From zero to hero: After last year's disaster, the Droitwich Daredevil triumphs

Going... Pictures by David Sawyer (s)

Going... Pictures by David Sawyer (s)

Going... Pictures by David Sawyer (s)

Gone. Pictures by David Sawyer (s)


First published in Local
Last updated

THE sky was - very briefly - the limit for the Droitwich daredevil who swooped in to grab second place at the International Worthing Birdman.

Flying for just 0.3 of a second, Edward Ling's fabulous flying machine then crashed into the chilly waters of the English Channel.

Thousands watched from the safety of the shore as daring competitors threw themselves off Worthing pier to be in with a shot of winning £10,000 of they travel the furthest over 100m.

After last year's disastrous attempt which saw Mr Ling having to abandon his craft on the pier, the 48-year-old went from zero to hero this year coming second in the Leonardo Da Vinci class and travelling 13 metres.

Along with some big bruises and bad sunburn, the accountant also walked away with prize money of £400 which he has decided to donate to Hope for Justice - the charity he was raising funds for.

Mr Ling, from Westwood Avenue, said: "The flight was over in the blink of an eye.

"I had my eyes closed after I left the pier but I could feel that I was going down and not going back on to the pier which was a sense of relief.

"The relief didn't last long though because as soon as my craft hit the water one of the wing spars whacked me in the face."

He explained he had a flight time of 1.5 seconds and it takes 1.2 seconds to fall from the pier which gave him a total of 0.3 of a second actually airborne.

There were ideal flying conditions for Saturday's jump and two competitors managed to make it over 100m on the first day eventually agreeing to share the prize money and trophy.

Having previously vowing not to enter again, Mr Ling has come back with ideas to improve his craft and has not ruled out taking to the air once more.

"It's all quite jovial and fun. The organisers take safety really, really seriously and everything is in place."

The flight has so far managed to raise £300 in online donations for Hope for Justice, an anti-trafficking organisation.

To donate, log on to

Mr Ling appears on the YouTube clip between 0.51 and 1.10.


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