Carol Pilon: Wingwalker
Sometimes life changing inspiration comes in an instant and from an unexpected source. In Carol Pilon’s case, it was the split second clip of a wingwalker she saw advertised for a local airshow in 1993. She was transformed by the experience and knew that it was something she simply had to do.
Little did Carol know that it would take seven years for her to get her first opportunity to step out of the cockpit of a Stearman biplane and climb up onto the top wing. It was a life changing moment for her—she knew at that precise second it was what she wanted to do for the rest of her life.
But the wild ride on the top wing was not the only wild ride she would encounter. For seventeen years, she has waged a day-to-day, moment-to-moment campaign to stay out there in the slipstream. After working with other teams for a time, Carol eventually concluded the only way she could control her future was to own her future. She bought her own plane—in fact, the very plane used for her wingwalking debut—and she and her bright red Stearman have been on the airshow circuit ever since. You may also recognize Carol as the main characters from the 2015 Discovery Channel series Airshow, in which she was prominently featured.
You’re going to love Carol’s story and she is a great storyteller. It’s all about the tenacity, perseverance, persistence and downright stubbornness it sometimes takes to do what you were born to do. It’s a wild ride in so many ways.
Thank you so much for listening and, by all means, please leave a comment below with any thoughts you have. We love listener feedback. Also, we have a companion publication on Medium, which has its own unique material related to this and all of our episodes. (photo: Martine Giroux)