpit is really the hardest," she said. "But then you really don't even think about what you're doing, because you just practiced for hours."

Allison and her brother actually practiced for years, before taking flight. They're fourth generation wing walkers, following in their dad Mike's footsteps, who also wing walked as a teenager.

"My grandfather had an airplane like this," Mike said. "My uncle had one, now we do. And it's great to pass the tradition on to the kids."

When the family isn't flying, Marilyn operates West Coast Spin Doctors, the only business of its kind in the world. She teaches wing walking techniques to paying students, who've traveled to the Olympic Peninsula from all over the world just to learn.


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